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People used to drive me crazy. Now I don’t get into their car.

You are not responsible for the programming you received in childhood. But as an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it.⠀

Be the person who breaks the cycle. If you were judged, choose understanding. If you were rejected, choose acceptance. If you were shamed, choose compassion. Be the person you needed when you were hurting, not the person who hurt you. Vow to be better than what broke you—to heal instead of becoming bitter so you can act from your heart, not your pain.

Sometimes what looks like an obstacle in your path is actually a gift meant to move you in a different direction.

Whatever you’re feeling, be good to yourself. If you feel lost, be patient with yourself while you find your way. If you feel scared, be gentle with yourself while you find the strength to face your fear. If you feel hurt, be kind to yourself while you grieve and slowly heal. You can’t bully yourself into clarity, courage, or peace, and you can’t rush self-discovery or transformation. Some things simply take time, so take the pressure off and give yourself space to grow.

And some days life is just hard. And some days are just rough. And some days you just gotta cry before you move forward. And all of that is okay.

Most of us expect far too much from ourselves and never give ourselves credit for all the things we’re doing right. You’re trying your best, facing challenges that would likely overwhelm anyone, and learning and growing every day. And you’re doing it while feeling a range of messy, confusing emotions and healing from pains large and small from the past. Stop and give yourself a little credit. You’re stronger than you know, and you’re doing better than you think.

Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and trust that in this moment, who you are, where you are at, and what you are doing is enough. You will get to where you need to be in your own time. Until then, breathe. Breathe and be patient with yourself and your process. You are doing the best you can to cope and survive amid your struggles, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. It’s enough. You are enough.

Nobody’s perfect, so give yourself credit for everything you’re doing right, and be kind to yourself when you struggle.

The fact that you’re struggling doesn’t make you a burden. It doesn’t make unlovable, undesirable, or undeserving of care. It doesn’t make you too much or too sensitive or too needy. It makes you human.

You are not your struggles. You are the survivor who keeps moving forward in spite of them.

You could have grown cold, but you grew courageous instead. You could have given up, but you kept on going. You could have seen obstacles, but you called them adventures. You could have called them weeds, but instead you called them wildflower. You could have died a caterpillar, but you fought on to be a butterfly. You could have denied yourself goodness, but instead you chose to show yourself some self-love. You could have defined yourself by the dark days, but instead through them you realized your light.

I smile because I have survived everything the world has thrown at me. I smile because when I was knocked down, I got back up.

What is broken can be mended. What hurts can be healed. And no matter how hard it gets, the sun will rise again.

Don’t forget you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown, just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.

No matter how happy someone may seem, they have moments when they question if they can go on. No matter how confident someone may look, there are times when they feel unsure and insecure. And no matter how strong someone may appear, they have days when they feel like they’re falling apart. Never think for a moment you’re alone with your struggles. You’re not a mess. You’re human.

Take a deep breath. No matter how hard things seem right now, you can and will get through this.

If life feels hard, remember: nothing lasts forever. Someday this will all be behind you. Someday you’ll be smiling again.

By practicing self-awareness and pausing before reacting, we can help create a world with less pain and more love.

Please don’t judge people. You don’t know what it took someone to get out of bed, look and feel as presentable as possible and face the day. You never truly know the daily struggles of others.