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You are not supposed to be happy all the time. Life hurts and it’s hard. Not because you’re doing it wrong, but because it hurts for everybody. Don’t avoid the pain. You need it. It’s meant for you. Be still with it, let it come, let it go, let it leave you with the fuel you’ll burn to get your work done on this earth.

Now, every time I witness a strong person I want to know: What darkness did you conquer in your story? Mountains do not rise without earthquakes.

Instead of avoiding your pain, work through it. Instead of withholding your tears, let them flow. Instead of closing your heart, open it. Instead of expressing hate, show love. Instead of judging another, appreciate them. Instead of being uptight and serious, be playful. Instead of fearing the unknown, move into it.

Grief is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

You’re not too sensitive. You’re not overreacting. If it hurts you, it hurts you.

So many messages telling those who are struggling to reach out. Fair enough, but part of what depression does is mutes your ability to reach. If you are NOT depressed and you see someone struggling, YOU reach out. If you don’t see someone who used to be around, YOU reach out.

Beneath every behavior there is a feeling. And beneath each feeling is a need. And when we meet that need, rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.

Stay in the moment. The practice of staying present will heal you. Obsessing about how the future will turn out creates anxiety. Replaying broken scenarios from the past causes anger and sadness. Stay here, in this moment.

If you’re giving your all but it takes all you have just to get through the day, it doesn’t mean your best isn’t good enough. It means life is just that hard right now. Be good to yourself. You need it.

You are not your feelings. You just experience them. Anger, sadness, hate, depression, fear. This is the rain you walk in. But you don’t become the rain. You know the rain will pass. You walk on. And you remember the soft glow of the sun that will come again.

I thought I was broken and needed fixing. Not true! I was hurting and needed healing. A completely different concept.

Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Even though you want to run. Even when it’s heavy and difficult. Even though you’re not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling.

Despite all the bad days and mean people, I still believe in good days and kind people. Plus, there are always dogs.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.

Sometimes a breakthrough comes after the biggest breakdown of your life. Hang in there.

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

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.

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.