I Hope You Shine

girl walking on beach smiling during sunset
📷: Jenna Anderson

On days where darkness feels like all you know, I hope you find the light within you and let it burst forth from your chest. I hope you cast away every doubt and hesitation and stand firm in your truth.

You are here for a reason. You are a complex collection of cells, molded together with intention and care before you even touched this earth. You were designed for a purpose. You were destined to write a beautiful story, one that no one else can create. You are not a mistake.

Discovering your true identity, understanding the meaning of your life—these are big questions—ones you will spend almost all your days searching for. Sometimes it may feel as if you’re on the right path, like the future is laid out before you and there’s absolutely nothing in your way. And sometimes life will feel the exact opposite, an exhausting, endless search that brings you to dead end after dead end.

You may be in a place of peace or celebration, or maybe you’re ready to give up, questioning why you’re even here. Life is challenging in that way, a constant battle within our minds, a continual comparison to everyone around us, wondering where we fit.

But if you find yourself in a place of defeat, remember this: there is no one on this earth like you.

There is no one who can take your place, fill your shoes, pave the path you were meant to walk along. There is not a single soul who can brighten a room the way you do, who can speak and spread love to the people in your life that you do with ease. There are things you may fail at, mistakes you will make, and burdens you will carry. But you are not defined by the negatives, never will be.

You will always be more than the struggles you face.

Remember: even in the darkness, a light is still bright. Even in a shadowed room, a single bulb will illuminate the walls. Even in a storm, a candle will burn. And the same is for you.

You are all the joy, the love, the hope. You are all the rays peeking through the clouds. You are capable, and strong. You are everything you choose to be, or believe you will become.

No one can put out a flame that you build within yourself.

So I hope you push away everything that tries to quiet your spirit, every person or obstacle that longs to darken your light. There is energy within you—energy that burns every day you choose to continue, to fight back, to believe.

I hope you focus on that light and cultivate it within your soul. I hope you chase dreams and passions, follow love when the emotion feels right, listen to the inner voice and do things that scare you, constantly building and becoming who you were destined to be.

I hope you fill your mind with thoughts that encourage, fill your path with everything that inspires you, rather than shuts you down. I hope you let your light grow and brighten everything that you touch. I hope you shine and live a life you’re so damn proud of. I hope you realize you have been, and always will be more than enough.