Stay. Stay here with me. Stay at your most broken and your most vulnerable. Stay when you think leaving would be better.
Stay when every lungful is salt water instead of fresh air.
Remember the story of callouses. How they roughen and blister the skin, but they protect everything soft underneath from being hurt. Callouses are nothing to be ashamed of. They keep the body safe.
This will hurt. It already does. But stay. And in time, things will grow softer and you will learn how to protect them from all the pain in the world, from the days that are full of jagged black lines rather than smooth circles and easy shapes.
And forgive yourself. Please. Loving yourself isn’t anarchy. It’s forgiveness.
You are deserving of your own love first and foremost. The greatest love affair you’ll ever have is with the one person who knows your own body and soul the best, the one person who could walk through every cell of your bloodstream with eyes closed- you.
Fossils. Remember their story too. How they become buried underneath the earth, under soft dirt and shale and prehistoric remains, and they’re carried out into the light centuries later, as beautiful as they were in earlier times.
The way you feel right now is just the outer layer. Just the dirt, just the soil on top. Your happiness, your joy, is the fossil below.
So stay. Stay long enough for it to be uncovered and brought out into the world again.
Stay here with me.