Take off your mask. Burn away the prejudices, stereotypes and judgements you cling to. Throw away the person you “should” be according to everyone else. Flush society’s standards down the toilet. Run far, far away from the negativity surrounding you. Bury your need to please everyone deep in the ground. Throw the shackles that the world has chained to you straight into the depths of the sea. Tell your demons that YOU are in control, not them…not anymore. Let your skeleton out of the closet for all to see. Take your social status and cultural norms out of the equation. Erase all of your belongings from your mind, after all, they are just things.
What do you have left after that? Who are you, underneath it all, at your core? Look for the people who are still by your side when they see you raw and exposed-they are the ones who matter. They didn’t run when your skeleton jumped out of your closet. Are you defined by your money, success, or all the nice stuff you have? Those things can be gone in an instant. If you lost it all, would you lose yourself too? Do you strive to live up to the world’s expectations or your own? Do you hate your body because society’s narrow view says you should? Your body is powerful and strong. It is the vessel through which you experience the world. It is the reason you can see the sunset, hear the birds singing, feel the rain on your skin, go for a walk, smell the flowers and taste coffee. Life is beautiful and so are you. And if you are a mother, you literally sacrificed your body to give your child life. You made another human being, and that is so incredible! Stretch marks are a small price to pay to have a healthy, beautiful baby in your arms. Do you judge people based on their appearance? Have you forgotten that looks fade with time, that who you are has nothing to do with what you look like? If you married someone for their good looks, you will be very disappointed to wake up one morning, and see that they have aged. You could be the sexiest person walking planet earth, but if you treat people like shit, you will still end up alone.
Who you are is what really matters. If you feel like your worth is based on the car you drive, what your body looks like, or what your mom thinks, then the world has you fooled. Those things are not important. Don’t buy into the world’s bull shit. Don’t lose yourself in the superficial standards that society has set in place. Be you. Do you. Grow you. Be the kind of person that this world needs more of. Be the person that no one can say a bad thing about. Be the person that you want your children to be. Show this fake world what a real, raw, open, honest person looks like. Own your demons and skeletons. Own your mistakes. Own your imperfections. Everything you’ve been through has made you who you are-it can make you bitter or better, the choice is yours. Be kind always. You never know what a person is going through; your kindness can be what restores their faith in humanity, or the one thing that keeps them from jumping off a bridge. Next time you are frustrated with this fake, cruel, selfish world, remember this: YOU can be something real in the sea of fake, the kind breath of fresh air in the midst of cruelty, and a generous, caring heart that lights up the selfish darkness. Maybe you will inspire others to do the same, and at the very least, someone else’s dark day is a little brighter because of you. Making the world a better place starts with one person–you. Your move.