dear little girl who is scared of people,
you know what? there was a time when i was scared of people too. people can be intimidating. people can be cruel. people can be heartless, and cold, and insensitive. but you know something else? most of the time, those people felt exactly the way you feel right now. shrinking from contact, turning your eyes away, wishing you could disappear. everyone has felt that way, one time or another. sometimes it is the lack of what we seek in our own lives that defines and illuminates the things we have yet to become. people can be kind. believe me, they can. people can be gentle. there are those who will hold your heart tenderly between soft fingers, and whisper softly until flowers bloom out of the cracked ground of your soul. there are those who will laugh at you when you make mistakes. there are those who will laugh with you when you make mistakes. people shouldn't scare you. don't let them scare you. be bold. look them in the eye. speak first. smile at strangers, and laugh when you mess up. who cares what they think? i do. yes. so do i. but just because we care about what others think, doesn't mean we should be defined by their opinions and expectations. dear little girl, don't be scared of people. they're just human. they're just like you. remember that.
dear little girl who hates her reflection in the mirror,
tell me. why do you hate your reflection? is it because your hips are too wide, or your shoulders too narrow? because your pores are large, or your eyes are too close together? tell me. i won't laugh. dear little girl, what standards are you trying to live up to? who are you trying to emulate? the models you see on the front of catalogs with smiles pasted on their faces, and the perfect distance between their thighs? tell me. why are you trying to look like them? are their smiles any brighter than yours? are their voices any sweeter when they sing? are their minds more refined, are their hearts more beautiful? can you dive deeper into the ocean of their eyes, and touch the bottom, scraping up the bits of insecurity they hide beneath the waves? maybe what you really want to know is, are they more beautiful than you? sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. let me tell you the truth. no. it's been said a million times before. 'true beauty is on the inside.' it's cliche. it's repeated. it's become more of a loose saying than a standard to live by. your mother tells you that every time you're crying in your room, wishing you were accepted; or maybe just wishing that you were someone else. but beauty isn't a jean size, a height, or a hair color. it isn't a size, a weight, or a number. true beauty is found in who you are. the tenderness of your heart, the smile that lights up your face. the tears you cry when you're hurting for someone else. the books you read, the songs you sing, the mottoes you live by, the people you love. what you love says a lot about a person. love yourself - and people will see someone beautiful.
dear little girl who is afraid to love,
pain is real. love is real. love is pain. sometimes the sharpest agony isn't physical; it isn't something that can be bound up, or stitched shut. it's mental - it's something that lives in your head, beating against the bars you've created to protect and shield your sensitive heart, dashed against barriers of steel. you feel fragile - as if someone could drop you, and you would shatter into a million pieces. don't let me fall. it is screamed in your head, constantly. don't let me fall. perhaps it is directed at others, or at yourself. can i tell you something you might not know? we're all afraid. yes, all of us. some push past the barrier, and find love waiting just on the other side. others fall down, and continue, holding on to hope with grasping fingers. and others are too afraid to even try; so they stay behind the bars - held by the barriers they erected themselves. here is something you should remember: something i hope you never forget. you are not alone. sometimes loneliness is an illusion we create ourselves - a mask we hide behind, woven and kept alive with fear. none of us are truly alone. love is beautiful. no, beautiful does not mean easy. but things that come easily are usually not worth having. loving is hard. it is painful. you see, we create images, ideas, expectations of how things should turn out, how people should treat us, how love should play out, and how life should be. life isn't fair. people will disappoint you. people will fail you, love may let you fall. but get back up. life is a war - sometimes we fight others over futile things that will be forgotten tomorrow. but usually, we are fighting ourselves - striving to push past the limitations we have set, and overcome the disappointments that immobilize us. to love, you must be brave. sometimes our love is broken, sometimes we fall under the weight of sorrow. but don't give up. try again. you may have lost the battle, but do not let that fact determine the outcome of the war.
[some things that been on my heart for a while, released in letters.]