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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.

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.

You don’t need to travel the world or do big things to live an extraordinary life. Be present. Notice the beauty around you. Be curious. Try the things that interest you. Be brave. Start the things you’ve been putting off. Create something. Learn something. Teach something. And do it all for the love of it.

Train your mind and heart to see the good in everything. There is always something to be thankful for.

Don’t judge yourself by your past. You don’t live there anymore.

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.

The best things in life are free: hugs, smiles, friends, kisses, family, sleep, love, laughter, and good memories.

If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.

I respect people who tell me the truth, no matter how hard it is.

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.

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.

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.

Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one who finds the gold.

Those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch but in her own wings. Always believe in yourself.

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.

Sometimes all you need is a hug from the right person and all your stress will melt away.