Therapy is weird. You hire me for an hour a week, maybe every other week, and pour your heart out to me. We spend maybe a few months together, possibly a year, and then you move on to conquer the world. I’m always happy for the day when I’ve worked myself out of a job because it means I’ve done something well even if it was to just provide a supportive ear during a difficult time in your life.

But no matter where you are, where you go, or who you will become, I want you to know that I will always carry your story in my heart. It is an honor to listen to your cries, to sit with you in the darkness, to listen to the parts of your story that you’ve never told anyone else, and to help navigate the complex trails of your life. I know that I’m mostly an impartial stranger, here to help carry the burden for a while until you’re ready to leave my care. But I will never forget the impact your story ultimately leaves on my heart.

I want you to know that no matter what, I think you are one of the bravest and most courageous of people in this world. I think you are beautiful: wonderfully and fearfully made. I believe you have a purpose in this life and you need to stay alive and fight through this to find it. I believe you will impact others the way you have impacted me, and you need to find those people so they can know, like I do, how incredible you are.

This world would not be the same without you even if you don’t believe that about yourself right now.

The beautiful part of my job is I get to stand as a testament to the true, unfiltered, raw beauty of the human heart. For that reason alone, I am happy to enter the terrifying nights, joyous celebrations, and tempestuous complexities of your life with you. I am humbled by your strength because it takes true courage to be vulnerable, even with a counselor. I want you to stand tall, free and unashamed.

Thank you for sharing your life with me. It is an honor and a privilege to carry your stories in my heart.