Maybe your story has been paved with fault lines so deep, that you can barely see past the wreckage and debris. Maybe you feel like you have outgrown the skin you’re in; you’re stretched to your limits, and you can’t exist in the mold that you’ve enclosed yourself in for another moment. Maybe you are a recovering people-pleaser, so you’re used to slapping a smile on your face and living your life quietly and coloring within the lines. Regardless of the path that has brought you to this very moment, I want you to know that you deserve to take up space in this world. You are worthy of every dream you’ve ever dreamed of and every desire placed upon your heart. I know it doesn’t always feel like you belong; it feels like you’re trying to squeeze into spaces that aren’t made for you. I am here to tell you that everything that is meant for you will not pass you by. It’s easy to get caught up in everyone else’s highlight reel that you see on social media, but comparison will only bring you down and keep you playing small. So stop comparing your journey to theirs – there is absolutely no competition.
You are exactly where you are supposed to be in this very moment; the life you crave will come to fruition, you just have to stay the course and keep your head down. Don’t subscribe to self-deprecation and negative self-talk; that is below you, and you are so much stronger than what is trying to break you. I know you are anxious and emotionally drained from every blow that you’ve absorbed, every hit that life has thrown in your direction, but don’t sell yourself short. Don’t wish you were living someone else’s life, don’t yearn to exist in someone else’s skin. I know it’s difficult to see other people getting married, having kids, and working at jobs they don’t hate, all while you are working on yourself and doing the inner healing that is required of you. It’s easy to believe that those other people are living a charmed life while you are neck deep in your struggles, but don’t believe all of the lies that your anxiety and depression may be telling you. Let me remind you once again: you will not miss out on anything that is meant to be yours.
Instead of playing the toxic comparison game, just focus on yourself and the life you are carefully constructing. Remember that things are rarely as they appear, and you never know what someone else is going through and dealing with behind-the-scenes. Someone that’s struggling often looks like someone that isn’t struggling. We get so good at hiding our messy parts and our flaws that we fail to realize the ones that truly love us want every part of us – even the parts we are so afraid to show. The ones that are meant to be in your life will love you where you’re at, in whatever season you’re in. Don’t try to shrink yourself to fit into the nooks and crannies that aren’t meant to be yours, because it won’t make you happier or more fulfilled to try and live someone else’s life.
Please, just be unapologetically you, and forget about the assholes that are only trying to bring you down and shine a spotlight on all of your past mistakes and failures. The ones that love you want to celebrate your wins alongside you; they don’t want to see you sad and upset, but they will understand when you need your space and some time to protect your energy. Try not to focus on the ones that have left you high-and-dry, the ones that abandoned you at your most vulnerable, when you needed them the most. Even if they walked back into your life one day, they would just disappoint you again down the road in some form or another. It’s better to leave them in the past and focus your attention on the humans that fill your soul with sunshine and hope for your future.
You have survived so many times that you thought you wouldn’t, and I know you thought you wouldn’t be able to breathe without them in your life, but here you are, living and breathing and dreaming. Not everyone you lose is a loss; this is so important to remember. Look at yourself with kind eyes and hold your heart with gentle hands, because people will treat you as beautifully as you treat yourself. You are so worthy of every good and perfect gift coming your way.
So, when you feel the depression trying to suck you down into that deep, dark place and you feel your anxiety creeping in and setting up camp, just place your hand on your heart and know that you are still breathing. Remind yourself that you are still living, despite everything that tried to break you. You are here for a reason, and you have so much joy and beauty in your near future. Hold onto these little nuggets of hope when it all feels too heavy, and you will be okay. You will be okay, because you are a survivor.