Look in the mirror and marvel at the body you have been given: the creases around your eyes, the crookedness of your smile, the curve of your hips. Stand proud and face yourself square in the eye. You are not too fat. You are not too thin. You are not too old or pale or dark or curvy or short or tall. You are you, and you are worthy.
Your body is a gift. Treasure it. Bedeck yourself in the colors of jewels, in layers of silk and lace. Wear sequins and stripes and the skirt you’ve hidden in the back of the wardrobe because you’re afraid it’s too short. Throw away the dress a size too small that you’ve kept “just in case” and replace it with something beautiful for today. Wear red lipstick to the supermarket, and sunshine yellow heels to work. Ignore what others say.
Treat yourself as you deserve to be treated. Take yourself out on dates. Buy yourself flowers, or that plane ticket to a far-off land, or that fancy dinner you feel like on a Tuesday night. Do not wait for others to give you value. Do not lie valiantly in the arms of another in the hope they will make you feel better.
You have the power to give yourself all the happiness you could ever hope for, and only when you realize that will you know how to be truly loved.
Acknowledge your flaws, and embrace them. You will never be perfect. You may sometimes be selfish, neurotic, competitive, say words you regret. Forgive yourself for these times, and learn from them. The moments which are most dark within yourself are those that will teach you the most. There is something truly beautiful in that.
Talk to yourself with kindness, as you would your best friend. If she came to you crying in the night because she was stuck in a loveless marriage, what would you do? If she starved herself of meals because she believed she would be better smaller, what would you do? If she let others walk all over her at work, what would you do? Lift yourself up. Walk tall. Show yourself what you deserve.
For when you finally realize your worth, you are not too much of anything; you are so much more. You are kinder, stronger, wiser, happier, better. When you step outside in your whole, perfect, imperfect self and say, without shame, “Here I am,” the world will thank you.
And you will thank yourself.
For who knows what you could become if you allowed yourself to just, whole-heartedly, be?