By Phoenix Wells
This is an open letter to anyone who'll read it. Anyone who needs it. Anyone who thinks they're watching their world crash down around them.
Trust me sweetheart, I've seen my world end enough times to know it's not really the end, but just the beginning of whatever you want it to be. And sometimes, when chaos burns like wildfire around you, all you can do is fall in love with the warmth.
I know that sometimes, the hardest thing about waking up in the morning is remembering what you were trying so hard to forget last night. I know how it feels to cry in the shower so no one can hear you. To wait for everyone else to fall asleep so you can fall apart. For everything to hurt so bad you want it all to end. To feel worthless, hopeless, like you don't belong, and no one would miss you if you just disappeared.
I know how it all feels. And to be quite honest, time doesn't heal wounds. Pain never goes away. You just make room for it. But someday, you will look back, and understand exactly why it had to happen. In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.
The world is big, and everyone belongs somewhere. There are far better things to come than anything you've left behind. And what lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. The thing about pain is it demands to be felt. And I often question how emptiness can be so heavy.
But happiness can sneak in a door you didn't think was open. And I promise you are never as broken as you think you are. Sure, maybe you have a few scars, and a few bad memories. Doesn't every superhero?
For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must first come completely undone. Its shell cracks, its insides come out. Everything changes. To someone that doesn't understand growth, that must look like complete destruction.
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as being stuck somewhere you don't belong. The comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. Feeling unsure and lost is part of your path. Don't avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a breath. You'll be okay, even if you don't feel okay right now.
I've learned a lot this year — that things don't always turn out the way you'd planned, or the way you think they should. I've learned that things go wrong and they don't always get fixed or put back together the way they were before. I've learned that some broken things stay broken, and you can get through hard times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people that love you.
I've also learned that one of those people needs to be you. The most important day is the day you decide you are good enough for you. It's the day you set yourself free.
We must learn to love even the parts of ourselves no one claps for. And that no one has truly loved you or is truly your friend until they have seen every dark shadow inside of you and stayed.
This life will hit you, hard. In the face, and then wait for you to get back up just to kick you in the stomach. But sometimes getting the wind knocked out of us is the only way to remind our lungs how much they like the taste of air.
And you know, maybe life isn't about avoiding bruises and dodging bullets. Maybe it's about collecting scars to prove we showed up for it. It's a beautiful thing that we've got lungs to breathe and legs to climb mountains. It's a shame sometimes we don't realize that's enough.
The world is heavy. But your bones, ounce for ounce, are stronger than steel. Atom for atom, you are more precious than diamond and stars have died so that you may live. You need to remember these things when you are feeling weak and worthless.
We all break sometimes, and that's how light gets in. And many times, you end up stronger at the parts that had been broken. You fall, you rise, you make mistakes. You're human, not perfect. You've been hurt, but you're alive. Always remember what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to think, to breathe, to chase the things you love.
Sometimes there is sadness in our journey, grief, heartache. But there is also beauty, love, and laughter — the sunshine that chases winter from your face. You have to keep putting one foot in front of the other even when you're hurt, because you never know what is waiting for you just around the bend.
At times, the world can seem like an unfriendly, sinister place, but believe me when I say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be an unfortunate series of events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey.
There will be people who don't understand your journey. They don't have to, it's not for them. Life is unpredictable. It changes with the seasons. Even the coldest of winters happen for the best of reasons. And all though it may feel like Winter is eternal, like all you'll ever do is freeze, I promise Spring is coming. And with it brand new leaves.
Be soft. Softness is not weakness. It takes courage to stay delicate in a cruel world. Don't let the world make you hard. Don't let pain make you hate. Don't let bitterness take your sweetness. Take pride in the fact that, even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it's a beautiful place.
Build someone up. Put their insecurities to sleep. Remind them they're worthy, tell them they're magical. You never know how long your words can stay in someone's mind after you've spoken them. Be a light in this too-often dim world, and I promise you it will feel better than any form of self destruction.
There has never been someone like you and never will be again. Show the world who you are and what you can do. Make sure you are not a carbon copy of those who came before you, a by-product of society.
We need you to be you. Stop focusing on all the things you don't know how to do and start cultivating the things you do know how to do. You have something beautiful to place in this world. Don't keep it buried inside your soul because you are afraid it isn't good enough.
If you're sad, I won't tell you to have a good day. Instead, I will simply advise you to have a day. Stay alive, feed yourself well. Take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water.
Make the room dark, lay down and close your eyes. Notice the silence, notice your heart still beating. You made it, after all. And you can make it one more. Don't give up on yourself just yet. Every Saint has a past. Every sinner has a future. You're doing just fine, and I'm so proud of you.