I need you to understand that it is okay to have a soul that is both tender and tired. I need you to understand that it is okay to be gentle with yourself, that is okay to feel what you are feeling, that it is okay to let it all crack within the weight of your bones. I need you to know that it is okay to not be okay, that it is okay to feel sad even if you do not fully understand it. I need you to know that you do not have to live in one extreme. That you do not have to force yourself to feel perpetual happiness, that you do not have to sit with your damage and make a home out of it. I need you to know that you exist in multitudes. I need you to know that you are the product of what is both hopeful and haunted within you, and it is okay to exist in this world as someone who is simply figuring out how to balance that.
Because this is what they don’t tell you — being a human is both beautiful and burdensome. It is a confusing and messy thing. Life will amaze you in the most stunning ways, and it will also break your heart. Life will gift you the kinds of lessons that grow you and build you and help for you to bloom into the person you have always hoped to be, but it will also carry within it the kinds of losses that stay with you, that change you and mould you in uncomfortable ways. Life will demand for you to do the work, for you to understand yourself, for you to heal even when it hurts. For you to be brave, for you to fight for yourself.
At the end of the day, bravery isn’t a battlefield. It isn’t fast cars, or stunted risk. Bravery is the quietest thing you will ever know. Bravery is getting up in the morning when your bones are heavy and your heart does not want the light to crack within it. Bravery is leaning into what aches, it is looking it in the face, giving it a name and confronting it for what it is. Bravery is being gentle with yourself, especially when it isn’t convenient or easy, especially when you are not a shining example of the person you strive to be. Bravery is forgiving yourself, it is the work you do within your soul that is dirty and difficult and demanding.
But most of all, bravery is the way you stretch towards the light. It is the way you bloom in the direction of goodness, even when you may not know what you are reaching for. Bravery is allowing yourself to believe that you are growing, even when it does not feel like it. Bravery is trusting yourself even when you do not recognize the path. Bravery is knowing that there is more for you, that you will have the ability to save yourself like you always have before; that you will survive.