If all you care about is what’s in it for you, there won’t be much in it for you. If all you care about is what other people think of you, people won’t think very highly of you.
What you care about has a powerful impact on the way your life unfolds. So instead of caring so much about what you think you need, put your energy into caring for all that you have.
You have life, and great possibilities, and other people with whom to enjoy it all. You have a universe filled with beauty and wonder, and the opportunity to create new meaning and value.
Give loving care, attention, gratitude and support to the abundance with which your world is filled. Take good care of the good things, and they will grow even more beneficial.
Give care, focused thought, attention and awareness to whatever you’re doing, and whatever you’re doing will bring meaningful, valuable results. Give your care to making a difference, and continually put that care into action.
Lift up life by caring for it. Give true care, and the rewards are immense.
— Ralph Marston
And most importantly: never forget to care for yourself. You are important and worthy of love. It’s okay to stop and take a breath. Look at yourself. Look into yourself. Just sit, quietly, and listen to your heartbeat. What matters is there. What’s right will find you if you are open and accepting of it.
I have lived with you,
now I must live without you,
until next we shine.
“Maybe that’s what life is about: there’s a lot of despair, but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same…something suspended, an elsewhere that had come to us, an always within never. I’ll be searching for those odd moments of always within never. Beauty in this world.”
Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”
~ Timothy Leary
Artist: Corina Chirila
I have no idea what’s happening here.
“I don’t need you to give up. I need you to learn… how to use your strength.”
This has been, in all honesty, the most trying year of my life, one I had many doubts I would make it through. Having lost love, friends, family, and faith in myself, I spent many months as a ghost—a soul that seemed without a spark. Self-hatred is an easy thing to learn, and having learned it from a young age, it simply seemed to me the most natural way of living. Since childhood my brain has entrenched itself with the workings of self-hate: for my weaknesses, my inability to change the things that mattered, being unable to help or keep those who mattered, my family and the people close to my heart; I did not believe in my own goodness, my own value, my own strength.
This is no longer the last day of the old me, but the first of the new.
Everyone needs to make a decision at some point – who to love, who to believe in, who to stay for, who to be strong for. I’ve chosen to live true to my heart. Having reached rock bottom, I at last stood face to face with myself in the depths of the abyss, and I chose to survive, to claw my way free of the dead skeleton inside me, to rekindle the light that has always been there, wavering as a candle flame, in the liquid of my every cell. Deciding to be better is easy. But getting there is another thing altogether. You have to want it. You have to want to sweep away what has ruined you, to acknowledge your own worth, to say goodbye to those who do not or will not understand you. You have to accept yourself, darkness and light combined. You have to love yourself. And you have to do it for you. No one else. Because you deserve better.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” Simple on the surface, but few understand. Few understand that once you truly accept yourself and your own worth—acknowledge the good you can and have done for others, forgive yourself for the unintentional hurts you have caused, take solace in the pure unadulterated truth that you are worth so much more than what most people have led you to believe—once this happens, no matter what pain you have endured, no matter what tears or heartbreak or addictions or suicide attempts, from there on you are stronger for it and you will accept nothing but the best. Nothing but what you deserve. Nothing but what you are worth. Nothing but.
It is easy to love people for their good qualities, for the things that make you smile, for little idiosyncrasies. It is not easy to love their darkness, their agony on a bad day, the hurts and abuses and decades of bitterness heaped on them through their childhoods and adolescence and early adult years. But that is what it means and takes to truly love someone. You need to accept who they are on a fundamental level, work on love day in and day out, accept there are days where you just won’t be on top form and neither will they. It takes time. It takes effort. Expect to make mistakes and apologies and experience bitterness and exhaustion and unhappiness.
Love is not easy. Love is not a fairy tale. Love is real, and real things take work. Loving yourself is no different from loving anybody else.
You need to learn from your mistakes and emerge better for them. You need to learn to forgive. You need to look at yourself over and over, look into your own heart and understand yourself, learn to accept the wisdom of what you find (no matter how frightening or upsetting) and forge onward despite the effort to take what has happened to you and what you have learned and apply it to forever being a better person. You need to work on yourself. Step deeply into yourself and confront the monsters in your heart, use the strength you gain from their defeat to emerge bathed in light, and discover what has kept you closed, what it means to accept and open.
Sometimes you have to experience true loss. Sometimes you have to step outside yourself as well, to look in on the person you have been, no matter how much you may hate it, in order to be better for it. Because then you will discover the person you were meant to be. The person you were born to be. The person who is, always, your heart. And nothing is lost as long as we can love.
You deserve to be able to stand tall and say unabashed openness: this is not what I deserve. This is not who I am. This is not what I want. I deserve better. I know who I am. I know what I am worth and I deserve what is pure and real and nothing less.
Loving yourself and any other is a decision you must consciously make, every single day, whether it glows with sun or is layered with rain. It is up to you to choose whether or not you should settle for less than you deserve, or to walk away from what is not right for you. It is up to you to decide who is really worth it, who is true to your soul, who you should stay for, and who you have to let go.
There is a reason I am made of dreams and chaos, love and hope, stars and fire. You need to recognize who you are, and what you are worth, and to never waver from that. Whoever truly understands you and loves you will stand with you, and those who don’t, do not deserve your light.
I want to thank everyone who has been true to me, who has stood by me and supported me through this hardest period of my life, my family, my friends, my psychotherapist, the people who love me, and myself, my own soul, everyone who has helped me navigate the maelstrom that makes me up and rediscover and finally accept with open arms the star at the heart of me. My name is Evan Russell Wynter. Here I am.
Here I am.
Here I am.
I am Evan Russell Wynter, made of dreams and chaos, love and hope, stars and fire. The world can take it or leave it.
I saw this image when I was a kid. The photograph of Jupiter taken by NASA’s Voyager. Beautiful; but nothing special until shown in rapid succession. Suddenly Jupiter was alive, breathing. I was hypnotised.