To the Girl:

The one on Facebook who catches all the articles titled, “To the Girl…” The one who needs validation for how she feels, for the journey she is on, for the ashes from which she rose. The girl who may feel all alone, but isn’t. The one in her head, silently screaming. The one they call “crazy,” the one who dares not stop dreaming. The one who knows that over the disorienting and desolate hills and unforgiving terrain resides a land of paradise. To the girl that feels misunderstood, unappreciated, less than, not enough, and looked over:
You accept the love you think you deserve.
But you won’t hear that now. And that is ok. You aren’t ready.
For now, maybe you need to hear he/she was a narcissist, manipulative, took you for granted. Maybe you need to hear you’ve been changed and love no longer means the same thing as it used to.
But that’s because you know more about yourself than you ever have. That’s because you understand more about the things that threaten your self-worth and what you’re willing to tolerate – and not tolerate.
Did you hear what I said?
You understand more about what YOU are willing to tolerate and not tolerate. Before, you made excuses for others. You thought it was a reflection of how deeply you loved but it was only a reflection of how shallow your roots were within yourself. You were easily uprooted.
With every heartbreak, your roots grow deeper. With every tear, your intuition strengthens. You accept the love you think you deserve.

Picture by Leslie Hand Photography

To the girl with a painful past:
Know yourself
Know your worth
Deepen your roots
Straighten your crown
Love hard
But love yourself FIRST
Love unforgivingly
Be nice to yourself
Stop apologizing
Get comfortable with saying, “that’s just what it is right now,” and be ok with just being ok
Romance? Don’t settle. Give them hell. If they like you – if they’re worth your time – they’ll fight for you
Do NOT settle
Give. Them. Hell
Do not compromise
In all things, respect yourself
By respecting others
Do all the things you “couldn’t” (wouldn’t) do before because you were afraid of not feeling accepted
If they’re worth it, they’ll accept you
Stand up tall
Speak clearly
Be bold
You do not need to be saved or shielded or comforted or fixed
By somebody else
Do those yourself and give that right and responsibility to nobody else
Be your own knight in shining armor
Take back your power
Straighten your crown
Love yourself
To the girl who has forgotten or never knew:
Everything you desire is within yourself. Dive in hard and go find it. You got this.

About the Author:

Leslie Hand is a mother and photographer of the Golden Isles. She is also a registered nurse who enjoys writing in her free time. Leslie has been writing since she was 7 years old.