To my sisters fighting the hidden battles:
Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it will ever go away. I know how it eats at you. I know how it fills you up and makes you nauseated and at the same time how it carves out a deep empty hole somewhere in you that is never satiated.
I know how it feels like you have a blindfold on. Like you can’t see the people around you who are looking at you as though you are magic. Who look at you as though you are love itself.
(They are there.)
I also know that you’ve probably read about a million of these letters telling you to let go of sadness and I hope you’ve learned to call bullsh*t on them.
I don’t want to tell you to let it go. I don’t want to tell you to give it up and to move on. I know that once you surrender, it will let go of you. I know because it’s happened to me. It happens over and over again. And I know you will surrender, but only when you’re good and ready.
I don’t know what you believe in, but I hope you believe in yourself. I hope you believe that whatever goodness you find in the world, it is because it is also within you.
You should know now that there is no miracle cure. You will not love yourself tomorrow, just as you will not lose 10 pounds, nor gain 10 pounds tomorrow. You should know that I will never offer you this kind of bargain, and whenever someone does, to be wary.
And you should know that in each moment there is a choice. What will you choose?
Learn to let the pain and anger and grief wash over you, and to let it leave. It will leave.
You do not have to smile. I won’t make you. You do not have to be happy. I won’t make you.
But put your hands on your heart. Keep them there, just for a while.
I hope someday you realize that you are alive.
You are integrity and fears and courage and frustrations and embarrassments and you my friend. “You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.” If you are to believe anything, believe this.
You will learn what heals you. You will learn what courage means and you will find you already know how to use it. You will learn how to care for yourself in the in-between moments, and you will learn that those are the moments that count the most. Maybe you will learn them today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe it will take a lifetime. I am still learning.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own