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You can’t be everyone’s hero. You can’t take away everyone’s pain, solve all their problems, and make them feel happy with themselves and their lives. All you can do is love them, and that’s all you have to do. Just love them in their messiness, their confusion, their grief. See them, hear them, and accept them without judgment. Then let them know it’s okay to be right where they are, and if and when they need you, you’ll be there.

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.

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.

Sometimes you just have to take a step back, take stock of your life, and recognize what isn’t serving you. It might be a relationship that causes you nothing but heartache, a pattern of behavior that sets you up for disappointment or failure, or even just a refusal to accept reality for what it is. Whatever it is that causes you pain, find the self-awareness to be honest with yourself and the strength to let it go. Nothing will change till you do.

Forgive yourself for not knowing better at the time. Forgive yourself for giving away your power. Forgive yourself for past behaviors. Forgive yourself for the survival patterns and traits you picked up while enduring trauma. Forgive yourself for being who you needed to be.

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.

Compassion dissolves anger. Understanding why someone behaves the way they do allows for forgiveness when they have mistreated you. Maybe they are insecure, or in pain, or maybe they even suffered some type of abuse in their lifetime, and you can see why they are the way they are. But when your compassion extends to excusing them for treating you poorly, over and over, it not only damages your self-worth, but prevents them from healing as well. Refuse to allow it to continue, for everyone’s sake.

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.

You don’t ever have to apologize for feeling sad. You aren’t being too sensitive. You aren’t imagining things or being overdramatic. You’re being true to yourself by honoring your emotions, and that is never something you have to feel ashamed of. Whether you have a need that isn’t being met, an old wound that’s been reopened, a person in your life who is making you feel small, a painful memory of something from the past, or an emptiness from the loss of someone you care about—there is always something underlying our sadness, and whatever it is, it’s important and valid. Whatever it is, it deserves to be expressed and felt.

Never wish them pain. That’s not who you are. If they caused you pain, they must have pain inside. Wish them healing. That’s what they need.

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.

Oversensitivity isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you’re hurting, and your insecurities point you toward what needs to be healed.

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.

I used to dislike being sensitive. I thought it made me weak. But take away that single trait, and you take away the very essence of who I am. You take away my conscience, my ability to empathize, my intuition, my creativity, my deep appreciation of the little things, my vivid inner life, my keen awareness of others pain and my passion for it all.

Those who suffer from mental illness are stronger than you think. We must fight to go to work, care for our families, be there for our friends, and act ‘normal’ while battling unimaginable pain.