When you’re struggling to compromise or agree to a stalemate, ask yourself: Is this worth it? Are you fighting because you want the best outcome or do you just want to win? It’s okay to hold tight to your convictions, but you have to remember that sometimes the outcome is more important than the journey it takes to get there. After all, you may win the war, but is it worth the destruction you leave behind?
Look for moments worth celebrating. So often, we let progress pass us by without properly giving ourselves the congratulations we deserve. Other times, we’re so focused on our own life that we forget how important certain milestones are to our loved ones. But life gets a little lighter for everyone when we remember to honor our growth and celebrate those we care about most, so please, pay attention to those wondrous moments worth acknowledging.
Things won’t always go the way you hoped, but that’s okay. In some cases, it may even be a good thing. More often than we realize, the paths we never anticipated bring us to beautiful places, and sometimes the things we think we want the most are the things that don’t help us grow in the ways we need. I hope you keep your heart open to every unexpected bend in the road.
Sometimes you’re so busy taking care of others that you forget that you’re allowed to be taken care of, too. You don’t always have to be the shelter in the storm, the lifeboat in the sinking ship. You’re allowed to need the same nourishment that you give others—it’s not asking for too much. Let others be there for you—or better yet, ask for them to be.
Sometimes life will break your heart, but your resilience is a thing of envy. When you fall, know that you will get up again. When you’re wounded, know that you will heal. When you need to cry, cry, but know that you’ll smile again. No matter what you’re going through, no matter what lies ahead, you will be okay.
You’re the kind of person who understands that sometimes sacrifice is necessary for success. You know that sometimes it’s important to prioritize others, especially when you love them. But I also hope you know it’s okay to be selfish sometimes, especially when it comes to your happiness and well-being. I hope you know it’s okay to do things just for yourself sometimes. That’s important, too.
When people disappoint you, I hope you give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope you’ll open up the lines of communication and let them tell you their side of the story. I hope you’ll choose to empathize. But I also hope that you’ll know there’s a difference between understanding someone’s point of view and accepting bad behavior. It’s one thing for someone to make a mistake and feel remorseful—it’s another for them to use their circumstances to excuse their actions.
Forgiveness can be difficult for you. When something hurts you, it can cut deep; when someone lets you down, it can be difficult for you to get back up. But forgiveness is also an important part of your growth, in learning how to move on. There is no good in letting the wounds fester, in letting the hurt become not just something that happened to you but a part of you. There is peace in saying, “This situation hurt me once, but I am not giving it that power anymore.”
You love a good adventure, but I hope you remember that there’s beauty in the places that always hold space for you, too. There’s value in old friends, in cafes where you’re a regular, in your favorite books, in the city that makes your heart sing every time you visit, in your childhood home. Never forget to bask in the comfort of the familiar.
I hope you know it’s safe to give yourself away to others. To offer your heart to the person who makes it stutter, to unveil layers of yourself to someone you met only a few weeks before, to admit a hard truth to someone you love. It can be scary as hell, but I promise you, it can also feel so, so worth it. The scariest part is always those moments right before you choose to take the leap of faith.
When you fall down, it’s okay to stay down, just for a little while. We live in a culture that tells us to get up, to just keep getting up, to brush the dirt off our knees and clean out the wounds and just keep moving. And while that’s not perhaps always bad, it’s not always the best way, either. Sometimes you just need to catch your breath, let yourself feel the hurt, wallow in the fact that sometimes life is unfair and that’s just how it is. You’ll get back up—you have to believe you will—but it’s okay to take your time.
You tend to want to see the best in people, and that’s okay—sometimes, at least. But I hope you don’t blind yourself to the ways overlooking the bad can hurt you, too. When you’re constantly excusing poor behavior because you’ve seen their good behavior, too, that’s not you being open to nuance, it’s you valuing the good over the bad. Because yes, sometimes the bad does outweigh the good, and if you allow the scale to remain unbalanced, it’s going to become more and more difficult for you to recognize what stable ground really looks like. Do not let it become normalized.