If No One Told You This Today — I Am Proud Of You
Written by Bianca Sparacino for "In Your Feelings" a podcast from Thought Catalog.
If no one told you this today — I am proud of you for the way that you care.
Despite what you have been through at the hands of love, I am proud of you for having the courage to keep loving deeply in a world that sometimes fails to do so. In a generation that orders up attention like they order up a meal, in a generation that has started to love with one foot out the door, I am proud of you for having the courage to believe that genuine connection still exists.
I know how difficult it is to continue to be this kind of person when love hasn’t always been kind to you. I know what it is like to have a heart that cannot stop pouring, to have a heart that sometimes feels like it is too much. I know that you can overthink your sensitivity, and I know that it can be something you have been convinced that you have to silence. But I am proud of your heart. There is something really beautiful about meeting someone who makes you believe in the goodness of others. There is something really beautiful when it comes to seeing someone who is genuine, and kind — someone who makes people feel seen, someone who makes people feel deeply loved for who they are, in all of their light and all of their dark. I think it is beautiful to be the kind of person who cares. To be the kind of person who stays open, who believes in going deeper.
Because we need souls like that. We need people like you in this world. We need the softness, we need the people who remind us of connection when we are all avoiding eye contact. I am proud of you for being this person in this world. The way that you love others is inspiring. And so if no one told you this today — you do not need to apologize for the way you feel. You do not need to apologize for how your heart exists here. There is courage in being the person who connects. There is bravery in staying open despite what you have been through. You should be proud of yourself for loving. Please don’t ever stop.
If no one told you this today — I am proud of how hard you are working to heal, and to grow.
No one comes out of this life unscathed. And I am sorry that you went through things that crushed your spirit. I am sorry that you went through things you did not deserve. I am sorry that people were not always kind to you. I am sorry that life took those you cared for from you. I am sorry that you had to heal wounds you yourself did not create, wounds other wounded people inflicted on you because they had not healed themselves. I am sorry that you gave so much at times to those who did not see the value in what they were receiving. I am sorry that you spent so many nights alone in your mind, that your overthinking or your anxiety caused you to think that you were hard to love, or that you did not have a place in this world. I am sorry that life, at times, convinced you that you could not hope, that goodness was never going to find you.
You did not deserve the things that happened to you. You were weathered by life in ways that would often defeat most human beings. Other people treated you in ways that couldn’t have been easy to hold within yourself. You yourself, have made mistakes, have had to learn how to move through being the kind of person who, at times, was not a reflection of who you hoped you could be. And yet, here you are.
And I’m proud of you for that. It takes a lot of courage to do the hard work. It takes a lot of courage to heal yourself, even when it hurts. It is never easy — this kind of growth is always messy, and difficult. But I am proud of you for believing that you can do hard things. I am proud of you for showing up for yourself, for understanding that the only way to heal the wound is to admit that it exists, no matter how painful it is, no matter how messy it gets.
At the end of the day, we are not bulletproof and unphased by life. That is not why we survive, that is not why we keep going. So many of you who have been hurt before, who are dealing with having to heal so many parts of themselves, having to forgive, having to move forward — have gotten this far, have woken up each and every morning, because you have shown up to do so. Because you have found within yourself even the smallest reason to keep going, to continue to believe that there is more for you in this life.
I know that sometimes it feels like no one sees how hard you are working, or the internal battles you have fought just to get here today. But I just want you to know that I understand. I see you. I am proud of how hard you are working to heal and grow.
If no one told you this today — I am proud of who you are, in this moment.
Right now, you may feel like you are behind. You may feel like you need to improve X or Y, you may feel like you are taking too long to heal, or that you aren’t happy with what you have accomplished so far. And I know that society often tries to convince us that we have to be perfect in order to be loved. That we have to figure it all out on a specific kind of timeline, that we have to have all the answers. But that isn’t true. You are real, and not perfect. Who you are in this moment is worthy.
And so if you are in a season of just working towards getting to tomorrow, just working towards slowly healing your heart, day by day, just working towards a quiet kind of happiness or acceptance, something that exists deep within yourself, something that isn’t always clapped for or met with great fanfare — I am proud of you. It takes a lot of courage to be able to admit to yourself that sometimes the most beautiful kind of growth happens in the dark, that sometimes life may feel slow and quiet, and like not much is happening, but realizing that those moments are when the most is happening. Sometimes, we forget that we are in the process of living, of life, because we are so focused on who we want to be, or our future. Sometimes we forget that the present moment is something to be celebrated too. Even if it isn’t exactly how we thought it would look.
I am proud of you for who you are. And you do not have to be more successful, or skinnier, or prettier, or cooler, or more popular, or whatever we tell ourselves we need to be, in order to be loved, and respected, worthy here. You are worthy in this moment. No matter what. You are exactly where you need to be. Please don’t lose sight of the fact that you have taken so many steps to get here, right now, as you are. You have overcome so much. You have healed so much. Be proud of who you are, in this moment.
If no one told you this today — I am proud of who you are becoming.
Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we are deserving of everything we desire from life. That nothing in our past makes us unworthy of our future. That there is beauty in working towards healing, and growing, and becoming the kind of person who adds light and hope into this world, in even the smallest of ways. I see how hard you are trying. And I want you to know that I am proud of you for that. You deserve to believe in a future you have yet to feel. You deserve to believe that there is beauty waiting out there for you, that the things that are meant to find you, and stay, are going to come into your life, that you are going to realize your dreams, that you are going to discover your own version of happiness.
You are deserving of good love. You deserve to find something that feels soft, and real, and pointed. You deserve to be someone’s favourite thing. You deserve to find the people that leave your bones filled with hope, the kind of friends that know you by heart. You deserve to feel like you do not have to apologize for the way you care. You deserve to be surrounded by human beings who see you, who truly see you, who stand by your side, who show up. You deserve the kind of love you give to everyone around you.
You are deserving of happiness. You are deserving of the kind of happiness that exists on your own terms. The kind of happiness that pours out of you, and into the art you make and the love you give and the way you show up in this world. You deserve to experience the kind of life that is a reflection of your hope, the kind of life that is an extension of the things that bring you back home to yourself, the kind of life that feels like it is so for you. No matter what you have been through, no matter how you have been weathered, no matter what storms you have had to fight — you deserve to heal, and to be happy. Nothing that you have been through has made you unworthy of living a life that brings you joy. Please don’t ever forget that. Do not question the good that comes into your life. It was meant to find you.
This is your reminder that the things you want in life are valid. The way you want to love and be loved, is valid. The dreams you have are valid. The goals you have are valid. Your healing is valid. Your happiness is valid. You have so much potential within you. You are capable of so much. And I am sorry that the world, at times, has tried to convince you otherwise. But you are going to do great things. You are going to become the person you are working towards. You are going to look back on the moment you ever doubted your future, or your happiness, or your heart, and you are going to be so glad that you kept going, that you kept believing in the fact that life was going to surprise you.
I am proud of who you are becoming. And you should be, too.
Bianca Sparacino is the author of numerous poetry books and a creative director at Thought Catalog. You can buy her books here.