Last night, as I was reading a book that I have been reading for about a month now, I noticed how worn it looked from me bending it, flipping through the pages, reading it. It looked way older than it did when I bought it. Not in a bad way, but in a sentimental way.

I thought about how life has the tendency to do the same thing to us as individuals.

We come into this world new, with our pages unturned and our covers perfectly smooth. As we go through life, we change, we grow, we become more worn. Our pages are read and re-read by people who come and go throughout the stages of our lives. People may read us in different ways, treat us in different ways, appreciate us in different ways. Our pages may receive some water damage over the years, maybe one day someone spills coffee all over one of the chapters, or even bends a page too much.

I believe on the days where you feel more worn than others, when life is spilling negativity all around you and you cannot escape things unclean, it’s important to remember how “okay” that is. We aren’t expected to be unscathed, but the true courage is finding peace and acceptance in your bent pages.

Full disclosure, I have had a difficult time being positive this month, and sometimes it seems as though the imperfections might never end. Looking at that book, however, provided me with some comfort.

Because as I looked at that book I realized I didn’t feel any differently about the story inside. And the story inside, regardless of the damage, is what truly matters.

Our stories matter, even the complicated versions. And sometimes, it’s okay to not be okay. Things always improve, and your character is defined through your bent pages.

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