It's your mental health that makes you beautiful

 African American woman smiling and dancing in front of a large graffiti mural

This needs to be said.

Because if you watched the news, you wouldn’t think so.

If you searched for your mental health online, you would be horrified.

But I’m here to say it, so you know it once and for all.

Your mental health is not a pariah to be avoided.

Your mental health is an important part of who you are.

Your mental health makes you beautiful.

Think about it.

The way your brain works is unique.

The thoughts you put together are yours and yours alone.

Others may have their opinions, but how you decide to dance with your thoughts is up to you.

Your mental health determines how you relate to the world.

So what if you aren’t “normal” according to a diagram or a scale?

Your mental health makes you beautiful, and beauty can’t be quantified.

It’s like love.

We know it’s there, but we can’t adequately express it with numbers or words.

It needs to be felt. It needs to be experienced.

Your mental health is the vessel through which you experience the world.

Do you see dazzling possibilities when others see dreary skies?

Do you see limitless connections when others see cavernous holes?

Let me take a step back.

How do you see the world? How do you experience it?

Are you criticized for the way you interpret your world?

Are you belittled for deviating too far from the norm?

So what if you live outside “the box?”

So what if you build bridges outside of social constructs?

Smile. Breathe.

Your mental health makes you beautiful.

Lately our world has become obsessed with certainty.

Our lives are supposed to play out in certain ways.

We’re supposed to find the job, get the girl, be the mom, make the money, and never, ever sit down to rest.

Here’s the thing: Sitting down to rest — taking a moment to reflect on who you are and what you want — is necessary to understand your mental health.

If you don’t know who you are, how can you know you’re on the path that is right for you?

If you don’t reflect, right now in this very moment, how can you be certain you’re living your life and not someone else’s?

Mental health is developing your own intuition.

It’s finding your way by failing.

It’s learning the most when you’ve given up hope.

It’s rising above it because you know you can.

It’s finding your voice in a sea of noise.

When you go about your day, I want you to think about something.

As you figure out the life you want to create, where does your mental health figure into it all?

Is it central to who you are?

Or is it an after-thought?

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

After-thoughts don’t change the world.

After-thoughts don’t come alive with passion and pursue the one thing that makes the heart sing.

After-thoughts come after thoughts, meaning they come right after the good stuff.

So I’m asking you: Do you want to be the response to what others’ tell you?

Or do you want to be right in it, right where your mental health lives?

Do you want to be the frame that holds the painting?

Or do you want to be the bleeding colors, leaping from the canvas, inspiring all who look at them?


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