A COMMUNAL EXPERIMENT IN SELF CURATION

a Soul Project

// part of a soul project

 // SHOT BY  ISABELA VILLAREAL

Becoming the me I am today has been no easy trek. In fact, even as I have at countless times wished my path to be easier, I've come to realize with each new trial and the immense growth that follows that I am experiencing exactly what I am meant to.

To resist is to stunt my own progress. I could push away, sequester myself from difficulty—but how would I see the lessons? They wait for me in my interactions with the world, in the relationships I build. I could not become my best self if I turned away from the mirrors each person has to hold up for me, to reflect back at me any number of reflections in my image—what I'm doing right and what I contain yet unresolved—and allow me the opportunity to fine tune myself. I thank each person that challenges me to look deeply. I could not grow into my true self without you.

And to you, friends, the world and the people you love will do the same. I encourage you to take on the challenge of gazing into said mirrors, most especially those held up by the people that care for you most. They have your back. They want you to reach your fullest potential, to delve into your most unresolved issues and emerge with new vigor, new perspective to curate your greatest self with. And the reflections of yourself that make you most uncomfortable? These are the jewels that hold the greatest potential for growth. Downfall or success now depends on how you wield the power of this knowledge inside yourself and whether you have the strength not to look away.

I have been working hard for those that have chosen my company, working hard for my relationship with myself so as to give my most beautiful form. No, getting where I'm going is not easy, but I don't want easy to come until it has been hard earned, and I see that now. I will start anew each morning and work hard, inside and out. An easy relationship isn't necessarily fulfilling; A fulfilling relationship has taken your whole heart of effort.

Here is my renewed pledge: To embrace my reflection from every angle, To surrender to however hard the lesson may be, To work my hardest for the resolution I seek, To love myself without condition.