About once a year, I have these ridiculous (but amazing) epiphanies that come in the form of fables–I’m no Aesop, but these morals correspond with ever-growing pages of meandering tales. Each takeaway (a golden egg, if you will) has a story, I assure you, but hopefully you, the reader, can learn these lessons without having to read the books.

Or having to kill the goose.

feather and book

I’m learning (and I hope you can too)…

…how to give–and receive–a well-intentioned hug. Not just a one-armed back pat, but a real embrace.

…how to be kind to myself, even when the world around me isn’t.

…to ask for what I want, demand what I need, and how to have the grace to know the difference.

…to stop caring so much if someone has a negative opinion of me. (It’s actually a relief when hostile and hypercritical people dislike you–it means you’re doing something right.)

…how to let myself feel the love from those that want to give it, even when I don’t feel like offering it in return.

…that we are defined by what we allow to consume us, threaten us, and frighten us. On the flip side, we’re also defined by what we dream about, hope for, and aim to be.

…the best time to discern the genuine friends from the half-hearted ones is during a crisis.

…also to expect that sometimes the ones you need or love the most will disappear in your darkest hour. Not because they’re bad people, not because you’re too needy, simply because we’re all fighting our own battles, and sometimes adding someone else’s pain to our own is too much to bear.

…that loss is just a part of life. And it makes the gain that much sweeter.

…to let myself love, lose, cry, smile and rediscover.

…when getting what you want isn’t an option, wanting what you already have isn’t a bad alternative.

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