Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.

-Walt Whitman

It can be difficult to confront our own darkness, especially when we have been relying on external sources of happiness to mask our true feelings. For a long time, I found myself smiling to hide my depression and using negativity as a way to protect myself from disappointment. However, when I met someone who saw my suffering and helped me to see the joy and peace I could bring to the world, I knew I had to confront my darkness head-on.

This process was painful and involved going to the darkest corners of my insecurities and questioning them. But as I began to view fear as an ally rather than a foe, I was able to start looking towards the sunshine myself and leave my shadows in the past. This process has taught me that although mental pain is torturous because sometimes there is no immediate threat present, it is also an opportunity to learn and grow. When we handle difficult situations with courage and determination, we can overcome even the darkest challenges and find our own inner strength.