“Don’t pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” – Bruce Lee

Dear Past Me,

… as I breathe in the fresh air.

… as I glance back at all the mountains I’ve climbed.

… as I revel in the beauty of the world.

.. as I remember the version of myself that grasped ferociously at the opportunity for life to be over.

Because it was too hard.

It was too dark.

It was too heavy.

And you didn’t believe that it could be anything but hard, dark, and heavy.

But then it was.

And now it is.

You spent years romanticizing the thought of death – thinking that it would be better suited for you than life was. You were grieving, you were lost, and you were heartbroken. You couldn’t see the silver lining or the light of the end of the tunnel. You had lost all faith.

Just like so many of us do.

You thought that nobody could possibly understand your wounds. You thought that life was unfair. You thought that you had faced too much hurt… and too much death… and too much pain for it to ever be all right again.

But you were wrong.

Eventually, the veil lifted. Life opened up to you and gave you everything you ever wanted. Not on a silver platter, though – you worked hard for it and you hurt for it, which made it that much sweeter.

You were naïve and unforgiving. When you lost faith in the world, you lost faith in yourself. When you painted the world with longing of death, you missed the amplitude of life that was knocking on your door.

What made you believe that you weren’t stronger than the pain that the world handed you?

What made you think that the only way through your troubles was to walk away from them?

Looking back, every hardship was so worth it. I know that everybody says that – but it’s true. When you step back and see the way life has unfolded, you’ll see it was worth it too.

Dear Future Me,

If it ever gets bleak again – walk through it. Fight through it. Remember that you feel the pain because you’re alive. What a blessing that is.

And just know, that no matter how hard it gets, the veil will eventually lift.

… and it’ll be bright again.

… and once again, you’ll be thankful, that you kept living.

Written by Celina Dawdy