By Rachel Royster | Copy Desk Chief
Mental health is a struggle at some point in time for everyone, and for some reason, I felt for sure that I was exempt. Surprise surprise, no matter how much confidence or strength I like to believe I hold myself with, I’m definitely not an exception.
Recently, I’ve been struggling a lot with my overall mentality. It mostly stemmed from the deep dark hole of counting calories, whether I was eating food or working out on a machine, all I ever saw the number, forever raising and lowering.
This habit was something I got lost in only for a couple of months, but it affected everything I did. The dread and guilt of eating, the never-ending ambition to compete with the number on a screen and the hefty toll it took on the way I looked at myself.
A few days ago, I opened up to my closest friends about the losing battle I was fighting with myself. They reminded me of this speech I always gave to them when all they could focus on was whatever flaw they thought they had, and they insisted that all that was holding me back was flipping a switch in my mentality.
This is that speech they now never let me forget to give myself when I feel down:
You are the world.
You have thousands upon thousands of features that add up to all of the wonderful things that define who you are. Every year, on your birthday, family and friends call you, text you or post pictures on their social media with words of endearment and pictures of meaningful times you’ve shared together. In the same way, on Earth Day, your feed is flooded with people reminiscing of good times they’ve had out enjoying nature.
Every detail of nature is a part of what makes the world so beautiful; every detail of you makes you the person the people around you love.
The oak trees bathed in sunlight parallel the warmth and comfort your best friend is filled with when they open up to you about the troubles they are facing. The mountains capped in snow are every tribulation you’ve conquered and the lesson you’ve learned to prove it. The clouds floating above are the words of encouragement you’ve given to your teammates, companions or even yourself when things get tough. There are millions of features on the Earth that symbolize the features that create the beautiful person you are.
Yet for some reason, you always come back to that one flaw. That one thought that nags at you saying, “You’re not enough. You couldn’t possibly be loved by them. You should hide that part of you.”
That flaw that you consider Earth-shattering is equivalent to a grain of sand. Tell me: who goes to the beach and ignores the waves crashing and the beautiful shells that speckle the dunes under the sun just to stare at one tiny piece of sand? If you watched someone at the beach do that, you’d think them crazy.
So why is that all you do? Why is that what you’re focused on? Look up at the beauty of the full earth and embrace that that grain of sand is a necessity which helps make up the sand that warms your toes as you walk towards the water.
More than that, look at all the different aspects of nature that make the Earth so mesmerizing and realize that so many people around you are completely mesmerized by the things you say and do, because you are a work of art.
So next time you find yourself staring at your one grain of sand, look up and enjoy the view.