While you are waiting

While you are waiting, you are not merely waiting. You are growing in your capacity to receive what was meant for you in the right timing. You are growing in your capacity to learn what you need to go in order to prepare you for where you need to go. There will be moments, days, or entire seasons of your lives where you feel like your time is being wasted. You will feel the weight of the stagnant waters swarming around your ankles that keep you from moving forward. But I promise you, no matter the progress you have not been able to see, something more is happening. Beneath the surface, you are still growing, and being prepared for where you need to be.

And perhaps it will be here in the waiting

you begin to see:

you are not just growing

for the sake of growing

but you are growing

in your capacity

to receive:

the wisdom

the courage

and the grace you need

to live in the present moment

and be strengthened

for future things.

Perhaps this time within the waiting

is creating the space you need

to learn what you need to learn

to arrive where you are meant to be.

Think about where you were five years ago. Think about how you did not know you would make it through all the things you made it through, and how, when it seemed like nothing was happening in your life, and you were just waiting, you still grew. You still rose above. You still make it through. And even though you cannot see it, you are still growing in this season, too.

I cannot tell you how long you will have to wait, but I can tell you that you are being prepared for what's to come breath by breath, day by day. I can tell you that in this present moment, you are still free to trust that beneath the layers of doubt, worry, and fear, something beautiful is blooming here. And even though you cannot see it, that does not mean it is not real.

So open the morning windows

and let The Light pour in.

Receive this beautiful truth:

Yesterday Was Not The End.

Yes, you are still waiting,

but you have made it another day.

There is so much that lies before you

and you are still well on your way.

Sincerely,
Morgan Harper Nichols

Note: Morgan is currently on maternity leave for the next few weeks so responses to messages, comments, and emails may be a little slower! However, you will still see new scheduled posts here, and also via her daily email, daily text, and her iPhone app. Find links to everything right on the front page of her website: MorganHarperNichols.com

I hope something beautiful happens for you

After everything you have been through, I hope something beautiful happens for you.

I hope that you wake up someday soon and see that after all this time, the wait was truly worth it. I hope your heart is open to the unexpected, and the possibilities of what might be, even though you are currently facing an endless amount of uncertainty.

May this be the season of hope...unbridled, audacious hope that you feel deep down in your bones. Even when it doesn't make sense. Even when it feels childish, naive, or too innocent. I hope you can still believe in The Maybe, The What If, and My-Time-Has-Not-Been-Wasted. I hope you can believe in redemption. Possibility. And what you thought could only ever be a dream.

After everything you have been through, I hope something beautiful happens for you.

Because so many years have gone by and you did not know you would have to wait this long. You did not know you would to be this strong and so many holidays and birthdays would sweep by you like winter winds. But every morning after you woke up after one of those days was a sign of your strength. Every breath that left your lungs, every laugh that filled your belly, and every song that graced your lips...all of it...absolutely all of it was a sign of your strength.

After everything you have been through, I hope something beautiful happens for you. I hope you look back on this season in awe of the unexpected, seeing how so much came together in ways you never thought it could. Because somehow, through it all, life still managed to be good. Meaningful moments still fell in place when there was so many things unknown.

I hope you continue to find a life worth living right here in the present moment, with a heart wide open and ready to receive the possibility of what you could be. I hope you find that the wait was not for nothing and all of it was preparing you for something, and that even though you have been here so long, not a stage of your growth has been missed.

Sincerely,

Morgan Harper Nichols

_

Note: Morgan is currently on maternity leave for the next few weeks so responses to messages, comments, and emails may be a little slower! However, you will still see new scheduled posts here, and also via her daily email, daily text, and her iPhone app. Find links to everything right on the front page of her website: MorganHarperNichols.com

You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still, and rest.

If there are days where you feel

your body is too tired

to fill the room with laughter

and good stories

in the way

your heart wants to,

it is okay

to not be

all you feel

you have to be

for everyone,

and to focus on breathing,

and being,

knowing that even when you are quieter

and your smile comes a little slower

you are not empty.

you are not any less significant.

You are a traveler on a journey

who is simply in need

of rest

in the arms of the kind of peace

where she is free

to just be.

You are worth the quiet moment.

You are worth the deeper breath.

You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still, and rest.

There are times where you need to hit the ground running and there are also times where you need to rest. You have spent over a decade of your life trying to keep up with the pace of everyone else, making intentional times to set goals to aim higher, to go further...but tell me, how much intentional time have you given to rest? To breathe deep, even when there are things to do, and realize that every single part of you needs to slow down and just be for a while? Your body needs it. Your heart needs it. Your mind definitely needs it. I know you feel like knowing it all and doing it all is what’s being asked of you, but I promise you, even then, you have to slow down and take care of yourself. Not everything has to be figured out tonight. Not every list has to be punched through this week. Prioritize. Minimize. Realize: You are not selfish for doing this. You do not have to be productive every moment. Yes, you are a hard worker, and yes, you are “giving your all,” but may never forget to give your all to rest, too. You need it. You really do. Tomorrow will come when it comes. The future will be here when it is meant to be here. But for now, you are here...and you are free to rest in this space.

- Morgan Harper Nichols

what was meant for you

You have known what it means to be the second choice...and I hope you also know what it means to step into the Light and know that you are worthy of love just as you are...and more than you were meant to be ‘chosen’ by someone, you were meant to be who you were meant to be, and whoever sees the Light within you, has noticed a beautiful thing.

I know you desire to know love, but I just hope you know that you don’t have to wait around for it. I just hope you know you don’t have to wait to be noticed or chosen by someone in order to feel beautiful or to know that Light is shining through you. There will be people who see you for who you truly are and there will also be people who are too busy or preoccupied or just don’t have the time. But their lack of ability to see you is not a reflection of you or your worth. The state they are in will not hinder you from being led where you need to be, no matter how well you know them or how connected you feel to them. You will still bloom in the way you were meant to, no matter who does or does not notice you.

You are still allowed to believe in what is greater than you, and what is beyond you, no matter the times you have been rejected, betrayed, or letdown. You are still allowed to live a meaningful life even if the love you have to give was not returned.

You may have moments where you feel the sorrow of what happened all over again, but even then, you are still free to believe: things won’t always be this way.

And even when you believe that there is a greater plan, it is okay to lift your hands in surrender, and exhale: “I do not understand,” while still believing in the depth of your soul, that everything will come together in the way it is meant to.

Continue to lean into endless, boundless peace...let it shine over your unsettled thoughts, and remind you, you are still free to breathe here, as you wait for you what’s to come.

Because I promise you, there is more to come. As long as you here, there is more to come. And your future might not look exactly how you thought it would, but perhaps it will be even better. Perhaps in the same way you have been surprised by Light in the past, there is still time for you to be surprised in the future. And maybe you will find that some of the things you hoped for were only a hint in the direction of what was actually truly meant for you.

Sincerely,

Morgan Harper Nichols

 

There is more to come

It is hard to let go of the way things were, but you are going to find new rhythms. You are going to make new memories. You are going to have new experiences that will be nothing like the old ones and that is okay. This is a part of change. And in time, you will begin to see that change was necessary, and perhaps it can even be beautiful.

Hold onto your memories while also knowing these present moments will soon be memories too. Cherish them. They may not seem like much, but years from now, they will mean more than you realize right now. Years from now, you will be so glad you chose to make the most of where you are right now, even in the moments where you were missing the way things were. You will be glad you chose to see that even in the sorrow of what would never be again, there was still this childlike wonder to go chasing where Light poured in.

And even when you are learning to be present in the moment, you do not have to be afraid to cherish what was. Moving on is hard. Starting over is hard. But you don’t have to brush over these feelings because you think that you have to “grow up” or have this figured out by now. You are allowed to slow down and express gratitude for what was, while also actively living with the hope that there is still much more to come.

Things are going to be different here. They are absolutely going to be different here. Allow yourself to believe that "different" can also be beautiful. You can still learn what you were meant to learn, grow the way you were meant to grow, and meet the people you were meant to be. As long as you are still living, there is still time for you to have a meaningful life beyond what you have been expecting.

Sincerely,

Morgan Harper Nichols

As always, this was written for the one who sent me their story. 💌DMS are open. Stories are kept private, and I always send you what I created for you before sharing it elsewhere.

You are free to start anew

I hope the best for you.

I hope that in these raging seas

you can still know you are worthy

of finding your way safely to shore.

Because after all you have been through 

you are worthy of more:

more peace

gentleness

Love

Light,

more grace to know

here in the chaos,

you can still be alright,

and you are free

to start anew

no matter what lies

behind you.


So perhaps this could be the season for starting over. Even in the most subtle ways, maybe this is where you begin to welcome change...change that reminds you what it means to brave, to step out into the unknown, without knowing what tomorrow holds. And to pay attention, pay dear attention, to the matters of your heart, knowing you do not have to have everything all sorted out before you see today as a brand new start. 


And you might just have to take the leap. You might just have to choose to see: where you are headed next is going to be filled with uncertainty. There will be highs and lows. There is will be new unknowns. And there will also be a thousand opportunities to learn and to grow. And you will look back and realize that even when you were afraid, you chose to brave. You chose to open your heart to the possibility of what you were meant to learn each day. 


And from one season to the next,

you learned to embrace the process

with a heart set on distant shores

in pursuit of something more.


Keep looking where the Light pours in. Keep choosing to believe that things do not have to come together perfectly in order for you to experience peace. Make decisions that lead to growth. Make decisions that remind you that life can be meaningful and valuable even though it is far from perfect. Because things are going to get better. You are going to heal in the way you were meant to. Even in the chaos of it all there will be a billion little ways that endless Light will continue to find you. This does not mean the road ahead will be easy. You might still have to face that vast ocean of unknowns again. But Light will still pour in. You will still be free to take it day by day. You will still be on your journey. You will be wrapped in grace.

Sincerely,

Morgan Harper Nichols

You have not seen all there is to see

The uncertainty is overwhelming, and it leaves you with more questions than answers. It makes you wonder if you are headed in the right direction. It makes you wonder if you should be trying to push forward a little more, or if you should learn to be a little more still. There’s all this back and forth, to and fro, like waves tossing over one another in a tireless sea.

But for all that has changed, and all that has stayed the same, for every mixed feeling, and all the words that went unsaid, you are still being led into the arms of boundless peace...allowing you to rest, breathe deep, take heart, and keep going.

For in all that is missing, you do not have to miss out on the opportunity to have hope...to have hope that: you have not seen everything you were meant to see. You have not met everyone you were meant to meet. You have not done all the things you were meant to do. You have not traveled to all the places you were meant to travel to. You have seen a lot of the ocean, but there are still further depths. Take heart, breathe deep. You are far from finished yet.

Let this be the kind of hope and anticipation your soul clings to. More than you worry if the future will meet your expectations, trust that what waits in the future will go beyond what you were expecting. And not because everything will come together perfectly in the years to come, but because you chose to cultivate joy and peace in daily life, season into season, amidst your deepest doubts. You chose to believe that deeper than your doubts, was an even deeper grace, where you were allowed to walk through what you were feeling and still be led where you were meant to be.

May this beautiful truth bring you peace. May it bring comfort and wellness to your soul, amidst all of the things that are out of your control. You may not be where you thought you would be, but you are gathering the strength and courage you need to carry on for the rest of the journey. Even in your wandering. Even in your waiting. – MHN

Written for the one who sent me their story. DMS are open. Stories are kept private, and I always send you what I created for you before sharing it elsewhere.

When it's so hard to make sense of it

For anyone grieving today:

Here are two poems I sent out today to those who are grieving the loss of their mothers:

1

As the days go on

it is hard to see how hope

could go on, too…

for even though

the Light pours through,

she meant so much to you,

and there is just no way of knowing

how things will look from here.

And I just hope you know

it is okay

to take this one breath at a time,

to reflect on the little things she liked,

and how she would be

so proud of you,

for after everything

you have been through,

you are carrying her strength within you

you are carrying her wisdom, hope, and courage

and you are free to tell that story.

It is so hard to make sense of this

but the beautiful thing is,

you do not have to,

you are free to slow down

in the uncertainty

and let endless grace

come find you.

Grace:

unmerited favor

that meets you where you are,

even when the world feels lonelier

even with a broken heart,

in all that has changed,

you will be found, anyway

by grace-filled peace

that lets you take this

day by day.

2

For some time,

certain memories

might feel a little delicate,

difficult to hold close

because you know they will never

be again,

and I hope

that it is then,

amidst the heart ache,

you remember just how

special she is,

and how she had a way

of drawing the Light in

in the most unexpected ways.

And things will never be the same.

You know that all too well,

but I hope you are able to hold onto

the beautiful stories you have to tell.

For even though a year has passed,

somehow, Love did last,

and you are free to hold on

to what was,

though you do not know

what is to come.

And though

your memories

feel so delicate,

they are yours

to hold onto

forever,

they are a part of

what you had with her,

and what will always

bind you together.

When you whispered the words,

“I am going to be okay”

you did not know

what you were signing up for,

but you had this inner-knowing

that Light was drawing you in

even here, on this side of heaven,

where things would never be the same

but somehow, you would still find peace,

and you would find the air to breathe

in the wild of changing things.

__

And to my mom @mamamonaharper: Happy Birthday. You taught me what it means to be mindful of others who are grieving, even when celebrating. Grateful for your heart.

Living mindfully in the present

It is possible to wait hopefully for the future while choosing to live mindfully in the present. It is okay to wonder about what’s ahead without letting it consume your mind in the space you’re in right now. Everything may not be going according to plan, but today is still at hand...you are still being invited to learn here, to grow here, and to be shaped for what’s to come. You only have this moment, and I know you have heard that a hundred times, but you have also experienced worry a thousand times, and it is time to see that there is so much more to living. There is so much more to the waiting than simply worrying about the future. Make the choice to live mindfully here. Do one thing at a time. Drive or ride to work without music and listen to the music of your surroundings. Take a five minute break to just breathe without looking at a screen. Pay attention to the flavors and textures in your next meal and be grateful your body is getting the nourishment it needs.

I know you think about the future and the things you have to take care of in order to get there, but you must first learn to take care of yourself. Inhale. Exhale. Laugh. Relax. Sleep. Read encouraging words. Listen to encouraging music. Surround yourself with likeminded people. Do whatever you have to do to live mindfully, right here, in the present moment. And before you know it, you will have lived through a thousand present moments. You will realize that you’re in the moment from the future that you used to worry so much about. And your ability to live in the present will have only strengthened as you continue to wait hopefully for what’s to come.

11 year old you would be so proud of you

11-year-old you would be so proud of you. She would be so proud that after everything you had been through, you were brave, anyway. And you kept trusting in the process even when you were afraid. And even though there are so many things you have yet figure out, you still chose to do your best with you what had, right here, in the now. I know it is so hard to see, but she would be so proud. 11-year old you would be so proud.

So keep telling your story. Keep living your story. I know you feel so far away from where you thought you would be, but you have come so far, and it is entirely worth to have gratitude for where you are. Somewhere in the world there’s someone half your age who would be so grateful to be where you are today. She wouldn’t look at you the way you look at yourself. She would see a woman who has overcome so much just be where she is, and despite all that fell apart, she is an example of grace and strength.

I don’t know how you see yourself today, but I just hope you know you matter. Your progress matters. Your story matters. And no matter what someone has told you or what you have been made to feel, you can be proud of your progress. You can celebrate how you have come. You are allowed to tell your story even though it is not finished yet.

_

DMs are open

Everything you see here was written with real stories in mind. People submit via my website and I write for them. I send it to them first before sharing it anywhere else. All the stories and names are kept private.

Last night, I asked people to send their names via DM and I would write their names, along with a short poem/line. Writing is therapeutic for me, and I also enjoy getting to “know” the people behind the likes and  following count. Doing this reminded me of how much I missed reading the stories in my DM! Even though it makes more sense logistically to submit via my website form, I have decided to “Re-Open” the DMs in addition to my site. I will still randomly select people from the form, but now, also my DMs. You can send / resend a full story or just “I just need an encouraging reminder.”

I have always been inspired by real stories. Thanks for the privilege of creating with you in mind. MHN

Worth waiting for

You long to be in a place

where you are no longer

having to wait for this,

where you are finally able to be free

from the worry

of what might never happen.


And on the outside,

you know you are growing,

you can see that things are changing,

day by day, year by year.


but on the inside,

there is this struggle

where you feel

you are knee deep

in stagnant waters

and even when the sun shines in

it does not seem

to shine on you,

and you feel the weight of gravity

as it takes its toll on you.


I hope that this could be the place

where you slowly begin to believe

that it is still okay to hope

and to trust

for better things.

And it will start

with the little things,

such as realizing

the beauty

of all that you are worth

without the things

you long to have,

and whatever you do receive

will only be able to add

to who you already are,

and who you are already

becoming.


So tread slowly

in these stagnant waters,

there is no need to rush here.

And please do not be hard on yourself

for all that has not fallen into place.

This world is hard enough,

and even then, you are free to know grace.


You may feel lonely,

but you are not alone

you may feel empty,

but you are whole

And in time,

you will surely meet

who you were meant to meet.

You will travel to the places

that you were meant to see.

And you will look back on this season

and be grateful

that you learned to see the value

in the smallest things,

for all of it prepared you

for where you were meant to be:

on grace and hope-filled journey,

lined in endless Light

where even in the waiting,

you learned to be alright.
You learned to believe

more was coming

and you had not seen everything yet

and though it took longer than expected,

it was all worth waiting for,

and you found that you,

yes, you,

were still worth the journey,

no matter how long it took,

or times you were overlooked,

hope was still stirring within,

and not a moment of your life was wasted.

– Morgan Harper Nichols

New Shop Name! / Garden24: Always Growing

There is a reason the sky gets dark at night. We were not meant to see everything all the time. We are meant to rest and trust even in the darkness. Because no matter how heavy the shadows fill the night, in time, we will see morning Light…we will see that even though we were tired, weary, and we could not see the ground beneath our feet, somehow, we were still growing. Somehow, we were still being led right where we needed to be. And it might take years to see how all of this comes together. We might not always see the pieces fall in place in the timeframe in which we desired. But this does not have to stop us from resting, and trusting that we will not always be here. We are not stuck in this stage of life. Our present uncertainties will not last forever. The pieces will come together in their time. We will grow in the way we were meant to: older and wiser with each day. And that is a beautiful. Even when we did not notice it. Even in the darkness. We are growing. Always growing.

So keep trusting. Keep believing. Even when you cannot see. For even when the sky grows dark, you are being led where you need to be.

_

If you scroll all the way to the end of this post, you’ll see an image that says ‘Garden24.’ This is the new name of my shop (formerly The MHN Shop)! The ‘Garden’ represents a place where new things come to life. ‘24’ represents my favorite number, and also how 24 hours a day, something is always growing. Even in the shadows. Even in the darkness. Even when we do not notice. Whether it’s a piece of art or a poem you see here on the internet, or a poster or a t-shirt that comes from the shop, it is my hope that you are reminded that no matter what, you are growing. Even in the night, when you can’t see a single thing, you are growing into who you were meant to be, 24 hours a day, you are growing. You can explore all things #Garden24 at @Garden24co. New posters, apparel, and stickers have been added for the month of May! Thank you, and I hope this season of your life is one marked with opportunities to grow more than ever before.

Sincerely,
Morgan Harper Nichols

Embrace the journey

Lately, I have been receiving some messages about some of the topics I write being a bit too passive, or not really encouraging people to move forward or aim high enough. I do believe these messages come from well-meaning places, and I also believe context is important. I don’t share the stories of the people I wrote for but I do want to share this:

Many of the stories I write for are not for people who are on the other side of suffering, but are right in the middle of it.

Sometimes,

I rely on nature metaphors instead of telling someone to actually go outside because this person submitted their story from a hospital bed.

I write “things will never be the same” because this person unexpectedly lost a loved one a few days ago.

I write “it’s not your fault” because this person is a victim who was made to feel like it was their fault.

I write “take the time you need” for the one sitting with a friend in hospice care.

I write “endless, boundless grace” because they did not go into detail, but wanted to be reminded grace was real in their life.


I share this as a reminder: there’s always something beneath the surface, a story and  reason “why” for everything.

I do this because I love to write and connect with others, and I have always been inspired by stories, and daily, this project humbles me.

I used to try to write for everyone and every situation all at once, but now, I focus on writing for one person at a time. I’m not a counselor, and I am also writing for people whom I do not know personally, so I choose to be extra delicate with the words I share with them.

So if there’s ever a time where these words seem repetitive, passive or not encouraging enough to move forward, it’s not because I don’t believe in progressing, it’s because I am writing for that present moment, with the little information I have. I never know their whole story or what the exact solution is for what they’re going through, but I do believe it is possible to speak truth, with grace. To say what you mean, in a considerate way.

I don’t have this figured all out, and I am always open to being challenged because it helps me grow. I just wanted to take a little time to share this to give a little context for the nature of what I share here.

And finally, I’d like to add this. One of the things that keeps me going are the messages I feel so privileged to receive that say: “this speaks to exactly what I’m going through.” It’s messages like this that remind me why I do what I do. I don’t expect what I make to speak to everyone in the world, but if it helped one person feel heard, that means everything to me. So thank you. Thank to everyone who comments and messages me and shares these posts. You don’t have to do that at all, and yet you do. I consider it a privilege to share these things with you, and I so thankful to all who have challenged, encouraged, inspired, and humbled me in meaningful ways with your presence and your stories. Thank you.  - Morgan

Keep looking where the Light pours in

Keep looking where the Light pours in. I know your eyes are tired and your body is tired and the world seems to move on so fast without you, but I promise you, there is still time to see the morning sun pour through these half-closed blinds. There is still time to find peace and beauty in the most unexpected places, taking deeper breaths, even in the rush of life. You are still free to slow down and take all of this in, and feel what you need to feel. Take the time you need to heal, knowing everything will be revealed when it is meant to be revealed to you.

So come back to present moment. Let it teach you. Let it show you: there is a life to be lived, right here, and Light is still pouring through.

No matter what it is that is pulling you away from the present moment, may you know this to be true: it takes practice to make the most of the moment that is right in front of you. You do not have to begin and end it every day with impressive amounts of energy in order to truly be present. You can be calm, quiet, and even a little tired and still make the most of the moment. Start slowly. Start small. Start by remembering to take deep breaths. And not just a deep sigh in a frustrated moment, but slow, intentional inhales and exhales that you feel deep within your body.

You can also make the most of every moment by finding the good in a little things. I like to define “little things” as: whatever it is that might not change your overall situation but still manages to bring you joy:

A music playlist of encouraging songs,
a lunch break with a good book instead of social media,
a conversation with a friend that you can confide in,
the color aqua blue,
the smell of fresh brewed coffee,
the way that light pours into the window,
the sound of rain on the patio…the list is endless, even though the present moment can feel so limiting.

Light is still pouring in here. You are still free to find peace, joy, and rest here. No matter what you have or have not seen, there is room breathe deep and just be.

Sincerely,
Morgan Harper Nichols

How wonderfully you have grown since May of last year

How wonderfully you have grown
since May of last year,
over rivers,
over mountains,
through an ocean
of your fears,
learning to believe
over and over again:
no matter the shadows,
Light is still pouring in.

So breath deep
and step full
into every present moment,
for every millisecond
is a frame of time,
a flash of light on its own.
And though you cannot keep record
of every single one of them,
you have been fully alive in all of them,
and you have belonged in every moment,
you have truly belonged in every moment.
So when time is racing by,
may your memory serve you well
that every moment was a part
of the story you will tell.
Through sleepless nights
and wonder-whys,
you have learned to see
on starless nights
that after everything
you made it here,
and you might
just be
alright.

_

There are so many things on your plate right now, and a whole lot of things left to figure out, but if ever for a moment you start to feel like you cannot continue, take a deep breath, reflect, and remember just how far you’ve come.

And think about where you were last year. Think about the things that used to worry you so much that no longer consume your mind and time: the relationship that wasn’t healthy, the stress of what this year would be like, the things you never thought you would accomplish but did… all of those things are worthy of being grateful for, and are beautiful reminders that after everything that happened you are so much stronger than you thought you would be, and even here, by grace, you will have the strength you need to keep going.

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All of these words were originally written and emailed to people who submitted stories via my website. As an artist, I have always been inspired by real people and real stories and in 2017 I invited people to join me in the process, by inviting you to share your story on my site. All of the stories are kept private, and I share what I created with you first before sharing it publicly. This has become a daily practice of generosity for me, and I randomly select people to write for each week. Click here to submit your story. It can be your life story or just a sentence or two. It’s up to you. There are no rules.

Sincerely, Morgan Harper Nichols

Beautiful strength

I know you feel that you have so far to go, but I just hope you can continue to see the strength that is already within you. I hope you can find the hope to believe that even though this present season has turned out differently than what you were expecting, your time has not been wasted. You may not be able to change the past, but you can choose to believe that where you are matters, it truly, matters, no matter the things that have not yet come together. Remember the nights you never thought you would make it through? The days you never thought would end? Every moment you continue to breathe is a sign of your ever-growing strength. There may be days, or weeks, or entirely seasons of life where you feel that you are too weak, but I promise, if you only keep breathing, you will slowly begin to see: all of this is a part of the journey that leads you where you need to be. 

You have had to deal with so many people who did not believe in you and support you, but even then, your strength came through. Even then, you carried on and you started to find new rhythms. You started to dream new dreams. You started to find new hopes. You started to see that you could hold on for something better, no matter who betrayed you or let you go. This is strength, beautiful strength, and it is still rising up within you. 

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Thank you so much to all who entered the giveaway over the weekend! Randomly-generated winners are announced below and winners will also be emailed (I know there are sometimes duplicate names out there, so if you're wondering if you’re selected, keep an eye on your inbox!).

Alaina M., USA
Alexandra, Germany
Amanda B., Canada
Andrea R., USA
Bree O., USA
Chris M., USA
Christian S., USA
Christina M., USA
Christy R.USA
Gracie T., USA
Haleigh C., USA
Jasmyn P., USA
Jenny D., USA
Julie R.K., USA
Katie L., USA
Kaylie S., USA
Libby K., USA
Liz S., USA
Micah S.P., USA
Mika I., Ecuador
Omar, USA
Rati, USA
Samantha C., USA
Shazia, Ireland
Susie P., Australia

Congrats to all 25 the winners! Thanks so much to all who have participated, and I definitely plan on doing more things like this in the future! – Morgan

Tell the story of the mountains you climbed

Tell the story of the mountains you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else's survival guide. I know you have felt so alone at times, but I promise you, you are not the only one who has felt that way. You are not the only one who pretended to be okay, or the one who almost gave up in the middle of the day on a Monday...you are not the only one. You are not the only one. There is someone out there who is going through the same thing you went through a year ago. There is someone who is looking to where you are as a sign of hope that they too, can make it that far. You may not be where you want to be, but please do not let that stop you from telling your story. You have something to say that has to ability to pave the way for someone who longs to be where you are today. And that person might be a stranger on the internet that you have never met before. It might your little brother, a younger cousin, or your best friend. Never underestimate the power of your story. Never discredit the strength and the wisdom you have gathered as a result of what you have been through. May you never feel that your story isn't special enough. May you never think that you cannot share your story because you're still dealing with uncertainty. Your story still matters, even in this chapter. Your story is worth sharing. Your voice is worth being heard. And you never, ever know who you might be able to help.

Sincerely,

Morgan Harper Nichols

Beautiful things take time

Beautiful things take time. Beautiful things take time. I know it’s hard to watch so many others come into their bloom and you are wondering when beautiful things will find their way to you, but I promise you, there is so much more to you. If only you could see what Light was doing within you, all the way down to your roots. I hope you can begin to trust that just because you cannot see it, that does not mean you cannot believe it. You can still have hope in this season of unknowns. You have not been forgotten here. You have not been looked over. Sure, it is taking a little longer, but this is a part of you growing stronger, so you will be prepared to bloom in the way you were meant to.

Beautiful things take time. Beautiful things take time. And you will be fine. Not perfect, but fine. You are going to continue to breathe through this. You are going to grow through this. You are going to look back on days like this and realize that even in the waiting, you were growing in the way you were meant to. Even in the waiting, you were learning what you were meant to learn. So much changed around you but you changed too. You may have missed out on a few things you thought you were going to be a part of, but you did not miss out on your growth. You did not miss out on what was meant for you and you were still free to bloom.

The heartbreak did not define you. The disappointment did not write the story. The times you fell did not keep you from being led right where you needed to be. This season of life has proven to be much harder than what you were expecting, but it has also proven that you are stronger than you ever thought you would be...and this is all a part of what makes you beautiful in a unique and meaningful way. This is the proof that all along, you have been blooming, even as you wait.

Sincerely,

Morgan Harper Nichols

It does not make you irresponsible if everything is not planned out in your life.

Normally, everything I share is written specifically to one person. These particular pieces were written with quite a few people in mind. I think in one way or another, we all feel some kind of pressure to be ‘more’ of something: whether that’s more educated, more organized, more attractive, more like what someone else wants to us to be…so in a way, I wrote these words for anyone who is feeling the weight of who they are not. I hope these words remind even there, you are still free to travel on the journey of becoming who you were meant to be.

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Maybe you do not have to set goals for everything. Maybe you can create goals in some areas of your life, and choose to let other things just be. It does not make you irresponsible if everything is not planned out in your life. It does not make you any less of an adult if you do not have a game plan for everything. It does not make you any less worthy of love because of your failures.

Think about a time where something unplanned happened that turned out to be beautiful. Remember how it freeing it was to realize that even though it wasn’t on the schedule, it was exactly what was supposed to happen. Maybe it was something small, like running into a friend in the grocery store. A missed turn while traveling that led you to a part of town you never noticed before. A delayed flight that led to you discovering that cafe. Or maybe it was the extra year you spent in your hometown that led you to meet your new best friend. The dream that fell apart that led you to dream another dream. The relationship that ended that taught you how to see your own worth in a new way. Allow yourself to hold onto those moments. Remember this when you are setting goals, filling in your calendar, and creating your daily routine. Some things might just come to life exactly the way you imagined, while others might end up being entirely different, but there is something to learn and experience on both ends of this spectrum and everywhere in between, and even the unexpected can exceed your expectations in the best way. You just never know.

And also, remember this: no matter what you have been made to believe, not a single soul in this world has it all figured out. Even well-meaning people who told you how to “make it” or how to be successful in life still have mountains they are trying to climb. You may not have been able to do everything the way everyone wanted you to, but that is fine. You can still take this one day at a time, and be kind to yourself in the process. You can still be who you were meant to be without meeting everyone else’s expectation of you. You can still be proud of how far you have come and what you accomplished without everyone else’s recognition of your progress.