I wish you could see yourself through my eyes.
When I look at you, I see heart. I see a smile that hides secrets and a body that holds strength. I see eyes that view the world tenderly. I see insecurities hidden beneath hands that heal. I see fears masked by a head held high.
When I look at you, I see all the places you’ve been. I see the paths you’ve wandered down; I see the obstacles you’ve overcome. I see the moments you were beaten, the times you were almost destroyed, the darkness of who you used to be. But you rose. And those pieces of the past are merely scars, fading as the days go by.
Because now, when I look at you, I see light.
I see all the ways you have pushed past pain and learned to love again, even after your heart was broken. I see how you listen, even when others don’t care to open their ears to you in return. I see how you are patient, even when people seem to make the same mistakes, time and time again.
I see how you are willing to put yourself out there, even when the world doesn’t always look on you with favor. I see how you have the power to forgive, to open, to trust.
But for some reason you don’t see this. You only see your failures, your dark clouds, your defeat. You only see the past, blinking like an ‘open’ sign in the rearview, calling you, pulling you, coaxing you to come back and make a home in your misery.
But you don’t belong there. Not anymore.
You are not what has hurt you. You are not what has tried to take you down. You are not the mistakes, the sins, the brokenness.
I wish you could see the way you look – bold and beautiful. Beautiful, not because you are perfect with flawless skin and expertly brushed hair, not because your clothing fits just right, or your makeup is un-smudged. You are beautiful because of the way you smile, the way your eyes sparkle when you talk about something you love, the way you have continued to become – even when everything in the universe was conspiring against you.
You became, and are still becoming.
And for this, you should be proud.
I know you don’t see it yet – your brilliance, your glory, your glow. But I hope one day, you will. I hope one day you look in the mirror and admire your freckles, your scars, your little red spots from playing in the sun too long. I hope you learn to love your laugh lines, your dimples, those mini wrinkles around your eyes from squinting too much. I hope you smile and think of how happy you are, in that simple moment.
I hope you look into your own eyes and tell yourself that you are worthy – of joy, of love, of a life unbound and free from darkness.
And I hope, on that day, you start to shine.
I hope you stop hanging onto your past. I hope you let go of doubts and insecurities and embrace the wonderful mess you are. I hope you laugh. I hope you dance. I hope you show people that it is possible to overcome pain, and help to bring them out of their darkness, as you surface from yours.
I hope you become the light I see in you – the light that brightens rooms, lifts spirits, warms hearts. The light that has been inside you all this time.
Yes, one day I hope you pull yourself from the shadows and shine.