I’m going to quote myself from last year. My post titled I See You reads:
I don’t care how many times you screwed up in your past. I don’t care how much you messed up. I don’t care what things you regret but can’t take back. I don’t care as long as you’ve learned from your mistakes and have grown as a person.
I don’t care about your past. I care about your present and your future. I care about the person you are right now and the person you will become, not the person you use to be. I care about the people around you right now, not the people who use to be with you. I care about what you do right now, not what you’ve done back then and can’t take back.
I don’t care how many times you cry, as long as you still smile afterwards. I don’t care how many times you shut me out, as long as you come back. I don’t care how much you need space, as long as you return to me.
I don’t care if you don’t have the biggest house; I care about how big your heart is. I don’t care if you don’t have the most expensive things; your time and your love is priceless and I am so grateful if you want to give them to me. I don’t care if you aren’t the smartest person in town; I care about you trying to get an education and doing what you can to grow and learn.
I don’t care how many flaws you think you have. Every single one of them makes you who you are. I don’t care how many mistakes you’ve made. Your past has shaped you to be who you are today.
I’ll be honest with you. I wrote this post about someone I truly cared about, who couldn’t seem to see themselves in a different light. When I reread this post just a few days ago, I could barely remember that it was not written to me.
For as long as I can remember, and still today, I have days where I struggle with liking who I see in the mirror. Each morning and every night, I rise and see my reflection but I don’t always love the girl looking back (There were days that I couldn’t even say that I like her). I remember the days I stood in front of my mirror closet and just hated myself. All I saw were the flaws, the mistakes, and the bad memories. All I labeled myself with were all these negative words I had been called, all the negative emotions I felt, and so on.
It got to the point that I refused to look at myself in the mirror. I would wake up and avert my eyes from my reflection against my closet. I would brush my teeth with my back to the mirror. I probably went a couple years without really looking at my reflection. Why would I? I hated what I saw. I admit, there were times that I glanced at my reflection in the glass as I walked by some stores. Maybe I was checking if I still looked the same, maybe a part of me hoped I would see a completely different person…a person I would like…but, each and every time…yup, it was still me.
What I saw in my reflection was the outcome of all the negative things I was told and all the emotions I felt because of it. I saw a failure. I saw a disappointment. I saw a disgrace to the family. I saw someone unwanted, unneeded. I saw someone unimportant, unappreciated. I saw someone unlovable. I saw someone who was a waste of time and space…because, once upon a time, I was told that I was a waste of air; that I was a mistake; that I was a disgrace; that I would not live up to be anything meaningful; that I would not achieve anything with my own two hands. I was told no one wanted to be my friend; no one genuinely cared about me; no one thought I was attractive; no one thought I was capable of anything at all; no one thought I was good enough. I was told these things so, with time, I started feeling as if I were those things.
I started thinking that I was an outcast, that no one wanted to be in my life. So, I learned to go through life alone because every person I tried to friend either turned me away or just kept me around for “fun” sake (as a joke). I started thinking I would always mess up, that every action I make will be a mistake. Because of that I started talking less, I started doing less, I started closing up and only taking action when told orders. I started to think certain things or do certain things because I started believing all the negative comments I was told. I always thought I would fail if I tried to do something, because that was what I was told. Therefore, I stopped trying.
It was horrible. The thoughts about being a waste of time, energy, and space ate me up from the inside out. The comments about being a failure and a disgrace tore me apart. I started to turn around and continue to tell myself those hatred comments even when other’s stopped. I started planning out how I would run away from home. I started to think about how much better people’s lives would be if I never existed. I started my journey into what I now call, A Pit of Darkness.
So, to the people out there, feeling these emotions and dealing with these type of thoughts running through your head, I write this to you now:
Life gets hard. It, honestly, only gets harder. But you also get stronger, you get so much stronger. And you get smarter, you become wiser.
I know life may seem…like a huge headache at times. I know how it feels when you’re simply engulfed by all this darkness, how it seems to go on and on and on endlessly. I know how it feels to see no light at the end of the tunnel. And I know, I truly know…that it hurts. All the pain you boxed away, all the tears that rolled backwards into your heart, all the anger and fury that burns your insides…it hurts.
I have an idea of how you’re feeling towards yourself. And I plead for you to stop. Stop letting their words get to you. Stop allowing those negative remarks to take control of your life. Stop looking down at yourself just because someone else can’t seem to see your worth. And I plead, I plead for you to reach out to someone you trust. I know there is someone out there, someone by your side, who sees you in such a beautiful light. They’ve seen you struggle and they’ve seen you fight. They know your flaws but, sweetie, they believe you’re priceless just the way you are because you are!
I know when life seems to be fighting against you, when nothing seems to be going right, you feel extremely discouraged to continue on. There are some points where you question what the point in fighting is. There are some points where “going with the flow” just seems like the better option than fighting for what you believe in or what you want. But, especially in these moments, you need to push forward. You need to continue on. You need to keep fighting.
I know there are going to be days where you feel like falling apart. And it’s okay. Please, believe that it’s okay to break down. After you’ve been strong for so long, you deserve to be able to fall down…you deserve to release all the tension you keep within yourself…you deserve to be able to experience everything that is life (both the ups and the downs). Trust me when I say this: It doesn’t matter how many times you fell down because it’s the number of times you got back onto your feet that count.
I know it’s hard. I’m struggling to see myself in a new light, too. I’ve struggled for years, and even today, to forgive myself for things in the past (and present). I’ve struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been there…I know there will be times you just want someone to tell you they believe in how great you can be, and remind you of how great you are. I know there will be times that you very much wish for someone to go out of their way to make you smile. I know there will be times of doubt and of fear. I know there will be times in which you will feel as if you’ve lost everything you ever had. I know we cannot change the past, we cannot change how other people look at us, but we can change how we see ourselves and we can change how we live our lives. I plead for you to take that first step, that will change your life.
I look at you, and I see you. I see the things that haunt you. I see the things that you regret. I see the things you are scared of. I see the things you dream of. I see the things you are.
And I think, you are beautiful.
“You are beautiful, just the way you are.” – Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara
Please, see all that you are instead of all that you are not.
Please, see all that life can be with you in it instead of imaging life without you.