When you look in the mirror, I’m almost certain you’re seeing through old eyes. I hear you talking about the person who stares back, but she doesn’t sound anything like the woman I love.

You say she’s soft, she’s emotional, she’s too much.

You bite your tongue when you catch a glimpse of something worth loving.

You speak of her in a voice that belongs more to your wounds than your heart.

That false voice bestowed upon you against your will by decades of wounded soldiers, all marching blindly towards the light which will kill them without glory and without honor.

But when I look at you, I see someone much different than the person you’ve profiled.

When I see you, I think to myself, here’s a real human, with real life experiences, real wounds, real trauma, real pain, real struggle, real disappointment. And somehow, in spite of all that, she’s still so capable of love, so clear and clever and fluent in the language of the world, and so deeply in touch with God.

She’s messy – she’s a mess. But damn if she isn’t incredible.

You are a lot, my dear, but you will never be too much.

And let’s talk about your body. Your body is perfect, because it’s yours, and you’re still alive, and that’s it’s purpose. Your body is not here for the visual pleasure of a million and one people you’ll never know.

Your body is not here for the bliss unto which it delivers us in our love-making.

Your body is here to give life to the incredible event that is you, so that you can be love, give love and be loved.

Think about that – you are an unfathomable combination of systems and cells and electrical impulses, all conspiring for the sole purpose of creating space for your experience in a busy world.

What’s not to love. What about the miracle of you deserves even a shred of doubt?

Do not reproach yourself for the intensity of your fire.

Instead, be sure to stoke your coals such that not even the most torrential downpour can lay waste to your passion.

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