Do you ever feel like this? Normal and happy and smiling on the outside, but on the inside you need love and a hug and some TLC?

Yeah me too. It’s quite exhausting actually.

There are certain locations where you have to put on a brave face and temporarily lock away the hurt and sadness. And that’s ok.

Some people aren’t supposed to see you like this: like the little child in the picture. They don’t have the privilege.

If you are lucky you have some people who see you at your worst. Tears streaming down your cheeks. Words tumbling out of your mouth like a waterfall.

These people are keepers. These are the real friends and family who deserve you.

People who dare to assume details of your life and cast judgement need to be weeded out. Shame on them.

Everyone has a story to tell. And you probably don’t know the whole story.

So don’t assume. Be kind.

And if you’re like me, just know you’re not alone.

Smile away. Laugh til your belly hurts.

But it’s still ok to cry once the doors are closed and the children are asleep and the curtains are drawn.

It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to cry until your eyes hurt. It’s ok to feel like no one else knows how you’re feeling. That’s normal. And it’s scary.

Life always has lessons to teach us. During the crying, we can release the sadness and pent up emotion.

But once the crying stops I try to release the negative thoughts and welcome the positive. The light. The happiness that I do have.

It is there. It’s just a choice to think about it or not.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I understand how hard it can be to pretend that you are happy when on the inside you are anything but.

I understand the feeling of being alone yet surrounded by people.

I understand the need for kindness and a true loving hug.