“Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made, or by dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.”
Alan Cohen

“I was neurotic for years. I was anxious and depressed and selfish. Everyone kept telling me to change. I resented them and I agreed with them, and I wanted to change, but simply couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried. Then one day someone said to me, “Don’t change. I love you just as you are.” Those words were music to my ears: “Don’t change, Don’t change. Don’t change … I love you as you are.” I relaxed. I came alive. And suddenly I changed!”
Anthony de Mello

I know everyone says this, but this weekend made me realize again how incredibly blessed I am to have the friends that I do. Being surrounded and celebrated by them on my birthday was absolutely wonderful. They’re the kind of friends who constantly show me how much they value and love me, and I’m never left in the dark with them. They’re the kind of friends who accept me for all that I am, who tell me it’s okay if I’m not okay, who I never feel judged by. They’re the kind of friends who remind me all the time that I am beautiful and strong, even when I fail to see it in myself (and that’s a lot of the time!). They’re the kind of friends who, no matter how far or how long it’s been, we are still close like brothers and sisters, and nothing can break our bond.

I hope with all of my heart you have friends like this, and I hope that you will be inspired to be that kind of friend to someone too – after all, you can save their life like my friends saved mine.

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Image via Shannon Lee Miller