The Strength of the Sunflowers

To my saddened town, my hurting friends, and those in the shadows,

Losing someone to suicide cuts deep. It’s a jagged knife through a soft heart, undeserving and overwhelming. I know you’re bleeding out.

Everything changes now. You count out too many plates at dinner and then you lose your appetite because who can eat after this? You hear the door handle twist open and you picture their face, tears well up in your eyes when it’s not them. Graduation comes, and all their friends put on their caps, they walk single file towards their future, a future without their friend.

The days turn into weeks the weeks turn into months and you get further and further from the last time you saw them.

But here’s what happens, you never forget them. Their voice will ring in your head in all the right moments. Their laugh will echo in your dreams. Their name will be on a street sign as you drive through a town you’ve never been to. Their life will go on, through yours.

Look for them, they’re always around. Their picture falls in the hall as you pass by. Their dream car pulls up beside you at the stoplight. The song they sang till their lungs filled with laughter comes on the radio as you drive by their little league field.

You’ll feel them when their spirit stops by, keep your eyes open let it hurt, change, and heal you. You won’t want to miss any of it. They’re not gone. They’ll never be gone. Not as long as they have you.

And to you, the one who’s feeling like it’s too hard, like this life isn’t worth the struggle.

It is.

They say it all the time, things won’t always be like this. It’s true. The anxiety you feel about the future is tricking you into thinking you won’t make it, you will. The fear you have about asking for help is tricking you into thinking nobody cares. We do. The hate you have for your life is tricking you into thinking it would be better to just give up. It won’t.

You need to have hope. I hope you find the strength to stay. Not for your parents, not for your friends, for you. The you that will rock someone’s world. The you that will grow up change and build a life. The you that will bring something valuable to the table. The you that will make someone’s heart feel whole. The you that won’t always feel this way.

I know you’ll find love that fills you from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. I know you’ll fall into friendships that will pump your heart with so much love, that it will feel like it’s bursting in your chest. I know you’ll be happy in a life you built from a struggle you survived.

I hope you can be someone for someone.

I hope you can hold steady through the storm.

I hope this life goes easy on you, and I hope when it doesn’t that you can find strength in the sunflowers.

All my love, S

The Protection of Peace

It took me almost 20 years to create a space for myself in this world. I was chained to a bleeding heart and a need to have a tidy little life. I was unable to use the word No and I made sure I reacted to EVERYTHING.

For me, I felt that not reacting to things would leave loose ends in my life. I thought people needed to see and hear how I felt for them to get me. The truth is, they don’t need to get me…or know me. Now, as things get messier and people’s true colors are displayed on the canvas of life, I’ve come to realize not everyone deserves a reaction. Not every situation needs an attached feeling. Sometimes things just are what they are, and they can’t be changed.

I’m a HUGE believer in the concept of karma. The idea that what you put into the world is often what you get out of it is so appealing because, it means that regardless of the turmoil around you, if you create peace you will receive it. You don’t have to make every feeling known and you don’t have to explain yourself to everyone. Some pictures are better left unpainted.

Sometimes, we get stuck in situations that don’t reflect our own karma, and this, is because the universe is testing you. We can’t control the things that happen to us, or the things people say to us, but we can control our reaction to it. Your karma comes from how you react to situations. Do you scream and yell? Or do you create a solution? That solution can be anything from resolving a situation, to just straight up blocking someone from all aspects of your life. When a person finds a way to infiltrate your peace, it’s your job to suppress their influence.

I reacted to situations in ways that made me nasty. So, I stopped reacting. I channeled that energy into laughing with my friends and telling someone I love them. Sometimes in your most negative moments you just have to completely change your focus. Drop the entire situation, text your friend that you appreciate them, take any opportunity you have to erase a bad feeling and fill it with kindness. Maybe not kindness toward a person or situation that bothers you, but kindness toward something. Take that energy that you would have put into the world in bad taste and reverse the whole idea. Drop the black paint and pick up yellow. Start painting your life with love, in bright colors.

You never need to defend your existence to anyone, especially those who aren’t even capable of stabilizing their own. People will do their best to step into your life and make space for themselves. They’ll take up room in your thoughts and will fight to make sure you hear them in the moments where they couldn’t be more wrong. Looking out for your own peace will make it possible for others to understand how they’re disturbing their own, by trying to uproot yours.

My life has tested me in the most extreme ways and because of that, there are so many negative things that can’t reach me. I’ve found that lately my peace is almost untouchable. I know who I am. I am a fierce friend, and an even fiercer opponent. My heart is soft but selective. My circle is small but strong. And thanks to these qualities, my peace is safe and sound.

I made my life my art and painted yellow with a wide brush over everything. I’ve learned not everyone deserves to be a part of your picture, in any form. Not in darkness and not in light. You can exist on your own wavelength while they exist on theirs. Parallel lines that never touch.

Make your peace your prerogative. Take control of your canvas. And paint your life in colors that complement each other.

xS