I know that smile. That fragile, beautiful smile that people always associate with you – the way your eyes crinkle, and your lips curve upwards, filling in your face with what they think is joy. I know what that smile hides beneath its veil – the night terrors, and the sleeplessness, the restless wandering of the broken pieces of your heart. I know it hides how you can never get out of your bed in the morning without deep breaths and a round of tears with your morning coffee. I know it hides all that you want to spill into a glass jar, lock it and throw it away in the ocean. I know it hides how much you hate that smile.
But I also know, you will not give up. That you still have some fight left in you. That despite your heart crushing under all that weight, you do what you have to do. Always.
That smile is born out of a kernel of courage smoldering inside you. It is forged from equal parts of hope and misery. And that smile drips love from your mouth in honeyed rivers. They might not see the flames in you, but I do. They only feel the heat of the fire inside you and are either scared or fascinated by it. Because, that smile makes you a wonder to the rest of them still fumbling with their phantasm of bliss, and their checklists of milestones. Because you are a marvel, a dazzling rose born from the scorching desert winds.
So, I ask you, to not give up. On love. On hope. On the fact that you are what the world needs right now. Smile. It makes you kind. And your kindness is a real breathing thing in a world full of smoke and mirrors.
Be kind to those who don’t yet understand. To that boy in your past. To those unkind, or lost. To those who love you no matter what. To the one who makes your soul sing. And most importantly, to yourself.
Be kind. Be kind.