To you, who is so close to giving up.
You have been making a bed in confusion, curling your body into the shape of a question mark each night wondering why you are plagued with this new kind of sadness, one with no remedy.
You’ve made friends with dark rooms, drawn curtains and closed eyelids like they are blank chalkboards mapping out intricate equations of where things went wrong. You are wishing for a way to describe the constant claw gripping your insides other than a “slight imbalance” you can’t even see, because your life feels less like a drunk tightrope walker and more like a lingering avalanche.
I know how disheartening it feels when even laughter is just sand slipping through a one-sided hourglass. You can’t ignore how your happiness always seems to be laced with impermanence.
I know how it feels to be well-acquainted with the edge and to flirt with the end. So I am writing this for when you start to feel like you are not important.
In those months, those days, or those moments—please remember you are made of stardust. Realize that parts of you were once the centre of a star, the heart of a burning light. Know that you are, quite literally, part of an endless cosmos.
The gallons of blood pumping through your body are composed of water from oceans and glaciers. The particles and proteins and atoms that make you are perfect concoctions of things so much bigger than those bringing you down right now.
You, my friend, are so much bigger.
This is for when counting your blessings sounds like more of a threat than a way of life. If you are hurting, do not count your blessings. Do not place a number on the good things in a forced attempt to feel gratitude, because you will find yourself wrapped up in something that feels a lot more like guilt.
I want you to hear me when I say that the fact some people have it worse than you is not a good enough reason for you to feel like you aren’t allowed to hurt, because I promise you someone out there will always have it better than you, but that does not mean you can’t be happy.
Understand that everyone lives their own reality. If you get wrapped up in the idea that the misery you feel is yours to keep, then it will grow mutually attached to you. It will be a shadow that somehow crawls its way from behind to in front of you. It will try to guide where you’re heading, and trust me, it has a terrible sense of direction.
Please do not willingly become the things that are trying to destroy you.
This is for when your heart seems to beat for a body five times larger than your own. When it pounds tidal wave emotions against your ribcage, let it through.
When society tells you that your extremity is to be feared, plug your damn ears and dare to bleed. The greatest tragedy of this world is that we have been convinced showing feelings is a sign of weakness; we live in a society that is starving for human compassion, yet looks back clueless at our cause of death.
Do not apologize for your bolstering heart, we need a little more of that.
When this world has its way of making you feel terribly small—take your knowledge of insignificance and let it make you powerful. Let it show you the things that truly matter, and unpack the rest, for your two arms are not built to carry the world’s problems. Only keep those things that truly matter, and notice how much tighter your grip becomes.
Yes, my friend, you should know that you are just a number—but you are a number in an equation that crumbles without you.
I do not say that to make you feel better; I say it because it is a stone cold fact. So, do not make a home in the idea that the world will spin the same way with or without you, or that lives of the people around you would continue unscathed.
I promise you if you are gone, there are strangers, friends, lovers and family who will never get the chance to fall in love with your quirky sense of humor or how you never forget to send cards on birthdays or how much warmth burns within your soul.
How unfortunate it would be to deprive them of such beautiful things.
This is for when your body feels less like a sanctuary and more like a warzone.
I understand the need to feel pain. Dammit, be broken. Broken is beautiful; it is proof you know how to feel.
And if you feel the need to hurt, then hurt. But channel it.
Go for a run. Place one foot in front of the other and push yourself. Focus on nothing but the patter of your feet on the pavement and the wind on your face until every muscle begs you to stop—until you feel like your stomach will explode and you are drowning in sweat.
Or turn on that song, the one that you feel in your bones. Turn it up so loud it explodes your eardrums and rattles orchestras into your skull.
Hold tightly onto anything that gives you goosebumps, the things that force you to be present, because this moment is the only thing that is real.
Lie down on your back and stare at the stars or blurring city lights and make friends with the kind of pain that reminds you that you are alive, in the best way.
I am no fool.
I know that no amount of cliché quotes or pretty analogies will fix you.
But I am trying, because I care.
Whoever you are, wherever you are.
I cannot dress up or dress down the reality that is your life, but please try, with your entire being, to let go of things that are bringing you down.
If you cannot walk away from them, if you find you have become them, then I understand. But it is never, ever too late to become something new.
We only get so many journeys around the sun, and we should never be ignorant enough to assume we will have another.
To feel joy, you need to make the ordinary extraordinary. So if you are going to love, love with every fiber of your being.
If you are going to cry, drown cities with your pain.
If you are going to laugh, do it with a roar, let it tear down empires and crumble cliff sides.
If you are going to move on, let completely go, because anything else is doing yourself a massive disservice.
Let yourself feel, and then let yourself heal.
This is for you, who is so close to giving up.
Pour yourself a cold glass of water. Sit outside. Fill your hot air balloon lungs, notice how much of the world they hold. Take only what you need, and give the rest back. Release.
This is a friendly reminder that if you feel like you are the only one, like you are in this all alone, think again.
Someone once taught me that any important words must be said three times to hold true.
Once for the speaker, once for the listener and once for the rest of the world.
You are not alone my dear.
You are not alone.
You are never, not for one moment, alone
Author: Lauren Hurst
Images: Flickr/Glen Scarborough
Editor: Travis May