One morning, one day very soon, you will wake up with that warm, cozy feeling deep down in the pit of your stomach; that nearly perfect, reassuring feeling that all is well. That you are okay. You’ll feel safe and loved and secure in all that you are. You’ll feel as though the world isn’t quite as scary as you thought it was, that just being alive isn’t quite so daunting. You’ll feel as though the pressure has finally been lifted off of your tired shoulders, and you’ll finally be able to fill your lungs with a breath of fresh air. And after all of the worries, anxieties, and pain you have endured for months, even years, you will finally feel good. Actually good. And this feeling of goodness, this feeling of being okay, will catch you by surprise. You will wonder if it is real, or if you are only dreaming. You’ll wonder if this feeling is fleeting, because after all of the hurt you have been through, this warmth will feel far too good to be true. But it is here to stay. It is here because you’ve made it over the side of the mountain. You’ve finally made it through the hardships. You’re bruised and battered, and your heart is aching, but the world is finally light again. You have outrun the darkness and come out on the other side. And when this relief floods your soul, when this goodness envelops you, you will remember that this is what happiness feels like.

When this morning comes, waking up won’t be so hard. You won’t be so afraid. And showing up won’t be such a challenging feat. You won’t have to fake a smile, or constantly be reminding yourself to put on a brave face. On this morning, you will feel a sense of fulfillment wash over you, a sense of certainty that this is how life is supposed to be…that this is who you were meant to be. Someone happy, someone wild, someone free. You won’t worry that your best isn’t good enough, or that you aren’t good enough. You won’t be so concerned about what others think of you, because deep down you’ll know that what’s most important is what you think of you. And from climbing this mountain, you will have learned that your mind had been playing tricks on you, and that you have been loved all along. You will have learned that your anxieties didn’t always reflect the truth. You will have learned that happiness had always been waiting for you, even when all you could see was darkness. And you will have learned how important it is to choose yourself, and to choose to fight for yourself. And when this day comes, you’ll feel at home in your body, a body that once felt foreign to you, a body that never felt right. You’ll feel at peace with the body that was never quite enough for you. And when your body feels like home and when your thoughts feel pure, you’ll finally feel like you have a place in this world. You’ll admire your differences, rather than critiquing your flaws. You’ll look back at the mountains you moved and will feel nothing but pride for how far you come, for how many battles you had to fight.

I know you don’t think you will get here, that you will never find happiness. I know you believe that you are the exception…you are the one who will never find out how perfectly beautiful life can be. I know you believe that you are the one who will always be struggling through a silent battle that can never be won. I know you think that it’s not going to get better for you, and that you will have to fight the rest of your life. That this is it for you. But you are very wrong. You are so ridiculously wrong.

You will get there. You will find happiness. You will be okay. Because there are so many tomorrows in this world. So many sunrises, and so many new beginnings. Everything is in constant flux, including you. You will get to a place where you feel like you are exactly where you need to be. Your past doesn’t need to dictate your future. Just because things have been hard doesn’t mean they will always be hard. And just because you haven’t been happy in a long time doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t be happy moving forward. Make space in your life for things to go well. And remind yourself that it’s okay to want goodness. It’s okay to want life to be easier. You’re not weak for wanting to love your life, or for wanting to love yourself. You don’t have to be constantly fighting to prove your worth to yourself or to the world. You’re allowed to show up and choose happiness. You’re allowed to see the light, even if you’ve been living in the dark. You’re allowed to have hope about your future.

I know the world can feel heavy sometimes. I know that at times you will feel worn down by the weight. But take heart in the truth that bad times never last. They come through, and they shake your world and stir up your tears. They leave you feeling scared and alone in the darkness. But they always, without fail, pass through. The hard times phase in and out like the moon. And you’ll pave your own path through the darkness. Your story isn’t over. It’s just beginning. You just have to make sure you keep going, and you have to promise not to quit just before the good times begin. Just before the light at the end of the tunnel comes into view. Because believe it or not, you are in for something wonderful. So hold on tight, and wait for the tides to change. They always do. TC mark


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