To anyone feeling lost, hopeless, depressed, anxious and heartbroken... I SEE YOU.
To my friends who have lost children and who forever feel like a whole piece of your heart is missing, who can barely get out of bed many days, who feel immeasurable, soul-shattering grief every single day while life goes on for the rest of the world, who feel guilty laughing and smiling, whose wounds will remain open for a lifetime, whose very lives will never, EVER be the same for as long as you live… I SEE YOU.
To those who have difficult family situations, broken families, divorces, estrangements, abuse, neglect, daily struggles and to those who feel disconnected from your roots & home... I SEE YOU.
To those who are sick, fighting both seen and unseen battles, whose lives feel fragile... I SEE YOU.
To everyone who is a caregiver, those who feel as if all you do is give-give-give, those who are tapped out, drained & mentally broken, those who want nothing more than to HELP PEOPLE & better lives & save your loved one... I SEE YOU.
To the parents of children with special and/or complex medical needs whose love is undying, relentless & eternal... To those parents who would move both Heaven & Earth to help improve the quality of your child's life even the tiniest little bit... And to those who put your own needs on the back burner on the daily to provide the best life possible for your child because you don't know how much time you have left... I SEE YOU.
To the parents who CHOSE the special needs life, some through fostering and some through adoption, to those who travel to other states or countries to rescue your child(ren) out of cribs before they die alone, to those of you whose very lives & missions SLAY ME on a daily basis... I SEE YOU.
To my friends and loved ones who fight daily to become parents... I SEE YOU.
To my friends who have lost spouses, partners, parents, best friends, neighbors, coworkers, other family members & loved ones -- whose hearts break daily feeling this unbelievable loss... I SEE YOU.
To everyone battling addiction... I SEE YOU.
To my friends who work their asses off at multiple jobs to provide for their families... I SEE YOU.
To my friends who don't know what direction in life to go... who worry that nothing feels quite right... who feel as if they wander aimlessly daily, who are unsure of how to proceed... I SEE YOU. And I believe in you. Your answers are coming.
To those who are suddenly, unexpectedly alone... I SEE YOU.
To my friends who are unemployed, unable to find a job, feeling financially strapped, unsure of whether you can pay your bills, whose marriages are strained because of money issues, who pray nightly you will win the lottery, who cry at night because you worry that you won't be able to give your family enough for Christmas... I SEE YOU. My heart aches for you.
To those who have found themselves homeless... I SEE YOU.
To those who feel fat, ugly, unimportant, or like a non-productive member of society... I SEE YOU. And I assure you that THIS WORLD NEEDS YOU IN IT. Very much. I see your beauty & worth, and I hope that one day you will too.
To those who live in fear daily, who are dying, who feel like you are dying, who wish you were dying, who worry about the future until you are sick, who feel out of control, who feel helpless, who feel terrified, who battle depression/anxiety, who are in abusive relationships, who want to finally feel hope... I SEE YOU. And I am here for you always.
To my friends sending their children off to college, who are both bursting with pride and crying with sadness, who spent 19 years preparing them for this day and it is finally here, to those who go home & cry in their child's now-empty room, who look back through old pictures, swearing that was "just yesterday," who desperately want them to grow up but also still remain "their little girl/boy," who miss them in such a primal way it almost cannot be put into words, who feel so lost without them yet thrilled for them all at the same time... I SEE YOU.
All you brand new empty nesters... I SEE YOU.
To those who have died for our country to ensure the freedom of all Americans, to those in the military who put on a uniform and fought/fight for our country, to those who love our country fiercely and are willing to become involved politically, to those who love our leadership, to those who despise our leadership, to those who are fearful of the future of our country, to those who feel empowered, to those who are silent & those who are vocal, to those engaging in debates online & those who can only read them and weep... I SEE YOU. I bow to you. I respect you. I applaud you for truly caring.
To those with the weight of the world on your shoulders who make huge decisions daily that impact many lives, who shoulder this enormous responsibility, who stay up late wondering if you are doing right by those you love & care about.... I SEE YOU.
To everyone running nonprofits & collecting donations for those who are truly in need, who pray for others nightly, who do good deeds even when they aren't seen, who pay for other peoples' coffee or meals or gas, who loan a friend money, who volunteer, who start charities, who check in on elderly neighbors, who send handwritten letters to people *just because*, who still write thank you notes, who send "Thinking about you" texts, who change flat tires for strangers, who smile or wave at people they don't know, who give out hugs like candy, who strive to make others feel better about themselves, who don't see and/or judge people based on their skin color or race or gender or disability or size or sexual orientation or religion or socioeconomic status or differences of any kind, who give freely without expecting anything in return, who are there for your loved ones no matter what time of day or night you are needed, who live & love so big every damn day... I SEE YOU.
And lastly, to those who are unhappy, who hurt others physically & emotionally, who say things they don't mean, who bully, who send or post hateful messages/comments, who are keyboard warriors, who are trolls, who hate their lives & want everyone else to be miserable too, who hate those who do good things, who aren't receiving the love they deserve, who just got dumped & are angry as hell, who call people names, who threaten people, who hurt themselves so they finally feel something, who attempt suicide, who ruin other peoples' relationships, who cheat, who lie, who stir the shit, who betray people, who discriminate against others, who abandon people, who talk shit behind peoples' backs or to their faces, who abuse others, who do unforgivable things... I SEE YOU. I am sorry that your life has been so difficult. I hope you know that your life has significance, and your journey could help so many others in similar situations. I really wish I could hug you right now.
Those around you (including me) may not tell you this daily, yearly or ever, but please know, I SEE YOU. And I love you. Your life & soul are important and valued, not just by me. I hope that reading this reminds you of your worth because I never want any of you to forget.