pay attention to the world.

you may see hard things.
you may see beautiful things.

every picture that’s been painted was inspired by something real.
to opt out
and view only part
of the picture would be a disservice to you,

and in turn,

the world.

because you see things in a way no one else can.
the flowers are a color only you know.
the notes can’t be played the way you play them.
the words are yours to string together,
and they can be spoken a million times,
but only you know the way to speak your voice.

and isn’t it beautiful?

you hold infinite creativity just by being.
someone may hand you the paint, but you get to design the canvas.
someone can teach you how to dress, but style is all your own.
we can show you how to walk, but the path is yours to create.
and no one’s feet have travelled the way yours have.

what lives in your heart has only been created once.
a thousand year old song,
vibrating through lifetimes.
sung in the voice you own,
the one that exists only in you.

“if everyone is special, doesn’t that mean no one is?”

but two candles do not cancel each other out.
life is more poetic than that.
we light up rooms together.

show the world who you are.

we are waiting for you.
the invitation is here.
take my hand, we can do this,

we will see hard things.
the scary things.
politics, religion, murder, thievery, and chaos.
love, rescue, redemption, peace, chaos.

heavy and light.

in order to see the rescue of a child,
you must see that they are enslaved.

in order to see the response team,
you must see the crisis of a hurricane in Puerto Rico.

in order to see kids holding town meetings,
you must see the headlines of school shootings.

in order to see clean water getting delivered,
you must see the grief of Flint, Michigan.

light and dark coexist.
there is not one without the other.
while it is hard to face the pain,
unbearable, even,
we have to keep our eyes open to the bad,

so we can see the beauty in ashes.
through cracked sidewalks, grass still grows.
life may be easier through rose colored glasses,
but what about the sunflowers?
and what about the ocean?
the color of a lover’s eyes,
the storm rolling in over a mountainside.
a sunset through the hills,
a sunrise worth waking up for.
if those things were rose colored,

wouldn’t life be so boring?

each of those things are so perfectly styled,
infinitely unique.
just like you. just like me.

the flower doesn’t try to change to be our favorite,
it just exists in a field and blooms for itself.

pay attention to the world.
the heavy. the light. the sunflowers. the chaos.

you will find it strenuous,
it is better shared.
see the demons your friend carries,
remember the spark in their smile.
the world was meant for technicolor,
for the shadows that allow relief on a summer day,
contradictions that pair perfectly.

life is not a play. you have no understudy.
no one else can play your part.
did you catch that?
we need you here.
no replacements.

you are the missing piece in this place.
whatever dreams are in your heart are there for a reason.
the song you can’t stop singing must be true.
the whisper telling you to do the impossible.

there may be cages to break,
walls that have to come down.
fires to walk through,
wilderness to search.
it is worth every price you pay,
to find the soul within.

you are already free.

so shake off the devil on your shoulder.
and show us what you are made of.
the darkness will never overtake the light.
so do not be afraid of yours any longer.

pay attention to the world.

the beauty is undeniable even in the shadows.
undeniable in you.

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