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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.

I am an old soul. I love genuine kindness. I love compassion. I love poetry. I love soul connection. I love old books. I love deep conversations. I love depth. I love rawness.

If you made a mistake, apologize. If you are thankful, say it. If you are confused, ask questions. If you learn something, teach it. If you are stuck, ask for help. If you are wrong, admit it. If you can unselfishly give, give. If you love someone, tell them, now.

Look at you! Healing those traumas, addressing those bad habits, holding yourself accountable, no longer seeking validation from others, and finally speaking your personal truth. Seriously, I applaud you! Growth gets messy, ugly, and painful, yet here you are growing. We see you!

Standing up for yourself doesn’t make you argumentative. Sharing your feelings doesn’t make you oversensitive. And saying no doesn’t make you uncaring or selfish. If someone won’t respect your feelings, needs, and boundaries, the problem isn’t you; it’s them.

It’s important to make friendships that are deeper than gossiping, drinking, and hanging out. Make friends who you can have deep conversations with. Make friends you can cry with. Make friends who support your life goals and believe in you.

I’ve built more relationships with people by being open about my struggles than I ever could have pretending like I had it all together.

We need more people who are willing to say, ‘I’ve been there, and I’m here. You can always talk to me without judgment.’

When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we are not pretending, we are not hiding—we are simply present with whatever is going on inside us. Ironically, it is this very feeling of authenticity that draws people to us, not the brittle effort of perfectionism.

Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyways.

Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.

The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.

What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.