I’ve told you this as you sat at the end of my bed late at night, during kitchen talks with you perched on the counter, and in casual moments hanging out in the living room together; but I’m telling you again. I’m writing it down, because words matter.

I want you to read this when your heart fills with doubt and you allow yourself to be judged by the ridiculous standards the world imposes.

You are loved.

You don’t have to earn that. My love for you is not conditional. I will love you through your life journey and I will always be there. Nothing you can ever do would cause me to turn my love away from you.

You are valued and worthy.

I look at you and find myself moved by the gift your life is to this world. I know you’re still figuring it all out and I know that some days you don’t feel you have a clue. But guess what? I see it!

You are a beautiful creation.

You are exquisite. You are irreplaceable. Your life is a work of art. I look at you and it proves to me that God exists and that I am loved.

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Here’s what does not matter to me and should not matter to you either:

I don’t care if you get an A in Algebra or a C-. I don’t care if you choose to read a book or if you need to listen to it instead. I don’t care if you need to tell me what you feel or write what you feel.

I don’t care if you go to college or get your GED. I don’t care what letters may fall after your name or how many 0’s are in your bank account.

Here is what matters:

I want you to love well. I want you to be kind. I want you to change the world because you have discovered what makes you feel alive; because, my darlings, the world needs you. The world needs your love, your kindness, your joy, your journey.

I want you to be brave. Not in the “tough it out” kind of way, or the “suck it up and deal” kind of way. I want you to be brave enough to try hard things, regardless of the outcome. Brave enough that you will believe that you are capable of magnificent things. Brave enough to not fear failing.

I want you to dream. I want you dream BIG dreams. I want you to believe that dreams can come true. I want you to grow up thinking that anything is possible. I want you to go for it and not be afraid.

I want you to look at what the world might call failure and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow and try it differently the next time.

I want you to learn because learning is fun. I want you to explore the world. I want you to shoot for the moon.

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Oh and let me be clear on this, in case I haven’t been clear enough. I could NEVER be “disappointed in you”, you can never “let me down”. (Unless of course you decided to become a mean, grouchy person who forgets to be kind and loving and in that case I might have to shake you up a bit.)

I will always be proud of you for pursing the things that make you feel alive. I will always be proud of a new work of art, a song you just wrote, an accomplishment at your job, a great business idea, learning a new skill- the things that come from the very heart of who you are.

I will be the first to celebrate your successes. I will celebrate the things that make you feel proud. And I will point out the successes that you may forget are the ones that really matter in life: when you encourage a friend, make someone laugh, see someone’s need and become the solution; when you reach out with kind words, try something new, or simply sit in silence and hold the hand of someone who is broken and in pain.

My children, my greatest gifts, the truest reflection of Love in my life, oh how I love you.

 

***** repost from August 2015