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Darling, I know you are hurting. I know your heart is tired. I can see that you are weary of fighting. I know it is exceedingly vexing when not many people understand the veracity of what you are feeling. You don’t let them see the oceans you cry. You don’t let anyone read through the stories behind your scars.
I’m writing this for the days you feel like your existence is a speck in this world. This is for those days when you are struggling to make it through your day like a clockwork, brimming your mind with negativity. This is for those days when you have had enough and feel like giving up. This is for you on those days when the sun hides behind the clouds and the darkness starts to splatter around you. I hope and pray that on those days when nothing seems to be going right and you find yourself drowning in weakness, when you’re creeping out of your skin, you read this. I hope you cling to these words and use it as a lifeboat.
1. You are allowed to be sad
There are going to be days when you feel too broken to be fixed, when the leaden ache lingers in your heart. You are permitted to feel and sit with your pain for as long as it takes, because that is the only way you can process it. You are entitled to your feelings and allowed to have the lows that come with the highs. You are allowed to be in tears and cry your eyes out. It is okay to feel the burden of the pain you have been carrying. After all, you are only human. Your sadness is your own and you don’t owe anyone an explanation. It is alright if for once you decide to say you are not okay and holler at every vacant space in your sight as long as you choose to fight.
2. No matter how cautious you live your life, there will always be something that does not work according to your plan
Life is never predictable, and for the most part, that is the beauty of it. There will be things that you cannot control, and you are going to end up with quite a lot of mistakes. But don’t you dare grip on to them until your hands start to bleed. Learn to let them go when it’s due. The beauty of this is how those mistakes will lead you into finding yourself. The lessons you learn from those will forever be an experience you would not have otherwise known. The only way you will flourish in life is if you are brave enough to face the challenges that life throws at you.
3. You don’t have to wear a mask of happiness
There will be days when your biggest achievement is breathing. No matter how you feel, your feelings and emotions are valid. There is absolutely no one—and I repeat, no one—who should make you believe otherwise. You should not have to suppress your sadness for anyone. I am aware that it is easier than explaining why you are feeling the way you are feeling. Yes, with this veil of happiness you are wearing, you can easily dodge off painful explanations and unsettling questions. There will be days when that will get you off. But what about those days when the weight of the world is too much on your little shoulders? Where would you run for cover then? Do you think you are strong enough to endure the bottled-up blues that bubble up and crash against your mind in waves? So let that guise of happiness stay away.
4. You will never be them and that’s okay
Underneath this shell of a body you are born in, you are a beautiful soul. Stop looking for faults and exist loudly. You are beautiful just the way you are. Your imperfections are unique to you; they are part of what makes you. You are endowed with qualities that no one else has. You have your own extraordinarily incredible identity and a touch of your own genius that is second to no one. Loving yourself a little too much has never hurt anyone. I want you to stop beating yourself up for all the things you are not and start loving you for all the things you are. Yes, I know it is a trying task, particularly when everyone around you looks so perfect and accomplished in their lives. You are constantly growing and evolving, and you are a work in progress.
5. Your mistakes don’t have to define you
You are not what happened to you. You are what you make out of it. Don’t give in to others’ opinions about you, but instead work tirelessly to prove the naysayers wrong. Our mind has a way of winding reality and leading you to believe that your diffidence and self-doubt have some power over you. Rise out of your past and quit crying over past mistakes; turn those teardrops into grenades that burn the bridge. You can make conscious efforts to accept where you are in life and let go of the slip-ups of the past and the uncertainty of what the future holds.
6. No matter how bleak it looks, your heart is strong enough to endure this dark phase
Even when the urge of ripping yourself apart gets too strong, be patient and hold on. Even when you know nobody wants to offer you a shoulder to cry on, head up and walk alone. Because every day is a fresh day to start anew; every day is a new opportunity to piece your broken heart together. Tomorrow could be the day something beautiful happens. Tomorrow could be the day you finally move past the hurt which you thought you could never. Nothing ever stays the same — these feelings will pass, so take heart to weather this storm. Wipe your tears and hug yourself. Take comfort in the fact that you are alive and life is happening. You will ache, but you will also withstand. You will fall, but one day, you will learn to fly. You will always be more than your pain.
7. Our heart knows how to overcome
If there is one thing that pain has taught me, it is that our heart has a way of recovering even when the pain we experience seems endless. You will heal, maybe not right now or tomorrow, but someday soon. Your heart will heal from your past, disappointments, and grief and find a way to continually beat for the things that set your soul on fire. No matter how many times you have been hurt before, your heart will find a reason to beat and make you feel alive. You will find reasons to smile again and work your way up. Yes, it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
8. There is strength in letting go
In order to move forward, you need to break all ties with the ghosts of your past. You are going to need to let go and forgive yourself and the ones who hurt you. At the end of the day, holding on to grudges will only make you bitter and stand in the way of fulfilling your goals. You have to set yourself free by cutting the rope that holds you down. You have to take heart and learn to be your own anchor.
9. You are never alone
When isolation begins to feel intense, it is not uncommon for us to develop a sense of comfort in the numbness of our own company. Even though you feel crushed under the weight of your pain, I want to remind you that you are not alone in this. There will always be someone out there who is willing to listen to you without any judgement. As hard as it might be to open up to someone and be vulnerable, doing so will only help you heal faster. Regardless of how alone you feel, you should not shy away from talking to someone—anyone. You will be surprised to know that you are not the only one who is dealing with these demons. And that my friend can be comforting, to say the least. Allow yourself some space to breathe, the grace of falling down.
10. It is okay to seek help
For whatever reason, we are a bunch of people who love to adore strength and independence. But an excessive fixation on this will leave an individual to handle everything alone. Quite often, we are fed this idea that asking for help is a sign of weakness. You don’t have to bear the brunt of struggling alone and refusing any help. We are going to have moments when we simply can’t muster enough courage to face our demons alone. It is completely okay to lean on others and seek assistance outside of your own. I would like to believe that there is strength in stepping outside of your pride and fear and benefiting from someone’s expertise.