Warning: adult language below!
This is for you, shy dreamer: stuffing sketchbooks under the bed and slamming journals shut when a floorboard creaks, lest anyone catch a glimpse of your talents.
This is for you, self-saboteur: preferring rejection to accolades, clinging to obscurity rather than risking success.
Listen, you fucking extraordinary soul: somewhere along the way, someone lied to you. Do you remember? Someone said don’t do this thing (which you were clearly born to do). Someone made you think you had to fail.
Was it bullies?
With barbed words and hard hands, did they teach you that you were stupid, weak, and hideous? Did they teach you that the worst thing in the world was to be noticed? Did they teach that magnificent soul of yours to hide?
If so, these were lies, my love; all lies, as preposterous as they were cruel. You know this, do you not? Of course you do! Just as there was a part of you which knew it back then, when the monsters first carved those scars onto your beautiful heart.
Still you ache. I know you do! But you,, my love, are that sacred thing called Survivor. Hero! Phoenix! Rise, now, upon your hobbled foot! Open your blistered mouth and speak truth! Whisper it, croak it, scream it fists-in-the-air:
Those bullies were full of shit.
That is a good start.
But perhaps you had instead (or also) deceivers who loved you.
Perhaps the ones who spun the lie cared for you, truly and powerfully. Damn it, child! Perhaps they loved you so much that the very thought of you falling and skinning your soul terrified them. These types would rather have died than seen you hurt.
Perhaps they looked at you, shining one, and recalled their own bitterest disappointments, the agonizing death of innocence, the horrible sight of dreams lying splintered upon a trash heap. And with all the love in their dear broken hearts, they swore they would save you.
Because you, beloved, should never know such things!
So they told you not to walk the path which called you; they told you it was not safe. They frightened you with tales of all the gravest dangers in the world. They suggested you keep your sacred gift as a hobby, but nothing more.
Dear love! They misled you!
But you, precious child, could be the restorer of hope. Even now, you hold great power to show what is possible. Rise. RISE. Every piece you publish, every work you display, every song you sing is a demonstration of the miracle. You must take those well-intended liars and show them what a little hope can do.
Do this, and you will make their day.
No matter how the lie was wrapped around you, darling, the time has come to cast it off.
Because despite all you have been told, the truth is that your voice is beautiful.
The truth is that your art is an awesome strength, designed to empower you; it is not a weakness.
The truth is that this gift of yours, this thing you hide with such ferocity, is precisely what you were born to do.
The truth, darling, is that you’ve got fire in your soul, and your light is leaking; you’d best just let it out.
The truth is that it matters.
The truth is that it’s needed.
The truth, dear one, is that you are loved.
Author: Katie-Anne Laulumets
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: April Nicole via Flickr.