Originally posted on Thought Catalog
“You are not an accident”
I was sitting in my room one morning when this phrase came to me in a fit of inspiration. I was feeling down on myself about things I could be doing better, ways that I wasn’t living up to what other people wanted from me. How I wasn’t this enough or that enough. How I wasn’t successful enough after an expensive college education and doing everything that all of us are told to do in order to be successful.
After going through these feelings one by one, it dawned on me that despite this obsession with perfection – by people, institutions, and the media alike – it’s unattainable and I shouldn’t feel bad for being who I am right now. Right in this moment. Even if that person is a work in progress there is still meaning to my existence.
I happen to deeply believe that everything happens for a reason and there is a purpose to all of the crazy, wacky, disturbing, and unsettling things that happen to me – whether I play a part in it or not. Even if I don’t understand all of it, it’s not my job to understand all of it.
I am not an accident.
In that moment, I reached for a post-it note and wrote that quote down in sharpie to tape to my bedroom wall.
Whether you believe in God or not, isn’t it a beautiful sentiment?
The way that you are, the things you feel, your shining moments along with your doubts and insecurities – they’re all what make you, you. You are the way that you are, undoubtedly. And no part of it is wrong. It is part of your humanness.
You are not wrong.
We all have flaws. Our flaws and struggles are a gift, given to us so that we may transcend them and help others see their way out of their hardships more clearly.
If you believe in Christian philosophies, then you have probably heard the phrase/affirmation:
“I am fearfully & wonderfully made” – Psalm 139:14
By believing this, you take away all of the shame and self-hatred that is seemingly normalized by today’s culture. If the person you are today is good and fair and kind and doing their best, then you can cut yourself some slack. You may not be the most organized, the most devout, the most patient, the most put together – but if you’re showing up each day and you care then you’re already on a respectable path.
Whatever value or criticism others tell you aside from what you know about yourself is simply an opinion. Take it as such. And note that their opinion doesn’t matter so much anyway. That’s one of the many reasons why it is so important to get to know yourself, so you won’t live your life at the will of what other people tell you.
Ultimately, you’re the one who has to wake up each morning and live your life. So take it easy on yourself. Be kind to you. You’re not an accident. You have a purpose. Whether you assign yourself one, seek to find the one that God/the Universe has set for you, or don’t know exactly what it is yet – remember your worth and value.
As Elizabeth Gilbert wonderfully said in her new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear:
“The Fact that you are here – a creation of God – is proof that you deserve to be here.”
Exist. Take up space. Unapologetically. It’s your birthright.