You have suffered.
You have felt the pain of heartbreak and broken bones. Of aching limbs and hurts internal.
Others have suffered too, perhaps worse than you have, but that does not make your pain any less justified.
You have had days where you wonder why you do it. Why you bother. Why you wake up and do what has to be done. When the bed is your only lover and you want nothing more than to wait in their embrace until all the storms have passed. Some days you have fought this, stood up tall and weathered it all. Other days you have hidden away in comfort.
You have pitied yourself, your fate.
You have questioned why me countless times.
You have wanted it all to just end.
And that’s ok.
You are only human. You are flawed and broken and all the more beautiful for it.
Your self-hatred does not define you, it doesn’t own you, it is not your jealous lover, it is just another thought that hides in the shadowy corners of your mind.
You are better than that. You deserve better than that. You have overcome so many things. You have stood up time and time and time again when it seems the world has conspired to break you down, grind you into the dust. You have fought and screamed and cried against every injustice. You have given up but you keep changing your mind about it.
That is why you are wonderful.
That is why you are strong.
That is why you will always be strong.
No matter how far away from home you are. No matter if home doesn’t feel like home anymore. No matter if nowhere has ever quite felt like home. Because it is the ones who don’t fit that make the most beautiful things.
You have taken leaps of faith, and been betrayed and rewarded in equal measure. You have been abandoned and left behind a thousand times, but what is important is for you to know is that this does not make you undeserving of love.
You deserve it.
At times it may not feel like you do, but you can trust me on this. You have done so many great things, given the world so many little smiles. You have sent shivers down spines; you have sped up hearts and made eyes shine with wonder. You have painted all the stars in the skies of someone’s heart. You have been loved, you are loved, and you will be loved again. You have been loved from afar without ever knowing, and you have been loved fiercely.
No matter how far you have wondered down shadowy streets, there is always time to find the light again.
Every sin that stains your soul can be forgiven.
Take a deep breath and close your eyes, look inwards to your heart and your soul and offer forgiveness. Offer love unconditional. Soothe the wounds that lurk inside and understand why you have made the world smile, and that you can do it again, that that is all that matters.
To find solace in sunshine.
To find peace in the little moments.
There is no grand conspiracy against you, the universe is cold and vast and uncaring — but that doesn’t mean your world is. Every day there is someone out there who will think of you, who will wish you well. There are friends out there you haven’t had the chance to make yet. Brothers and sisters who will lift you up, make you stronger and you will do the same for them.
You are kind and you are generous. You have held your hand out to help someone who perhaps didn’t deserve it at the time. But you did it anyway, because of your essential goodness.
Because this is who you are.
You have given with open hands and been kicked and spat upon but you will learn to hold your hands out open once more. Though you are scared and you ball them tight into fists, and throw your punches in your rage, you know as well as I do that you want nothing more than the strength to open up those palms again. To tear down those walls you so carefully built with bricks of sorrow and deceit and self-pity.
To stand open armed in the glorious light of life, at peace with yourself.
You have the strength inside to find it in yourself to forgive, to love, to care, to share your warmth. For that is your gift. To shine even when the darkness threatens to overcome.
I mean it.
Twist your lips, right now, let the warmth spread across your face. Feel that familiar itch in your cheek, let your body know that there are things to be cherished and discovered and life still lies ahead of you.
Everything is going to be alright.
Not because of divine intervention. Not because of karma and not because of fate.
Because of you.
Because the power is in you to make of your world what you need, what you want.
The universe delivers us exactly what we need when we need it, because everything we need is already in front of us, we just have to open our eyes to see it, to take it in.
Even if it hurts.
And sometimes it will, but it will be worth it in the end, I promise you that.
There is good and there is bad in every lifetime.
There is strength and there is weakness.
The key is to feed yourself on that which brings light to your life.
To exhale and let the obstacles and the stumbles, the grazed knees and the scars float away into the nothingness.
To lovingly caress even the smallest of smiles.
Everything will be gone one day.
Everything you love will be taken or leave of its own accord.
It is only by accepting this that we find the peace we crave. It is by loving truly and fiercely while we have it, by savouring the moments that we find happiness. Because happiness is your birthright, and that can never be taken from you, no matter what you do.
Smile for everything you had and everything that you will have.
Smile for who you are, who you have been, who you will become.
Hold your family tight. Hold your friends tight. Hold yourself tight. Hold everyone tight and whisper, “I love you, you are ever so wonderful and the world would be a darker place without you”.
And believe it.
Let them believe it.
You deserve this.
You deserve to be loved.
That’s why you are.
So smile once more my friend.
Smile and stand up.
Smile and look into the eye of the storm that looms before you, and tell it the immutable truth of the universe:
This too shall pass.
Lavan Jeyarupalingam is an aspiring novelist.