Nobody who has braved and fought a battle comes away unscarred, even those who are victorious and especially those who have fallen. But our scars are not a mark of shame but a mark of strength, whether victorious or fallen. They symbolise the strength we have within and the strength we have to come. We heal from our wounds as long as we don’t keep reopening them. Keep your scars as a reminder, not a burden.
It’s tempting to lock away our past, our sorrows, our mistakes. But we shouldn’t hang onto them like a burden. We shouldn’t be ashamed of them at all. If we try to bury them too far, they begin to pollute us from the inside and eventually overpower us. But if we slowly set them free, let them go or accept them for what they are, we can be free too. They’ll no longer define us, but guide us. They can serve more purpose than we realise.
If you can lessen someone’s burden, you will make a difference. If you can listen to someone’s troubles, you will make a difference. If you can wipe away someone’s tears, you will make a difference. If you can forgive someone’s mistake, you will make a difference. If you can ease the pain of a broken heart, you will make a difference. No matter how small or simple, our actions are significant. If the world can breathe a little better because you lived, it can make all the difference – if not to the whole wide world, then at least someone’s whole world.
Great expectations are hard to shake. But sometimes we have to face the fact that we cannot live up to them and we cannot expect the world to either. We will never be a perfect person. We will never erase the past. Nothing worth having will come easily. Life will never go according to plan. We shouldn’t have to live by these expectations. And that’s not to say that we shouldn’t strive to be our best selves and create our ideal world, but don’t make it burdensome and suffocating. Otherwise we end up too much like a lead ballon, stranded on the ground when we should be floating up above.
In a time when we’re all exposed to one another online, it’s easy to confuse seeing with knowing. But we shouldn’t assume that glimpses of someone physically or virtually will give us a rounded picture of that person. It’s dangerous to do so, because we’re still oblivious to all the shadows of that person. To conclude that someone’s life is perfect is to ignore that everyone is fighting their own battles. To believe that someone’s life is perfect is to compare their highlights to our lowest points. It’s natural for us to forget that we don’t always know someone. But do not place those perceptions on someone. It will burden you both.