How many times have you woken up and immediately allowed yesterday’s pain to filter into your mind? How many mornings have you rolled over, groaned, and hit snooze for the fifth time in an attempt to stop the day from beginning? How many nights have you fallen asleep wishing for something to change, for something to be different, for your soul not to ache anymore?
How long have you let the same heaviness weigh down your heart?
I want you to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and tell yourself this: Today is new. Repeat that. Let those three words soak into your pores, through your skin, into each and every cell.
Right now, you have a choice. Right now, you have an opportunity. Right now, you have a chance to let what has burdened you in the past slip slowly off your shoulders and to the ground. Right now, you are welcomed to start over, to start again, to start your day with a confident, hopeful mindset.
Right now, you have the ability to change—not what has happened to you, but where you go from here.
This is your reminder that today is new. That today is not yesterday. That these next twenty-four hours do not have to drip with the fear, or anxiety, or loneliness, or exhaustion of the past. No, it’s not easy to just shut off your mind. No, it’s not logical, or even healthy to pretend that what you’re going through simply does not exist.
But there is no reason to cling to all that is breaking you, hoping for some sort of release. You don’t have to forget that you are hurting or neglect your pain—but you don’t need to spiral yourself down, either. Today you can choose to see light, rather than darkness. Today you can give yourself hope instead of closed doors.
Open your eyes and breathe deeply. Let the air fill your lungs, let your ribcage expand, let the sounds of morning fill your ears, your heart, your soul. Look around you. Is there something to be thankful for? Is your heart beating, your eyes seeing, your limbs still nimble and strong? If not, is there light coming through the windowpane? Is there a picture on the wall, a book on the shelf, some reminder of the people who care for you, the beautiful life you’ve lived?
Can you find something to focus on—something that brings a little hope, something that is a reminder of a place you used to be, the person you’ve been? Can you look yourself in the mirror, find one thing to praise, to celebrate, to smile at, even if your face is tired? Can you remind your reflection that who you are is not defined by this human body? That the most beautiful thing about you is what is unseen?
Stand up. Move around. Shake your fingers, your arms, your toes. Find something comfortable to wear. Quiet the voices that tell you you aren’t good enough. Silence the nagging in the back of your mind that something is missing, that a piece of you won’t ever be found.
Tell yourself you’re doing alright. You’re taking little steps. You’re standing and moving and breathing and sometimes that in itself is more than enough.
Tell yourself today does not have to be a repeat of what was. That there are three different zones—past, present, future—and sometimes the most important thing is to be in the present, to live in the now. So try to live right here.
Think of your next choice—Is it breakfast? Coffee? A long commute? A walk to the store? A run to the bus stop? A short drive to your child’s school? A lazy trip to the computer in your next room? What do you have to do today? Is it emails? Is it meetings? Is it something concrete that you can focus on your attention towards, and let everything painful slip away?
Can you choose to be present, let what is not yours to keep fade and find a home elsewhere? Can you be here, today? And love your heart enough to slowly let it heal?
Because today is not yesterday, not two days ago, not last week, last month, last year. Today is untouched. Today is unblemished. Today is open and free, ready for your feet to walk upon, your hands to touch.
Today is yours for the taking, yours to decide the direction, the decisions, the places you will go. Today is healing. Today is new. So why don’t you stand up, step forward, and start again.