Imagine your emotions as something separate from yourself. It can be easy to get swept up in your big feelings (because yours are certainly BIG), but there is power in learning to detach yourself from the way you feel about something and see it for what it is. You may find your emotions are easier to navigate when you reclaim the space they often try to take from you.
When you reach a goal, you sometimes have trouble fully appreciating what you’ve accomplished because you’re so busy figuring out what you need to do next. But allow yourself to fully soak up this moment. Think of everything you have succeeded in doing to get to where you are now. Be proud of yourself.
Life is messy but you more than anyone know how to color outside the lines. Some people won’t understand but others need people like you to show them how to see the world a little differently, especially when things don’t live up to their expectations. You can change the world just by changing how people think—never forget how important that is.
Minimizing your hurt won’t make it go away, but focusing all your energy on it isn’t much better. You can coexist with your problems without letting them take up too much—or too little—space. The world is neither all light nor all darkness—there are shades of gray in between, and healing is usually found in the spaces where you can acknowledge your pain without letting it color every aspect of your life.
Family is more than what you’re born into. It’s the people who show up for you, it’s the mentors who believe in you, it’s the community you build wherever you go. Don’t let a narrow view of the meaning of “family” lead you to overlook those who will always make space for you, and never minimize what an important place in your life these people hold—they will shape you and challenge you and help you grow.
If you could be doing anything in the world with your life right now, what would it be? Once you have an idea, figure out a plan to get there. It may seem out of reach, but no one is better at creating smaller goalposts than you are. Sometimes you lack the courage (or the self-confidence) to believe you can do it, but you more than anyone else are capable of wonders—just focus on the small steps along the way.
When your heart breaks, ask yourself how much you had a hand in it. Sometimes we get so caught up in daydreams and expectations and our deepest desires that we find the reality of the situation a slap in the face. We can’t force people to fit our fantasies and we can’t assume they’ll fulfill promises they never made. We can learn to communicate what we want, though, and let others decide if it’s something they can handle.
There will be moments in your life when you won’t be sure if you have what it takes. Sometimes you’ll focus so much on your shortcomings that you’ll forget all the details that make you wonderful—maybe your sense of humor, or your loyalty, or your worth ethic, or your ability to make people feel loved. You are so much more valuable than you’ve ever given yourself credit for.
When you feel the urge to run, ask yourself why. Is there a real threat or are you just afraid of the way it makes you feel? It’s easier to ignore the tough emotions than face them head-on, and it’s easier to tell yourself you never wanted something than to analyze why it makes you feel the way it does. Just know that running away may feel good in the short-term, but it never really gets rid of the issue—it just displaces it for a while.
Breathe in. Not every moment of your life has to be spent ruminating over your past or planning for the future. There is so much beauty in the space between what you were and what you will be. For just this moment, forget about where you’ve been or where you’re going and just appreciate where you are.
Paint your kitchen your favorite color. Change your ringtone to a song that makes you smile. Get a tattoo of the most beautiful quote you’ve ever read and make sure to look at it every single day. Fill your life with things that make you happy, because life isn’t always going to be easy but there are small things you can do to make sure you’re always surrounded by pure joy.
You’re not as small as the world will sometimes make you feel. You’re not as weak, either. Your softness doesn’t make you any less of a worthy opponent. Deep in your heart you are fierce and bold and tenacious—just because you may not have unlocked that part of yourself yet, or just because others try to tell you it doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean it’s not there.