I know you’re in pain right now. And I know you’re tired of hearing about the silver linings, and fed up with trying to “look on the bright side.” I know that you’re sick of putting on a brave face for the world, and I know you’re done with people telling you that “the gain is in the pain.” They don’t get it. They think your life is all rainbows and butterflies because you hide your pain. They don’t understand because they only see what is going on on the outside. They don’t know what a soldier you are, fighting your way through the hard times, as if nothing is wrong. They don’t see that your insides hurt and your body feels heavy.
No one realizes that under your smile, you’re struggling with pain and exhaustion. No one knows that under your kindness, you are suffering from loneliness and confusion.
You hide it so gracefully. You hide it with ease. But you secretly pray that someone will notice the pain you are in. You pray that someone will help you, and maybe even save you.
I know you want an easy fix, a quick way to end the hurt. But it doesn’t always happen right away, and sometimes you just have to wait patiently. You have to find some sort of faith, some sort of hope to hold on to tightly. You have to hold on to that little whisper that reassures you that you will be okay again one day soon.
I want to let you in on a little secret. If you can be patient, you might be able to find a little silver lining. The truth is, the wrong things don’t work out for a reason. You don’t fail just to fail. You don’t fall down just to stay down. The letdowns, the stumbles, and the heartbreaks – these shape you. They help you grow. They teach you how to be resilient and brave. And if you’re lucky, they teach you how strong you are. They force you to grow up, sometimes in a matter of years, and sometimes in just a matter of seconds. But in those moments, seconds, or years, you learn that you are capable of getting through pretty much anything. And that realization is very special. So please give yourself some credit.
See, every single time you’ve thought life has reached its absolute lowest, worst point, you’ve always bounced back. Every time life has crushed your heart, your heart has continued to beat, steadily and powerfully. Every time you thought the world was ending, you woke back up again, and eventually, you felt okay again.
It’s not to say that those moments were not painful. On the contrary. I’m sure you felt that pain and hurt deep down to your core. I’m sure you felt the dread and the sadness pulse through every single vein. But I want you to see how remarkable you are for enduring these moments. I want you to be able to look for the diamonds in the rough. I want you to see the rainbow in the storm, even amidst the thunder and the pouring rain. I want you to realize that enduring all of this bad stuff has made you more sensitive, which in turn has made you tougher. With each bruise, you have become more compassionate and more caring.
I wish I could tell you that because things will get better one day, you shouldn’t have to be in pain right now. I wish I could tell you that because you’ll be okay one day, you don’t need to suffer now. But unfortunately, that’s just not how life works. You can’t always base your feelings on the outcomes. You can’t always decide to be okay now, just because you think you will be okay one day. You have to feel all the feelings. You have to allow yourself to be sad or mad. You have to cry big splotchy tears.
Cry for a while, but don’t forget that your beautiful smile is hiding somewhere in those tears.
Let your pain teach others how to be kind. Let your tears show others what bravery and compassion look like. And when you’re ready, let your smile come back out again, and remind yourself that you know, deep down, that you are okay.