In a world of empty promises, broken hearts, and unsteady foundations, there is a doubt that whispers in the back of my mind. It is silent and unassuming, yet its message rings loud and clear. It says to me, “you are worthless”. This voice examines every flaw that is in me and shines a spotlight on each, making sure that I am aware of the devastating, broken, disgusting human being that I am.

The day I skip the gym and eat two slices of pizza, all I see are people’s stares, and I just know that they are wondering why this unattractive and overweight young woman has entered their line of sight. When my clothes aren’t name brand and are out of season, I grasp onto an assumed truth that I will never be able to run with the big dogs because my shoes are discount and not Louboutin. I do something to help others and the first thought that comes to my mind is how others could have served so much better. The voice in my head screams doubt and self-propagated “truths” about my inabilities, insecurities, and injustices. It pounds message after message into my brain to the extent where the purpose of my life is to not fail the lies I have created for myself that encompass an impossible standard of selfless perfection.

And I believe it.

Perhaps the easiest thing in the world is to believe the voice. We have all been guilty of listening, no matter who you are, where you are, or what you are. Regardless of profession, gender, or race, the voice consumes us. Rather than filling our shortcomings and voids with innovation and ambition, we seek to explain our shortfalls with emotions that come from a source of hate and failure.

This is a rocky road to nowhere. This voice that shoves an agenda of worthless identity is a lethal weapon, but it is one that can be deflected.

Friends, when the world tells you that you are inherently a victim, that you are not worthy of love, that you deserve to be beaten, that you are shattered beyond repair, or that you are worthless to the rest of the world, do not give in. There is a purpose for your life and a beauty you may not see yet. You may be shattered, but allow yourself to be picked up and pieced together even more perfectly. There is a beauty in being broken, being flawed, and being rebuilt. We as people are perishable items with an expiration date, and it is time to act as such.

Defy the voice that screams “failure”, and instead nurture a voice of a beautifully flawed, positive, and ambitious tone that inspires and motivates. Embrace the broken, messy aspects of life, love the souls that surround you, and understand that you are not worthless, but that you are instead choosing to live in a way that rejoices in the subtle perfection of flawed humanity.