I wrote a letter for my daughter. And, for yours. And, honestly for our sons too. It’s just — well, when the seasons change and the weather warms — I find myself stuck in familiar patterns of negative internal dialogue. I want so badly to break free. I do not wish to live here any longer. I do not wish for our children to live here.
Dear Daughter (and dear son too),
When I think of the way I’ve treated my body;
When I think of the things I’ve said to her;
Not just once, but for years;
When I allow myself to look inward;
My heart breaks a little.
My heart breaks a lot.
This is not my wish for you.
For you, I’ve prayed.
For you, I want more.
For you, I want different.
For you, I want freedom.
I don’t want you to find yourself standing in your kitchen one random Friday morning during your 39th year of life, in tears, mourning all the good years and precious hours you’ve wasted hating what is yours and what is perfect and true and beautiful.
How did I get here?
How do I release it?
I want to shake free from these chains.
But, they are on so tight.
The leather that binds me is soft … almost comfortable.
I do not remember another way.
Perhaps I never even knew another way.
For you, sweet child, I pray – do not walk this path.
It is punishing.
It makes it hard to accept the love that is given to you.
Wonderful, tender love that you are worthy of!
You have value!
And, not a bit of it comes from the shape of your body.
I’m not sure why this is so hard to see.
For me. Hopefully not for you.
I know you already feel it though … this kiss of the devil that lurks within us.
I see it as I watch your lovely littleness study your reflection.
I want you to only see you as I see you.
But, already you say, “I wish my hair was straighter … and blond.”
Where does this come from?
These standards we set for ourselves.
Never meant to be met.
Impossible right from the start.
Your dark curls are stunning.
They will never be straight and blond.
But, that does not stop you from wishing for it.
From deciding what you think it should be.
At so young, we set ourselves up for failure.
We place a burden on our hearts, never meant to be there.
You are a person.
You are a soul.
You were created specifically by God to be YOU – with your unique look and special gifts and strong heart.
You are not a box to be checked.
You are not a standard to be met.
Your arms are meant to hug;
Your hands to hold;
Your eyes are meant to shine … and to see the world … the beauty and the broken.
Your legs are meant to dance … and skip and run.
Your chest may one day hold a baby close;
Your shoulder will be a perfect pillow for a child’s head to rest.
Your arms will carry and lift and rock and sway.
You are meant for food and laughter and joy.
Your body will always be there for you.
She will be your best friend … if you let her.
She will walk you through all the stages of life – from skinned knees to broken hearts.
She will stand up with you beside your best friends as they marry the men they love.
A ring will slide onto her finger as you say “I Do” to your own true love.
She will grow and carry your children.
Sometimes she will get sick and she’ll need you to treat her more tenderly … to give her rest.
Treat her well, baby girl.
Do not repay her loyalty and kindness with meanness and restriction.
Lift your lovely head high, sweet child.
Do not let the world tell you what beauty is.
Do not let others make you feel the need to be smaller (in every sense of the word).
You are part of God’s great plan.
Your body is meant to change and grow and stretch and shrink and evolve and age.
Enjoy the life you’ve been given.
Grab hold, jump in and cherish the ride.
I wish you a life lived free.
And, I wish this for me too.
❤️ Your Momma