When I was young, I had a dentist tell me I needed braces, so I never went back.. I liked that my teeth were maybe a little too big, the chip in my tooth was well earned in a soccer game and my imperfect teeth, I felt, made me me. It was before I started succumbing to the feelings of rejection and self judgment that led to bouts of unworthiness, depression, body dysmorphia, anorexia. In the words of Pink, “everyday I fought a war against the mirror.” When I found my teaching job, I realized that just by shining my light and being me, I could change someone’s life. It was not my looks, but my soul, my compassion, my quirks that made a difference and I loved myself for once✨But it is a constant battle I will always fight. Sometimes it rears its head without you even knowing that your insecurities are winning. Recently, I had more energy than I have in a few months and the epiphany set in. I was suddenly and unknowingly being nice to myself again, taking care of myself, feeding myself and it made me both happy and sad. Sad that our minds can make us be so mean to ourselves. Happy that I finally found compassion for myself again. Happy that I had a breakthrough in realizing, how was I supposed to be a beacon of light when I didn’t even have the energy to do so? How can I make sure kids love themselves and are being kind when I can’t even be kind to the one person who matters most? We make a difference not because of how we look, but because of how we make others feel. By showing them it’s wonderful to love yourself just the way you are and to smile because you do. There is so much power in not allowing your biology, your insecurities, your predispositions, your tendencies, your reflections to bring you down (it’s ok if they do at times) & letting your soul & heart lift you up. I think little me realized that my smile was a reflection of my soul and that was what mattered💫If only we all had that wisdom and knew that our imperfections, the chipped teeth, our battles we’ve fought against our mind and doubts make us beautiful because they make our heart and souls strong and empathetic. So fight that war against the mirror, and win. Even fight the dentist if you must😝
I once fell in love with Turkey when I visited the country. The colors, the passion, the kindness, the apple tea in every shop. So much so that for a while I wanted the word “love” tattooed in Turkish, and I wanted it even more when I found out that translated it looked like the word “ask.” Because you never know someone’s story until you ask✨You don’t have the answers, you should never judge or assume about someone’s life because you don’t know the history that has led to their current smile. Maybe we post nice photos or statuses but we all still have our things that we suffer with. We are all doing our best with what we’re given in this life✨ There’s moments where we are met with the fragility of life. You never know when it will rear its ugly head for you or someone close to you🌊 The fresh scars I for the first time saw on the wrist of one I almost had to say good bye to. The ones that nobody saw because they hid them under their sleeves. Reminding you that, yes, life can change in an instant, so hold on to the things, the people that make you happy. Hold on to them and love them like hell, because you both deserve it. Reminding you that you don’t know everyone’s story, so be kind. Love them for your sake, love them for their sake, love strangers, love YOU! Love regardless of your fear because you never know if they will be gone. Love because there are those who are wishing they were. It is a constant fact that they can be. Love others BECAUSE of your fear for you know that everyone too fears in some way, struggles in some way, so have empathy💕When you have love to give, wear your heart upon your sleeve for the sake of those family, those friends, those strangers who may be hiding something under theirs. Love because we’re all trying to figure it out. Be kind because we’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got❤️💕#worldmentalhealthday We can’t always know who is struggling, we don’t wear our mental illnesses, ailments or hard times on our sleeves, we often don’t understand (and many don’t try to), but we CAN always help by showing compassion to those we meet, showing them they’re worthy and trying to understand even if we don’t know how to.