Oh, you beautiful soul!
Your silent cries are heard and your hidden tears are seen. You keep asking yourself why nothing ever seems to be right with you. How hard it must have been on you… What a true definition of strong you are! The bravest of all. Don’t give up yet, you’re almost there. Eventually, it’ll all be worth it.

I keep saying this to myself over and over again and I know many of you even agree to do the same.

But let’s just think differently today, I think perception is so important when looking back on a decade, or on the passing of a year. Growth can be at times loud, it can be jarring, it can be measurable and vast. Change can happen quickly, it’s voids creating quantifiable shifts in our lives. But the biggest thing I have learned this year is that the deep growth, soul expansion, is often quiet, almost living on the fringe of silence. Sometimes we think we have not come very far, we think we have not transformed ourselves enough, we have not accomplished a lot. We do not realize how we have grown in the dark, we are not aware of the things we have conquered, we are not remembering all of the ways in which we fought to be here, how we fought to survive. That is why it is so important to remind ourselves of the ways in which we have been brave, of the ways in which life has changed for us. For some human beings, that growth looks discernable and clear. And for others, maybe simply getting out of bed today was an accomplishment that stretched far beyond what they were able to do last December, or a few months ago, or even last week. The beauty comes in understanding that it’s all progress, it’s all growth, and it is our own — not to be compared with anothers, not to be related to the journey of those ahead, or behind us.

At the end of the day, I just want to be proud of the person I have become. I want to be proud of the love I gave — of the way in which I risked my heart despite being hurt. I want to be proud of the effort I showed those I cared about, I want to know with a ruthless certainty that I showed up as much as I could, that I made people feel seen, that I made those around me feel less alone in this chaotic world. I want to be proud of my life — of the way I healed, of the way I made mistakes and learned from them, of the way I felt everything even when it wasn’t convenient or comfortable. I want to be proud of the way I grew, of the way I let go, of the way I pushed myself to be a better person. At the end of the day, I just want to be proud to be able to say without hesitation that I lived my life, that I did not just take a back seat to my pain, or to my flaws, or to whatever hardships came my way. I want to be able to say that I am proud of the way I survived. I want to be able to say that I did not take one day for granted.

So — how have you grown this year? What lessons have come to you? What are you proud of yourself for achieving, even if it feels small or nameless or silly. I promise, it is not. It’s time to celebrate the ways in which you’ve chosen to stand up for who you are becoming. It’s important to open your eyes to all of that expansion. 💛

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