As hard as I try I don’t have the words to heal you. I don’t have the words to make everything wrong right. I don’t have the words to give you a reason not to cry. Even though my words are imperfect and messy I hope they can in some form give you even a little of the comfort and hope you need.

I don’t know what today will hold for you nor what tomorrow will bring your way. I don’t know much of anything really. But I believe with everything inside of me that our lives, these stories we’ve been given do not have to be horrible.

Whatever that weight in your heart is, whatever is making it hard to breathe, whatever that wound is I hope with all my heart that you’d let it out. Let the pain out. Let the hurt out. Let the tears out. Let yourself go through the process of healing so you can grow in the places you’ve been broken. If the chapters that came before have been heartbreaking it’s my prayer that the one you are in now and the ones to come will be heart mending.

There’s no one way to heal, no one way to recover or forgive. But the choice is the same no matter which road you take — choose to believe that this is not all that there is to your story.

Life can be different. Life can be better. Life can be beautiful.

I want that life for you. I want to see you whole and happy and free. I want you to believe that your life, your story, can be full of joy and love and community.

But you’ve got to fight for it. Every single day you’ve got to fight. I know you don’t feel up to the task right now, but don’t let that feeling keep you on your knees any longer. Ask for help. Find someone to anchor you.

We are born for one another; we are created to help and to love. You are not alone in your story, you are not alone in your pain, so please don’t try to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders anymore.

Reach out, and let people help you pull out the weeds so the beautiful things can begin to grow in your life.

With love,


(via bealightinthedark)

I’ll never punish my daughter for saying no.

The first time it comes out of her mouth, I’ll smile gleefully. As she repeats “No! No! No!” I’ll laugh, overjoyed. At a young age, she’ll have mastered a wonderful skill. A skill I’m still trying to learn. I know I’ll have to teach her that she has to eat her vegetables, and she has to take a nap. But “No” is not wrong. It is not disobedience.

1. She will know her feelings are valid.
2. She will know that when I no longer guide her, she still has a right to refuse.

The first time a boy pulls her hair after she says no, and the teacher tells her “boys will be boys,” we will go to her together, and explain that my daughter’s body is not a public amenity. That boy isn’t teasing her because he likes her, he is harassing her because it is allowed. I will not reinforce that opinion. If my son can understand that “no means no” so can everyone else’s.

3. She owes no one her silence, her time, or her cooperation.

The first time she tells a teacher, “No, that is wrong,” and proceeds to correct his public school, biased rhetoric, I’ll revel in the fact that she knows her history; that she knows our history. The first time she tells me “No” with the purpose and authority that each adult is entitled, I will stop. I will apologize. I will listen.

4. She is entitled to her feelings and her space. I, even a a parent, have no right to violate them.
5. No one has a right to violate them.

The first time my mother questions why I won’t make her kiss my great aunt at Christmas, I’ll explain that her space isn’t mine to control. That she gains nothing but self doubt when she is forced into unwanted affection. I’ll explain that “no” is a complete sentence. When the rest of my family questions why she is not made to wear a dress to our reunion dinner. I will explain that her expression is her own. It provides no growth to force her into unnecessary and unwanted situation.

6. She is entitled to her expression.

When my daughter leaves my home, and learns that the world is not as open, caring, and supportive as her mother, she will be prepared. She will know that she can return if she wishes, that the real world can wait. She will not want to. She will not need to. I will have prepared her, as much as I can, for a world that will try to push her down at every turn.

7. She is her own person. She is complete as she is.

I will never punish my daughter for saying no. I want “No” to be a familiar friend. I never want her to feel that she cannot say it. She will know how to call on “No” whenever it is needed, or wanted.

Lessons I Will Teach, Because the World Will Not — Y.S. (via poetryinspiredbyyou)



All my life I’ve never sought
great riches of any sort
Only searched for those eyes
which would reflect the love in mine
ignoring all my flaws, and for
those heartening words
to carry me ahead in life
That, I know, is the rarest jewel
only a few can ever find.