“We came in search of the sun, yet were met with midnight hour. We believe that beauty is only found when things are full. When the flowers have blossomed and the trees have borne their fruits.

We overlook the beauty in things when they are at their least. When they are in their growing phases. When their seeds are being planted and their soils don’t yet have any budding flowers to show. We reject the idea that beauty is found even in the mundane moments of life, that the night time can be glorious, too.”

Even in my darkness, I choose to be the moon. Even through my trauma, I choose to exist as love. Learning to honor myself this way has been a riddle of broken song and evening sorrow. I’ve spent nights with the blues filling my veins, but the journey is always worth the sight of seeing the sun rise come morning. And I have the joy of awakening to the view of that beauty everyday.

I am here to celebrate myself for who I am, and that is in every moment of my journey. That is through my light, through my darkness, through my joy, through my pain. The love that I hold for myself extends to the darkest crevices of my soul.

Even when I find myself in midnight’s hour, I still allow praise to flow from my lips in honor of who I am. Everyday I am learning. I am growing. I am rising. I am not perfect. I am rather yet a web of which I work to unravel daily, but I am in love with my existence.

I am a woman. I am a sun who may set, but still rises. And that is the beauty of my horizon. I welcome the entirety of my being to stretch across my skies. I have learned to extend gratitude to each piece of my soul because I know that I am deserving of this love in its fullest capacity.

We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes, thinking we must have everything put together and figured out. We don’t allow ourselves opportunities to learn from our imperfections because we get too focused on being without flaw.

“And yet I always say, the moon is beautiful, too.”

There is glory in it all. Your light., your darkness, every single piece that you hold. It’s all about finding balance and extending love to those corners of your soul that need it most. We have to learn to be gentle with ourselves in every moment. Through our sunrises, through our sunsets. Through the walk of our journey.

Unclench your fists. Take a deep breathe. Wrap your arms around your body, and love yourself for the way you dwell within this world.

In times of need for a gentle reminder, speak this over yourself:

“My body can coexist with the trauma it has experienced. My light can coexist with my darkness. My strengths can coexist with my weaknesses. My beauty can coexist with my flaws. It is all about finding balance. It is all about learning and growing. It is all about having room to rise. It is always about rising.”

Love yourself through your evenings as much as you love yourself in the wake of morning. Love yourself when you are down on your knees planting seeds and when you are waiting for your crop to harvest. Love yourself in the pauses and through the wait for the sunrise. Because every moment of the process is beautiful.

You deserve to be loved and to celebrate yourself. Honor yourself. Praise yourself. In every moment. In every sunrise, sunset, and in-between.

With each piece of heaven you hold, exist as a divine being. Continue rising. Continue finding your glory. Continue being.

With love, Mariah J.