There you are…silent, withdrawn…a wall covering you from the outside world.

Beloved…I know this world has been cruel to you. You’ve been mishandled, mistreated and abused in a way that the world is not the same in your eyes. You’ve been shown in more ways than you thought possible, how more ruthless life can be- people can be. You’ve been hurt so much you find no other way to survive but slide back into your shell, your own bubble, your safety net. Somehow along the way, you came to a conclusion that the only way to make it through is by separating yourself from the world. That way, circumstances and people have little chance to hurt you. But they still do, don’t they?

Life and people have this ability to make things worse. They invade spaces. Turn the world upside down. Make your life more miserable. More detestable. Make you question whether you really should be here.

I know that you barely came across kindness, even when you needed it the most. Even when you gave it out the most. So you sit in your silence and take in whatever silence has to offer. Whether it is dark memoirs of the past, distressing thoughts of the present or the anxiety-inducing possibilities of the future. You don’t really want to let anyone into your bubble because well, they never will get it, will they? What are the chances that someone will see the battle scene that your soul is and still choose to sit with you until you’re ready to stand up once again? Be gentle with you, and your scarred soul. Be patient with you as you lick your wounds and find yourself once again. Seems impossible right?

Yet I am here to tell you that it is quite possible to find good, pure souls, with no strings attached, no ulterior motives whatsoever, who’d be willing to hold your hand and be there for you. Help you, guide you, be there for you. Where are they, you ask? Well, perhaps you need to first break that wall surrounding you don’t you think? Open the door, and allow people to be there for you. Accept help when it is offered. Ask for help when you need it. Embrace vulnerability- don’t stick to the thought that independence is what will protect you from the cruelty of this world. It just causes burnout most of the time.

I understand that shutting down and being in your bubble is your only protection-your coping mechanism, but you’ll never understand the beauty of deep friendship and love and intimacy unless you break that wall. See yourself from the eyes of those who care about you. Allow yourself to learn and grow from your own experiences and the experiences of the people around you. Accept that the trauma you faced has affected how you view the world and perhaps be open to view it from the lenses of others.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you forget the hard-learnt lessons you’ve gained thus far, but rather, making the choice to not allow yourself to drown in the what-ifs, could-haves and would-haves. No one can take away your story, and what impact it had on you. No one can underestimate what life did to you. It remains to be your story, yet you’re the one to decide what to do with it.

One of my favourite quotes in my book ‘The Striving Soul’ is, ‘Everyone has a struggle. Make yours count.’ And I like it because I do believe that regardless of the obstacles we face in life, we do have some choice on which way to handle the present and the future. Your struggle could be greater than a lot of other people yet that only means you have a greater ability to shine and thrive. Greater resilience. Greater strength. Because if anyone else was in your shoes, perhaps they wouldn’t have made it to where you are right now. All you have to do now is use that pain to create something wonderful for yourself.

I know this life has not been easy on you. But please take the risk. Don’t allow the fear to cripple you. Sometimes the only thing separating you from greater greatness is you stepping out of your bubble. Perhaps it will be better than you ever imagined. Perhaps it will be all you will ever need to become the best version of YOU.

Beloved, I pray you heal. I pray the world becomes kinder and gentler with you.