Never tell a broken girl she’s beautiful because she won’t believe you. Don’t tell her she’s smart, funny, intriguing, or powerful. Don’t say it over, and over, and over again because the amount of times you repeat it doesn’t make it any more affirming. She’ll roll her eyes, refute your admiration. It’s not the kind of praise she wants or needs.
Never tell a broken girl she’s beautiful because you’ll waste your time articulating this concept she can’t comprehend. Her brokenness convinces her that beautiful is something she’ll never be, that beauty is something better than her, beauty wasn’t meant for her.
Never tell a broken girl she’s beautiful, because she doesn’t see what you see. You see beauty in everything she does, everything she is, even everything she isn’t, but she doesn’t see herself the way you do. When a broken girl looks in the mirror that’s all she sees, her brokenness.
Her eyes only see flaws, and if they don’t see flaws, her ears hear them. She listens. She listens to the thoughts that tell her she’s not good enough, the ones that tell her everything that’s wrong about her, her appearance, her behaviors, her habits. And she feels them too. She feels these hurtful thoughts like accidental paper cuts, seemingly small yet infinitely painful. And then she believes them. See, a broken girl can’t believe you when you tell her that she’s beautiful, but she can believe every self-reflection that tells her she’s not enough.
Because sometimes when a broken girl looks at herself all she feels is disappointment, not just when she looks into a mirror, but when she steps outside of herself and looks at her life entirely. She downplays her accomplishments, she undermines her abilities, she sabotages herself before anyone has the chance to do it first. She builds walls higher than anyone’s willing to climb. She thinks she’s protecting herself, but all she’s protecting is her brokenness.
Part of her forgets what it feels like to be whole, and part of her just doesn’t feel like trying, because being broken is exhausting. Every ‘not good enough’ tires her, every magnified flaw slows her down.
She wants to move on, she wants to believe you when you tell her that she’s beautiful, that she’s strong, intelligent and powerful. She wishes she could, but a broken girl won’t realize that she can. A broken girl won’t realize that she’s the only person standing in her way. A broken girl won’t realize she can make her own way. A broken girl doesn’t realize she’s the only reason she’s still broken.
A broken girl doesn’t realize that her brokenness is just a feeling, that her hardships, her suffering, her struggles, they didn’t break her, they tested her. They tested her strength, her endurance, her ability to just keep going.
A broken girl doesn’t realize that it’s okay to be weak when you’re struggling. It’s okay to let the hardships stop you in your tracks. It’s okay to pause, to take a breath, to let it out, to exhale without feeling like you’ll never breathe again.
Sometimes a broken girl just needs to feel broken in order to realize it’s just that, a feeling. That the person who she truly is can never actually be broken. We all feel a little broken sometimes. We feel it, but we don’t become it. You’re not broken. You’re strong. You’re intelligent. You’re powerful. And yes, you are beautiful.