It’s okay to be soft when the rest of the world is rough. It’s okay that you’re easily upset. It’s okay that you get hurt easily. It’s not a bad thing that you feel so much.
It’s okay that your hands shake.
It’s okay that you like dirty mirrors and blurry pictures better than crisp images of yourself because you’re so used to being a ghost. It’s okay to not feel real sometimes.
You don’t have to be pretty when you cry. It’s okay that your mind plays tricks on you so often that you have no idea what you actually look like.
Remind yourself that it is okay to disconnect. It’s okay to take time to recharge.
It’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to be lonely and to be vulnerable.
It’s okay to hate yourself but only if you remind yourself that it is not permanent. It’s okay to be sad as long as you remind yourself that it is not permanent.
As long as you are alive, you are growing, changing. I think the world is changing as much as I am because the trees outside my window don’t look the same as they did yesterday. I don’t think I will ever be the same person I was when I was at my worst.
Know that honesty is the easiest way to heal.
So maybe you don’t hate who you are now. You hate who you were yesterday. Your mind hasn’t caught up with your soul.
Promise me, promise me you’ll remind yourself that it’s okay to be yourself tomorrow.
1) You’re empowering.
2) I like your voice.
3) You’re strong.
4) I think your ideas/beliefs matter.
5) I’m so happy you exist.
6) More people should be listening to what you have to say.
7) You’re a very warm hearted person.
8) It’s nice seeing such kindness.
9) You’re very down to earth.
10) You have a beautiful soul.
11) You inspire me to become a better person.
12) Our conversations bring me a lot of joy.
13) It’s good to see someone care so much.
14) You’re so understanding.
15) You matter a lot to me.
16) You’re important even if you don’t think so.
17) You’re intelligent.
18) Your passion is contagious.
19) Your confidence is refreshing.
20) You restore my faith in humanity.
21) You’re great at being creative.
22) You’re so talented at ____.
23) I don’t get tired of you the way I get tired of other people.
24) You have great taste in ___.
25) I’m happy I stayed alive long enough to meet you.
26) I wish more people were like you.
27) You’re so good at loving people.
At some point, you’re just going to have to say
“this is my body, and it is the right body for me.”
your body might be the underscore of self-destruction
with scars and stitches and broken skin and long nights
etched into your palms and in the bags under your eyes
but you are not an embarrassment and you are not
weak and you are not a failure, you are human and
capable of crumbling
so show off those wolf teeth and say
“this is my body, and I am surviving”
your body might be sharp angles or soft curves or
somewhere in between and every time
you take a picture of yourself, i hope some part of you says
“goddamn but do i look good today” because even if
ten hundred people call you ugly
if you’re happy, they have no power over you
because weight and worth have no correlation
so if someone comments on what you’re eating,
keep eating anyway and tell them
“this is my body, and it’s my place to say. i can change things
about it, but during this journey i still love all the things
i see along the way.”
your body might come with equipment you don’t want to use
or you don’t think really belongs to you and
you’d like to change and i want you to know
that’s perfectly okay because you were
never a mistake and i love you however you
were made and if someone tries to remove the choice
of how you express yourself, you show them
your hands all full of potential and say
“this is my body and if i choose to knock it all down
or rebuild or just change the color of the paint:
not a single drop is any of your business anyway.”
your body might come with injuries or illnesses
that make people walk on eggshells around you
as if you were made of glass but they probably
don’t know that cancer scars never stopped my mother
from making excellent desserts or how my brother’s
disabilities never stopped him from achieving
and now he’s making prosthetic limbs for children
because your definition does not start or end with
what you’ve struggled through
and i hope if someone tries to hold you back
you show them
“this is my body and just because it doesn’t work like yours doesn’t mean i can’t love it”
your body might come in any color of the spectrum
and you might carry the weight of heavy silences and
clenched fists but any person that tries to justify cruel behavior
with the idea that skin and equality should somehow
be interlinked - you already know but they’re wrong
and they always have been and i cannot believe
it is 2014 and i’m still having to explain this
so if someone so much as hints that they think
they can determine anything based on race
don’t say anything just punch them directly in the face
but then when you’ve laid them out and are
shaking out your fist maybe toss over one shoulder
“this is my body and it’s excellent”
because at some point you’re gonna
fall in love with all of this
like how my ribs are supersized and i’ve got
fat on my hips and my tummy has rolls and
my thighs like to kiss and maybe it’s not perfect
because my hips still crack and i messed up my back but
this is my body and
it might not be right for everyone
but it’s what’s right for me
and it took me a long long time
to realize this and i think it’s because
other people look at me and say
“this is your body and i would like it to change”
this is my body
and it’s just fine this way.
Doing all of these for my future daughter because my mom never did 1 of these for me.
Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.
If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:
“You look so healthy!” is a great one.
Or how about, “You’re looking so strong.”
“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”
Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.
Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.
Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.
Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.
Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.
Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.
Teach your daughter how to cook kale.
Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.
Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.
Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.
Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.