We live in a world where a lot of people are afraid to show us who they really are. A world where “I am fine” is what people say when they couldn’t be feeling worse. A world where vulnerability is only seen to be for the faint-hearted. A time where people have never felt more alone in this widely connected and globalized world.
Yet it does not surprise me at all. If it has been so normalized to run away from our own emotions, which are a very normal part of the human experience, then how can we be a shelter to another person’s heart? When instead of trying to know what shakes the person in front of you, what keeps them awake at night, or what makes their soul shine, we just want to pass time blabbering about mundane things and anything that’s stripped of real emotions. Then it’s normal for people to feel so lifeless.
I wish more people knew that vulnerability is cool, that their fears are valid, and that their pain needs to be heard. You are not an outlier. I am sorry if society tries to shut you up. I am sorry if people don’t give your heart the space to breathe through the storms. I am sorry if you’ve opened up to the wrong people and decided that it’s better to keep it all to yourself. You are brave and you are strong and you are a person of real substance. You are a rare gem in this world because you choose to show your humanness, because you choose to speak about your worries and dreams and shortcomings just as much as the pretty and shiny things. You are real.
My hope for this world is for people to feel more heard, for people to allow themselves to be less shielded, knowing they’ll be met with more ‘me toos’ and a willingness to understand. I hope that when someone comes to speak to you about their trauma and grievance, you try to be a safe space for their trembling voice. I hope that when someone shows you the less confident side of themselves, you show them it’s okay. I hope that when someone speaks their heart out about their passion, you try to be truly interested in the details.
I truly hope that in a time where people focus on success and perfection and being admired, we might also have the ability to be our rawest selves without ever feeling less of a person because of it.
Society has this way of making us feel as though we should be at a certain place at a certain time. This fictitious timeline of life is not only terrifying but detrimental to our self-worth, and we’re all victim to this at some point. It makes you question your own path, your own accomplishments, and your own dreams; eventually, you’ll begin to question where you fall on this timeline in relation to those around you. There is always somebody who seemingly has a better life, who is further ahead, snatching those opportunities that feel out of your reach. Who has the education, the money, the relationship, that seemingly has it all put together. But comparison is the thief of joy. We’re all guilty of it, but it robs us of celebrating our own achievements for what they are.
Bigger house, bigger promotion, bigger bank balance. The goalposts are constantly shifting, moving further from our reach as we struggle to obtain this nonexistent utopia of success. Those around you seem to be moving on, advancing, pursuing their objectives, and it’s easy to feel static, as though you can’t keep up. When did life become this race that we were shoved into without consent, our mind forcing us to participate? We question whether we’ve done enough. Our wins in life suddenly are not good enough, and the more we seek more to satisfy that feel-good reaction, the more we lose sight of what’s important.
Society is particular about the categories that constitute a win. Engagements, wealth, promotions, obtaining the big house, pregnancy announcements, they all fit. Anything other than the social norm does not. We rarely celebrate independence, travel, skills, or hobbies. It’s no wonder it’s so easy to feel like you’re not doing well enough. Life is meant to be full of joy, but where is the joy in constantly comparing your own life to your assumption of those around you? Your time will come when it’s meant to come.
It’s time to focus on what you do have, what you have achieved, and the successes that are yet to come, because these leave us with something exciting to look forward to. We are singular entities on our own paths that simply cannot be compared. No two stories are the same, nor should they be. Forget their milestones, it’s yours that are important. You can’t walk someone else’s journey, nor should you want to, because yours will be just as good. It’s not only important to be in the moment, but use that moment to look around at what we do have with gratitude.
Celebrate each other’s wins no matter how big or small. Life is relative, and we have to learn to trust the timing and trust the process. Take this timeline for what it is—an illusion.
Mental illness. Therapy. Medication. Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar. Suicide. Self-harm. Any of these words dropped in a conversation are sure to cause people to shift and squirm in their seats and cause some discomfort. But why? Why has there been a stigma surrounding these topics for so long in our world, especially now in the midst of a pandemic?
People have no qualms with going to the doctor for physical ailments. “I broke my leg.” Go to the doctor. “I’m really sick.” Go to the doctor. “I’m having back pains.” Go to the doctor. The same sentiment goes for medications as well. “I have a headache.” Take some ibuprofen. “My eyes itch and I can’t stop sneezing.” Take Claritin. “I can’t sleep.” Take some melatonin. When it comes to these physical ailments that have a cause that can be quickly traced back to, most people have no problem taking medication and seeking out medical attention, so why is there such an issue doing the same when it comes to our mental health?
Our mind is everything about us. We are the only person we are with 24/7, so why not make sure our minds are healthy as well? The goal for most people in life is to be comfortable and happy, and that all starts with you and your mind.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all of the “it’s just in your head!”
“You’re thinking too much!”
“You just need to let it go!”
“You’re too sensitive, you need to toughen up!”
And while yes, technically some of those sentiments are true, they aren’t really helping anything or anyone and only pushes the stigma to grow even further. Imagine if someone you loved came to you saying they were having problems with anxiety, and instead of saying, “Maybe you’re thinking too much, you should relax and let it go,” you opened up the table for discussion and tried to understand what they’re feeling and why. Or if someone came to you and told you they were having thoughts of suicide and self-harm, instead of saying, “It’s just in your head, you need to toughen up,” you helped them seek out the correct type of help that they needed.
I’m not saying therapy and medication is a magical cure or that it’s even for everybody, because everybody is different and handles things differently. But what I am saying is, coming from firsthand experience, once you overcome that stigma and reach out for help, things start to change for the better.
We as a society need to end the stigma. There is no shame in having a mental illness. There is no shame going to therapy. There is no shame in having to take medication. Once we start opening the lines of communication with each other, we can start understanding each other better, which is what we need the most right now.
To be adapted and repeated for as long and as often as needed. It’s your journey – how you take it is entirely up to you.
Day 1: Name Your Pain
Take your time with that one, and be extremely specific. Don’t worry if you have to start a few times over if you have to tear out pages and cover them with ink blotches and arrows. The main point is to have your story out, for you to have a name for what causes you anguish. “The thing that happened in high school” is too big and nebulous to move on from; “letting go of the voices of my bullies”, on the other hand, is something to work with.
Day 2: Set Your Intentions
Try to whittle it down to a single sentence, but if you need more space, that’s fine too. At this point, you’ve been living with this pain enough to be sick of it. You know that letting go of it will have a positive impact on your life. Write down what it is that you want to let go of and why, then stick it somewhere you will see it every day: Your fridge, your night table, the front cover of your journal; set it as your desktop, your screensaver, set an automatic email to come to you every morning, whatever works. Just make sure you have a regular reminder of why you’re doing this and what you are letting go of.
Day 3-5: Take Stock
There’s probably a tonne of things in your life that remind you of whatever it is you’re trying to move on from. Some of it may be obvious – here’s that knick-knack she got me, or this picture from a tournament he took me to – some of it may be less so, like how hard you work to please everyone. Reminders of a person, or an event, may come tumbling in front of you like dusty candy in a coat pocket for weeks to come – what’s important now is to figure out where the bulk of it is. Think of it as a scavenger hunt, and make a list of all the reminders in your life – take a few days to comb through your house, your car, and finally, your habits, and locate those dusty candies so that you’re ready for the next step.
Day 6: Enlist Help
Find your meanest friend – the one who liked him the least, or the one who told you she did not deserve you – and tell them what you’re doing. Be specific – use your script from day 2 if you have to. “I’m on a mission to reclaim my (head)space so that I can finally direct my energies onto healing. Will you help?” You don’t have to scream it from the rooftops or round up your whole coterie – at this stage, you need only one or two people. What is important is this: They need to love you, and they need to be merciless.
Day 7-8: Purge Your Physical Space
If there was ever a perfect excuse to do the full Marie Kondo, this is it. Have your mean friends on hand, put on some appropriate music (fun fact: according to Bruce Dickinson’s biography, Iron Maiden never released a proper love song) and then let the recycling extravaganza begin. If you can’t bring yourself to throw physical mementos away, stick them in a box for your friends to store (where you have no access), or put it in a donations bin. Don’t let yourself ruminate – the only questions you need to ask are: “Can this be used by another human being?” And, occasionally, “Would I need this in the future?” (Think Legal documents and professional qualifications.) Your friends will help give you a reality check – you don’t need to throw away a teddy bear if someone else can use it, but you equally don’t need to shred your Masters Degree if it reminds you of your controlling relative.
Day 9: The Dust Bunnies Will Run For Their Lives
Fact: tidying up makes a mess. Take this time to clean up your home, launder your clothes, scrub the toilet, banish the old spices from your cupboards, the works. Can you do that the previous two days? Sure. But I would advise against it. Firstly, your friends came to banish the ghosts from your head, not the grease stains from the kitchen, which is arguably not as fun. Secondly, being alone in a newly tidied house can make you antsy. No better way to get rid of that extra energy than to dust every nook and cranny of your home, and sending the dust bunnies running.
Day 10: Make Two Lists
Grab a piece of paper. On one side, write down a list of “Things that drove you up the wall about (the thing you want to move on from)”. On the other, write a bunch of thoughts, people, and activities that you liked, and that the person you’re healing after would absolutely DESPISE. Pick three things from the second list and research the ones nearest to you. What are they about? How much effort would they require? How much do they cost?
Day 11: Make A Plan
Pick one of the three things you researched the previous day and make a plan to do it within the week. Commit to it – pick up the phone, put down the card detail, ask your mean friend to take you there under pain of social media roasting. Be mindful of your budget, of course, as well as how much energy you can spare after work and helping your loved ones. But also, you need new passions in your life. If you feel hesitant, remember the first list you made yesterday, and remember that this is something purely for you.
Day 12-14: Adulting Stuff
Chances are if your mind and soul is hurting, your body wasn’t doing too great either. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating food that you find delicious? Have you got the bills and budget down pat, so that you don’t have to scramble to pay anything at the end of the month? Run through those things while you’re still on a high from doing the thing the person who hurt you would hate so that you can tick off all you procrastinate over. Dentist checks? Doctor checks? Nobody loves them, but get them done as much as possible now so that you can have 12 months of not having to worry about it.
Day 15: Forecast Of An Emotional Storm
It’s been two weeks since the challenge started, and you’ve accomplished so much! You wanna pat yourself on the back, except… your dentist found a cavity, or you pap smear was due, and even though everything went off without a hitch and you are fine now, you’re probably feeling a little bit raw. You can’t find your favorite comfy sweater and you remember it was a gift from That Person, and it just reminds you how kind and comforting they were, and why did you bother in the first place…
You may want to be mean to yourself, or else call the whole project off. What I’d like to invite you to do instead is putting your phone away and letting yourself have a nice, big cry about it. (Or shout and punch a pillow. Or turn up your music and scream along to Lorde. Whatever mood strikes you.) Take as long as you need, until the emotion has spent itself.
Day 16: Read Back Your Intentions
The previous day might have left you with an emotional (and a real) hangover. For recovery, take your story from day 1, and your intention from day 2. Reread both, taking your time to let the words sink in. Notice the anguish in your voice, the difficulty in writing the words. Cry a bit again, if you have to.
Here’s the tea: chances are, it was not all that bad. It’s human to feel sad, to remember the good times, to wonder if you weren’t the one in the wrong after all. Times like these, it’s okay to feel sad; but it’s also important to remember exactly why you needed to get away, to let go, and to heal. Specificity helps us parse out the good from the bad; it lets us acknowledge the happy times existed AS WELL as the bad ones. It’s not either/or: it was both, and the bad stuff made you want to leave.
Day 17: Make Another List
Write out a list of your achievements. Then write out a list of reasons why you, objectively, achieved them. Think: Master’s Degree – you worked hard, you did your research, you were passionate about the subject, you helped others, etc. Don’t be tempted to editorialize, aka “I only got it because the teacher liked me”. You got it because you worked for it. Make a list and put it near your intentions from Day 2, so that whenever you want to call yourself lazy or stupid, you’ve got a rebuke right there, on your eye level.
Day 18-20: Start Habits That Make You Happy
Remember that activity you tried earlier? On day 11 even? Did you like it? Did you want to do it again? If not, what would you like to do instead? What would make you excited to get out of bed in the morning? Starting new habits, hobbies, or re-focusing your energy on things that you were passionate about but let go of; these are all ways for you to remind yourself of your own power.
Day 21: Check In With Your Friends
Your mean friends may want to get rid of the stuff they stored for you, but they likely won’t until you say so. Have a nice catch-up, a roast, or just a day/night out with friends. Check in with yourself after that night is over – how do you feel now that you’re starting new things and looking after your body? How does spending time with your people feel like? Do you want to do more?
Day 22-23: Rescind Your Invitation To Emotional Vampires
By now, you’re probably seeing glimpses of your old self. Depending on how much time has passed, you’re either taking baby steps forward, or you are repeating self-healing steps that helped you in the past, and you are coming into your superpowers. Time to examine your friend group: Who are your allies in your quest for healing? Who are suddenly disinterested in you, now that you’re no longer miserable? Are they happy to see you improve, or are they forcing you to remember bad times?
In the past, you may have held onto the wishy-washy and the jerks because you had no-one else. Or, maybe they were just okay, but now you see you just hang out because of habit. Either way – there’s no harm in seeing people you like one-to-one, and “losing” the numbers of those you don’t.
Day 24: Cloudy With A Chance Of Boredom
Most self-healing is done quietly, alongside your daily life. You go to work, you come home. You fix the same food you always have, do the same things to unwind. Once the drama of the initial few days has settled and you have made self-asserting boundaries part of daily practice, you’ll find life becoming routine… even boring.
Remember: boredom is good. Boredom means the worst of your worries can be taken care of later, and that you are no longer living in a constant state of crisis. Yes, it’s not nearly as exciting, but it’s also self-protective and self-loving.
Day 25: Brace Yourself For A Surprise Storm
Remember those dust candies tumbling out of pockets? Or those emotional vampires you just banished? There’s a chance a few of them might pop out: a song comes onto your playlist that you forgot to purge, or some “friend” lets your ex have your new phone “accidentally”. Have your mean friends’ on speed dial, or plan for a few extra new and exciting things to do. Or clean up your house again, or run one more mile… whatever works to keep you occupied until the urge to call back has passed. Check-in with your intentions if you have to.
Day 26: Acknowledge You Got Through
So you survived the storm. Even if you gave in and returned the call, met the person for a drink, ate whatever shit they served you… you’re here. You may be rattled, but you got through. Meanwhile, if you didn’t give in, you may be wondering if it was a fluke. Pat yourself in the back either way. Your worst nightmare may be to return to the bad situation, but as long as you are here today, there is hope. Remind yourself that you are human, apologize if you have to, and resolve to keep doing the right thing. Next time, you’ll know better.
Day 27: Two Final Lists For You
Remember how tempted you were to ruminate about Those Good Times? Now you have a chance to – write down all the good about the person and the situation, or what you perceived to be good about it. Be specific. Once that’s done, turn the page. List out all the good that wasn’t there, but that you wanted to have, that you wish you can have. Take as long as you need, and be as extravagant as you want.
The first list is what you got out of the bad situation, the stuff that kept you stuck. The second list is what you want, what you could have ON TOP of the good stuff from before… but without all the bad.
Day 28: Allow A Private Moment Of Grace
Maybe you’re still feeling dubious or rattled. Maybe you think that your perception of the situation was wrong, or at the very least you need to acknowledge the good that the other person did for you. This day is your permission to do it – in PRIVATE.
Write a letter, listing out all those good things the other person did, and thank them for the ones they genuinely, honestly did to help you. What this means is, don’t thank them for every gift that came with strings, or the stuff that they did because it reflected well on them. Don’t thank them for supporting your studies if they constantly rubbed it in your face, or for raising your kids if they used that as a justification to cheat.
Thank them for the true moments of selflessness, for the honesty, for the support. You may still end up with a nice letter, but chances are, it will be a lot shorter than you think. Once you’re done, stick it in a drawer and don’t send it. Like with other times you exerted a special effort, the recipient is likely not to appreciate it as much as you would.
Day 29: Put It All Together
The lists, the letters, the intentions, the story. Put it in one place and look at it as a whole. The “good” list that seems excessive compared to the things that actually merited thanks; the qualities you undermined in yourself, the dreams you set aside while you settled for crumbs; the nonsense you tolerated and that you will not miss. What you have is a roadmap to the future – it’s not foolproof or anything like that, but it’s a start. You know what you want, what you need, what you deserve; what you won’t settle for, what is worthy of gratitude, and what is just a gift with strings attached. Smile. You know yourself better now.
Day 30: Keep Going
Writing your future happens every day. Sometimes you will have to repeat old steps, just to remind yourself of your power. Some things might set you back – that’s okay. The important bit is to keep going, to work hard, and to resolve to always do better.
You’ve got what it takes to move on and heal. Don’t stop.
Some people walk on eggshells around me. I can see it when they move, their feet softly hitting the ground, hoping not to upset me or scare me in any way. I’m not a fragile bird with a broken wing that is going to ask you to help me. I don’t need your help. Stop walking around me as I’m going to shatter with any sudden movements.
I’m not broken. I’m not cracked. I am a flawed human being trying to make it like everyone else is.
I don’t want to be treated like a child who’s scared of the dark. I don’t want to be cooed at so I don’t cry in the middle of having an anxiety attack. I need you to let me freak the fuck out for two seconds. I promise you, I won’t be mad at you when I collect myself but I need you to back the fuck up. My anxiety isn’t something you can fix with your careful petting. My anxiety isn’t going to deem itself unfit and just leave. My anxiety does not affect you so stop acting like it does. Let me be an anxious mess.
Let me cry a bit.
My anxiety didn’t break me. It’s not going to. If anything, it put me back together after other things broke me.
My anxiety gave me a reason to be more aware of myself and less aware of you. I know it sounds harsh but it’s true. My anxiety taught me that sometimes I need to focus on myself FOR MYSELF.
I used to think healing was simply getting over someone that hurt you or did you wrong. I thought it was just moving on and forgetting. Like the person didn’t happen at all. An un tag. An unfollow. Deleting them as a friend. That’s how you are supposed to heal right? But the truth is healing isn’t about forgetting the person. It isn’t about trying to forget the memories that used to make you smile. Healing isn’t just growing silent when it comes to talking about them because your friends are tired of healing it.
Healing is acknowledging the fact that the person mattered. That you had a history that isn’t worth forgetting. Healing is about moving on at your own pace not when someone tells you, you should be over it. Healing is about waking up every single day and knowing it’s okay to look back. It’s okay to reach for your phone hoping you hear from them. It’s okay that you haven’t healed yet. Because healing is a process. Healing takes time. And the truth is even when you’ve moved on and you’re dating someone new there are going to be moments that hit you, where you miss them.
Healing is understanding your pain. Respecting your pain. Looking it dead in the eyes and understanding why you feel the way you do. It’s analyzing things and replaying scenarios but one day it hits you XYZ is why it didn’t work out.
It’s having that day where even if they did come back you wouldn’t choose them again. Healing isn’t forgetting. It isn’t as simple as forgiving them either. It’s forgiving yourself too. It’s taking a hard look at the person you were in the relationship and finding areas you could improve in the next relationship. It’s understanding even someone you swore you loved might not be meant for you.
Healing is moving past that initial anger and just wanting them to be happy even if it’s without you. It’s someone saying their name and you don’t cringe. It’s your best friend talking about them and you don’t have anything bad or negative to say. Healing is the respect you have for yourself and your ex because even if it did end, that doesn’t erase your history.
Healing is beginning to date again and not comparing their best to someone new. It’s realizing that things didn’t work for a reason and you can’t be hung up on it. It’s watching them move on and being okay with that pain at first but then moving forward yourself and not clinging to it.
Healing is when you see them out and you don’t have to leave. When civil conversations don’t make you angry. When seeing them post something might make you miss them for a moment but you don’t dwell anymore.
Healing is allowing all those ugly emotions to get flushed out of your system instead of harboring them there. It’s letting go when you’re ready. On your own agenda.
Then you take that next small step. You start dating when you’re ready. When you’re able to give someone your best. When falling for them is genuine and not because you are lonely.
Healing is a process. A process we sometimes feel guilty for as emotions we don’t like come to the surface. But it’s those emotions that are essential to moving on.
Then you move on and you realize every person we’ve ever loved we take with us and they are never really gone or that far when their memory leaves an imprint on our heart.
I have seen your forgiving heart. I have seen your grace.
I have seen you be selfless so many times, giving all your love to the ones closest to you, and even to strangers. I have seen you smile on your worst days, and find the strength to keep on giving, even when you can barely lift your head.
You are incredibly beautiful, inside and out, never giving up on the ones you love, even when you’re exhausted by the world.
I watch you, day after day, pick up the chipped pieces of yourself and stick them together with a tape that’s barely strong enough to get you through the next night.
Yet you continue.
You give your heart to people who don’t see your beauty through the brokenness. You console and comfort friends who do not understand the power of your care, your forgiveness.
You surround yourself with people that you need to fix, with people that you must work to love. But even when you fall into your bed at the end of each night, you don’t see what an incredible difference you’ve made.
You think that you deserve the cold words, the turned faces. You think you deserve friends that pull away and men who don’t love you back.
You somehow turn everything back to yourself, and wonder if you’ll ever be good enough.
Well you are good enough. You’re more than enough.
I wish I could tell you that you are noticed. That the wonderful, little ways you brighten people’s lives are important. Are valued. I wish I could tell you that your eyes sparkle and bring life to ones’ whose days feel dull and empty. That your smile lifts people from their anger. That your laugh makes those around you want to close their eyes and lean their heads back to bask in the sweet sound.
I wish I could tell you that God has made you perfect, just as you are—a fighter, a sinner, a flawed and broken and beautiful warrior of love.
I wish I could tell you to keep loving, even when the world looks the other way.
I wish I could tell you that sometimes you give your heart to people who don’t deserve it, in love or in friendship, and it becomes a hard lesson learned.
I wish I could tell you that you must never accept a half-love, a love that is nowhere near the amount you give.
I wish I could tell you that you are a blessing to so many people. And that you need to bless yourself sometimes.
I wish I could tell you that life will be so hard, but you must keep on living. That you must find reasons to celebrate, to pull strength, to stay pure, even when people hurt you.
I wish I could tell you that you will face so much pain, but you cannot let it break you. You must find a way to see yourself, your worth, and know that you are an important part of this world.
I wish I could tell you that you matter. And you are loved.
Stop sitting up at night, replaying all of your awkward moments in your head. Stop thinking about the ways you have screwed up in the past. Stop selling yourself short, because you are better than your worst days.
Everyone has said things they aren’t proud of saying. Everyone has done things they wish they could erase from their mind. Everyone has regrets about what they have done and what they have failed to do.
You can’t let your worst moments define you. Failing once does not mean you are going to fail every other time you put yourself out there. It does not mean you should give up and go home.
If one person rejects you, that does not mean you should stop dating forever. If one boss fires you, that does not mean you should stop working forever. It does not mean you should throw up your hands and say you tried your hardest but it wasn’t good enough. You have to dust yourself off and take another shot.
You can’t let your doubts stall you. You can’t hide yourself away in your bedroom because you’re worried about history repeating itself.
Whenever something goes wrong, you have to try again. You have to give it another go. You have to work your ass off to get where you want to end up.
Don’t let one bad experience convince you to give up on yourself. Don’t let your insecurities chew away your desire to chase your dreams.
You have to keep in mind that you are better than your worst days. You are stronger than you will ever admit to yourself. You might not see how powerful you are, but ask one of your friends and see what they have to say. They are sure to raise your spirits, raise your hopes, and raise your expectations for yourself.
You are doing better than you give yourself credit for, so stop hating yourself when you should be loving yourself.
You are strong, even when you break down in tears. You are beautiful, even when you feel too gross to leave the house. You are going to make something of yourself, even though you feel like you keep screwing up every opportunity that comes your way.
One day, everything will fall into place. Not because the universe owes you something. Because you are going to work your ass off until it happens.
You have the courage. You have the dedication. You just can’t give up on yourself, even when you are tempted to stop trying.
No matter how hard life becomes, stop acting like the world is against you, because the world is in the palm of your hand. You can do whatever you set your heart on — it just won’t happen overnight. It takes time. Patience. Effort.
If you want something, you can get it. You can make it happen as long as you never forget that you are better than your worst days. You are stronger than your weakest moments.
“You don’t find your passion, your passion has already found you — you just need to look inward to discover it.”
Our passions are those things that interest us and make our souls come alive when we take a risk and leap — with no other foreseeable landing or outcome in sight other than the enjoyment we get when we do what we love.
Sadly, most people give up the one thing that makes them come alive because of what others may think or out of the fear of not being able to support themselves while doing what they love — yet their passions are tied directly to who they are.
Embracing the things that you love is the gateway to self discovery — your passion is an extension of you that allows you to showcase the full expression of who you are to the world, in relation to your purpose.
Fear is also often tied to embracing our passions because it goes against everything that society, our friends and our families taught us about how to survive in a world where only the “beautiful” and “talented” can support themselves by doing what they love.
But this just isn’t true.
Our passions make us feel the way they do because they’re in direct alignment with our purpose.
Upon discovering your passion, own the fact that it’s apart of your identity and what makes you, you — don’t be shy about it, either. Don’t worry about the people that will misunderstand you because most people don’t even understand themselves — which is why they spend their energy and time trying to convince you that you don’t understand “you” either.
The only person that your passion has to make sense to is you, and trying to make someone understand why you’re doing what you love will only take your magic away.
The people who stand out when they finally find their niche in life through embracing their passions are the ones who are unapologetic about what they love to do — because they know that the thing that makes their soul come alive is the wings they were given to fly.
The struggle can be real…so real that you can’t stand it. So real that you can’t stand up because you feel stuck. Stuck in depression, desperation, despair. I want you to know, it’s NOT in your head. It doesn’t define you. You can and will move forward.
Give yourself the grace and mercy to feel what you’re feeling. The pain you’ve felt is not a mere story you tell yourself. It’s easy for others to dismiss it as such but you know what you feel isn’t just a story. It consumes you like a hungry fire, searching for oxygen, enveloping you in the pain of living. On these days, living, breathing, simple tasks like opening your eyes, can be difficult and doesn’t seem worth it. I know that feeling. I’ve been in that space. You are not alone and there’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you can’t feel this hurt. But allow yourself to have the hope that you can rise again from this.
It’s not easy to hold on to hope when you feel your life slipping from your grasp. But dig your nails in and swing from its ledge. It will not crumble and let you fall. Hold on to the belief that things can change. That they WILL change. Whether you believe in something higher than yourself (God, the Universe, a Creator of some sort, etc), or whether you simply believe in yourself, hold on to that belief that you are worthy of being saved. Even if the only one to save you is yourself. Even in the darkness, where it’s hardest to believe this, when it’s hardest to believe because the pain is so thick, I beg you to hold on anyway because you are worth the effort. You are worth fighting for.
I hope you know that your space in this world matters. If you don’t believe anything else, know that. You are worthy simply because you are here. You are the personification of unabashed effort, faith and love. You can get through the darkest of hours to reach your clearing where peace resides. A peace that not only surpasses all understanding, but can replace the pain that you have felt for so long that you don’t know that there’s another, better way. Know that you are worth holding on to and for. You are worth the time you need to take for your mercy, grace, sanity…you are worth having the time you need to see your worthiness. And you are worth the journey it takes to get to your peace.
On your darkest days…in your darkest hours…hold on my dear. Your time is coming.