I've come to realize that all of us struggle with self-esteem. No matter who we are and no matter where we are (literally or metaphorically) it seems like everyone struggles with self-esteem. Even those whom we would die to be because we think their lives are so perfect, or that they would be the last person to feel alone or ashamed, are not immune to this curse of self-loathing.

In some ways, this is disheartening, to think that everyone on this planet feels so miserable, but the way I see it, this is actually cause for hope, joy and unity. If we all feel this way, we have common ground. We can empathize. We are on the same page. We can unite. And we are all on the same level. If we all feel so unworthy, then we're all actually on the same page (if that makes any sense).

If that's the case, no one is truly better than the other. We are all equal. We can look to our left and to our right and see other people so different but so similar too. We are not alone. We have the entire world beside us, in every direction. We are all in the same place. Even if we came from different backgrounds, we are all still in the same place. We stand together as one, side by side. We are never alone.

With this in mind, we can all look at one another and then go hand in hand and rise up together. If we are all in this pit of despair and self-loathing, then we are all together and we can rise together as well. We can draw strength and comfort from one another and rise up together. We can link hands as we fight to overcome our demons for the sake of ourselves and others. None of us is ever truly alone because we all know how this sort of pain feels. We are so different but so similar. We all know what self-loathing feels like, and in that, we are united.

And just in the same way you think that the rest of the world is so much better than you, everyone else likely feels the same way. We are all raising one another up without even realizing it. So now it's time to take active control over those misguided thoughts and redirect them with more intentionality. In the same way you can't believe that so many beautiful, wonderful people are so unhappy with themselves, other people feel the same way about you. They think you are beautiful and wonderful. And they can't believe you don't love yourself.

So now, the next time you feel down, try to look at yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you. Or look at yourself through my eyes (and if you read the other chapters in this silly little thing, you know how highly I think of anyone and everyone) and see how beautiful you are. See how wonderful you are. See how much potential you have. See just how far you could really go. You have more in you than you think. But don't be afraid of all of that! Instead, keep looking at it. Keep looking at just how much you are and believe in it!

Once you feel ready, then, take my hand and rise. Rise with me to the top. Rise with the rest of the world until we have worked our way out of these deep, dark places and come out on the other side able to look at one another under the sun and smile. If we're all in the same pit of self-loathing together, then we're going to claw our way out together and we're going to come out on the other side together.