Embrace Yourself We live in a world where we shut down the idea “it’s okay to not be okay.” Am I right? Hear me out. We have this idea that painting a fake smile on our faces will make our struggles eventually disappear. We tell ourselves that we have to have all our ducks in a row. My personal favorite: in order to look strong, we have to live a perfect, rainbows and butterflies kind of life. We hide our negative emotions. We ignore the sadness, pain and anxiety. We shove them down in hopes to reach that “sunshine life.” But let me ask you this: “What’s the point of being human if you don’t allow yourself to feel?" Feelings do not make you weak. Being open and honest about your struggles make you so strong. How? You have the power to acknowledge your pain, your fear, or even your mental health condition. I applaud those of you who have the strength to be vulnerable, real and open about your struggles. Because it is not easy. You are a true inspiration. So keep going. Don’t let society tell you how to feel. Embrace your mess. It makes you, you. It is a part of your story. It has shaped you into the wonderful person you are becoming. And remember, sharing your story can save someone else who is silently struggling. Be the person you needed. Share the story you needed to hear. Remember: you are not defined by your struggle. You are not your anxiety. You are not your depression. You are not your eating disorder. You are not your ADHD. Do something for you. Take care of yourself. Take time for your wellbeing and sanity. Read a book, stand on a rock in the middle of a rushing river, snap some pics, bake a cake, paint a picture, write down your thoughts, sing your favorite songs at the top of your lungs. Find what makes you happy. Find what brings you to life. You aren’t alone. Share your story, message, poem, quote, photo or video of hope, struggle or recovery. By sharing your experience, you can let others know that they are not alone.