No one knew behind those wandering eyes was a soul that felt lost. Depressed. Starring at the camera, you longed to be seen—not the kind of being seen simply as in being physically present but being truly seen for who you are. As if you were seeking a place to call home. As if you were trying to hold onto a past that no longer served any good but an anchor for you to return to. As if you were searching for a sign that could reassure you—no, convince you—that you were enough, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel as they said, that there was more than just suffering in life, that someone would just get you.
Little did you know one day you would eventually show up and become that sign for yourself.
You feel yourself breathing in and out quietly—such lightness in the soul you never felt before. Carrying no baggage. Free from the invisible force inside your head that used to hold you back. You now know why you had to go through so much. You long to be seen—and finally, you now see you. You now know you are enough. You now know what it takes to be enlightened. You now know that you have learned your lessons and passed the tests that life offers you. There will be more to come, but you’re a lot more prepared now. You choose to go through pain. Why would you even? Because it is growing pain. You wouldn’t know for sure what kind of person you’d grow into this time next year but you know you’ll do better. You’ll be better. And through all these pains, gently, you smile.
The world can often seem bleak and sometimes it can be hard to find beauty in it, but you are able to do that by internalizing your values and externalizing your authentic self. Your perspective is where you find your magic—you choose to perceive difficult scenarios in new ways while embracing that humanness in yourself; and only when you embrace that humanness in yourself can you truly treat others like humans, like how we’d like to be treated despite our shortcomings, like they’re one of us despite our differences in social status, race, culture, gender, nationality, religion, or political stand. You enjoy being a human—flaws and all, but that’s also exactly where the beauty lies: the kind of deep, genuine human connection through our flaws and all.
Give more, if you can. Not"even if it’s going to be a challenging year ahead" but "especially because it’s going to be a challenging year ahead." Be unreasonably giving and caring for others this year. It doesn’t have to be any sort of materialistic matter but it can be as fundamental and powerful as love, kindness, and compassion. Be that person for yourself, too. Choose not to hurt others when you are hurt but help others heal even when you are hurt. Your pain is not what should hold you back. Your pain is your engine—not only to heal others but also yourself.
You’re no longer seeking the next epic thing. It’s not about taking as many trips away or seeking constant mental stimulations but taking the myriad trips within. They cost nothing and are the most epic trips—those for ones who seek enlightenment and freedom of the soul. Home is where you are with yourself. Listen to your voice and be selective with others’. It’s not about buying more stuff or doing more things or meeting more people but about exploring the depths of the experience or the person you meet.
It’s not just about knowing who you are or creating who you will become but also about understanding and accepting who you used to be. Forgive yourself. Face it and honor that version of you. It explains a lot about why you are where you are now and offers hints to solve most of the challenges you have to overcome. But you do need to let go of the past. You don’t need it for your anchor—your integrity is. Surrender is how you return to your truest self. Surrender is how you regain your power.
It’s about staying connected, starting with yourself first. Build your tribes—not the ones for your ego but the ones for your soul. The ones that choose to be by your side not only when you’re at your best but also at your worst. The ones who will reach out to you when you suddenly go silent. The ones who will 'annoyingly' continue checking on you even when you tell them you’re fine. The ones who don’t need you to prove that you’re worthy of love—the ones who choose you because you are love. And my dear, you will only find them by being that kind of person for others, too.
But so what if 2023 doesn't turn out to be what you have hoped for? So what if you fail to live up to the expectations that others have for you or those that you set for yourself? So what if you still end up feeling depressed? At the end of the day, you’re a human. Congratulations, you have feelings. But you are free from toxic positivity. You can redirect and get yourself back on track. Please. Please remember that it is only one dark episode in the many seasons of your life series. Be kind to yourself. Share your pain. Ask for help. Depression can be overcome. Write your own version of a happy ending and you will have it. You see yourself. You are not lost. You are seen. You are here for yourself. You are with yourself.
You are home now.