BY BRIDGET RICHARDSON

You are respectable in ways others will not ever be.

Your eyes change color with the day like the light

filtering through the trees on a hot summer evening when the sun has gone to rest.

Many times you are too humble.

No apologies needed for your radiance.

No apologies strung together like cheap jewelry.

Take it off.

It never suited you.

I am telling you now,

your worth is not determined by the numbers people write on your pale skin.

Do not get them tattooed there forever.

Your worth is dictated by yourself.

It is held in your hands.

Spread your fingers as wide as they can go-

reach as far as you can.

Realize that those 10 fingers,

limber and lanky,

cannot hold all the woes you wish they could.

They can hold exactly what they need to,

not what you wish they could carry.

Stop trying to hold others’ pain when their open hands turn into fists.

It is not worth it.

Learn some self-love, my dear.

It is all you will ever need.

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