[Image description: close-up of a black-eyed Susan blossom, with most of the bright yellow petals unfurled, except for two that are still joined together over the brown center of the bloom. In the background are green stems, leaves and buds of other black-eyes Susans.]

You don’t have to keep
wasting time in attempt
to fit in,
to conform,
to meet arbitrary expectations.

There are reasons
you are the way you are.

Learn them.
Examine them.
Take the time
to understand all their
light and shadows.

Follow the breadcrumbs
to the mysteries you haven’t
yet discovered,
the truths yet to unfurl.

Your Pandora’s box fears
are unfounded.

Your truest self is a gift of beauty
to yourself and to the world.

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