If You Feel Like You Don’t Matter, Remember This


Some days are good—spending time with family and friends, soaking in the brief but beautiful Michigan summer sun and feeling inspired by nature and the colors that abound. The moments of lightness and love that I contentedly absorb. The days when my soul sparks and the lake breeze reminds me how great it is to be alive. Some days the hope within me soars and my grand ideas for the future fuel me.

And then there are the days when I feel small and defeated. I think about the life I pictured I’d have by now, a plan for my future I’d concocted as a teenager that hasn’t quite panned out the way I wished it would—memories of the people that left permanent imprints on me, then left before I was ready to let them go; the not-quite loves and the loves that didn’t last; and the silence of a heart quieted by unmet goals, bouts of loneliness and unanswered prayers.

But such is life. It’s a series of ups and downs, moments that lift you high and experiences that drag you down into the deepest wells. This is for those moments when you’re struggling, the heavy days that make you miss the light ones. But it’s important to remember that the light ones are still out there. Life is always in flux, a constant ebbing and flowing of good and bad.

On a big and wild and endless planet, it’s easy to have moments where you feel insignificant. And on days that you do, this is what I hope you remember.

No one has the same creative ideas brewing in their mind that you do. The thoughts that inspire, the songs that induce happiness. The words that have power to change and heal, to bring hope and bravery to those who are afraid or lost. The things you have to say have never been spoken before, and the world needs you—and just you—to say them.

Your parents gave birth to you, and maybe they aren’t in your life anymore, or not present in the way you want them to be, but when you entered into humanity, you changed them. You showed them a side to living that they had never seen before, and you showed them the purity of life that can be created. You showed them the beauty in the madness, the innocence that can still be found in a dark world. And you shaped them. Believe it.

If you are in a relationship, remember that you helped someone else find love, lifted another soul who may have been stuck. You showed someone else the goodness that is found in caring, in holding someone else’s heart in your hands and giving it a home, a place to rest and feel relief from the chaos. You showed them that it is possible to find something many believe only exists in the crinkled pages of fiction.

If you are single, know that your lack of a partner right now doesn’t make you nonexistent or any less important than those who are coupled. It simply means you and your person haven’t found each other yet. It means you are in the discovery stage, the time of wonder that precedes the moment when you find everything you’ve been looking for. The moments that are meant to surprise you with the unexpected, blissful joy they bring—the joy that comes when you’re standing in front of the one who truly makes your spirit sing. The one who will change your life and whose life you will change. That one is out there, connected to you in ways you can’t recognize, won’t recognize, until the time comes that your souls collide. And that day will be brilliantly beautiful. It’s a day that’s waiting only for you, to be born into the arms of someone truly deserving.

The laughter of your friends, the warmth they feel in your presence, wouldn’t exist if you didn’t. They would be missing the group goofball who effortlessly puts a smile on everyone’s face. They wouldn’t have the person they can turn to when they need someone to listen, to support, to provide comfort. They wouldn’t have the person to hold them when their day is spinning out of control. Your friends wouldn’t be the same people if it weren’t for you.

Your grandmother wouldn’t have the memories of shopping with her granddaughter, of visiting her favorite Italian bistro to chat about life over bellinis and chardonnay. Your grandfather wouldn’t have his grandson to teach him about the latest technology. Your mother wouldn’t have her best friend, her partner in crime. And your father and brother wouldn’t have their favorite buddy to play cornhole with on summer nights. Your children wouldn’t be the wild and jubilant beings they are if it weren’t for you. If you didn’t exist, your family wouldn’t have the richness of life, the love that they have with you in it.

Your pets wouldn’t have the same loving home if it weren’t for you. Though they don’t have the same cognizance as you, they recognize the love you give them. You have framed their lives and showed them how to have a life full of adventures, embrace nature and all its creatures, and live in the moment—a blessing for you both.

You have fingerprints that no one else has, a heart that beats unlike anyone else’s, eyes that see in a way that no one else can, a body that feels and hurts and loves and grows like no other.

The earth holds almost 8 billion people, and though you may be just one, you matter so much.

There are jobs to be done, stories to be told, people to be loved, animals to be saved, hearts to be glued back together, things that only you can do. There are words to be written, portraits to be painted, homes to be built, and grounds to be traversed that can only be traversed by you.

If ever you feel like you don’t matter, I hope you look up at the night sky and realize that the stars you’re seeing are showing themselves only to you in this way. Others see the stars differently, as simply far-away balls of gas, as remnants of an endless universe. But you see them in another way, as symbols of hope and lighthouses showing you where to look when you feel little. Whispers from God come from the stars, and they push you to believe, to keep searching, to keep feeling, to keep believing, because where you are now won’t be where you are forever. There is an exciting adventure waiting for you. An amazing path yet to be paved, with you as the paver, and only your footprints will shine in the concrete.