I am not here to make you happy.
What’s more, I don’t see myself as raising a child. I’m raising the grown up you’re going to be. My job is to give you the tools to get through a hard life.
You’ll be excited to know that those same tools will give you a full life—not lacking or omitting anything, complete.
Know that I will not accept you needing to do what everyone else is doing in order to feel alright about yourself. I want you to build the ability to be yourself.
And I want you to build the ability to just sit there. Sit in stillness, just breathe and find the joy in this simple act.
I should warn you that underneath everything in life there often lingers an empty feeling. That, “What is it all for?” question may rear its ugly head, like the monster under your bed keeping you up at night.
You may feel alone in those dark moments.
But here’s a quick note when encountering monsters of any kind: look at it closely. Why is it a monster? This, child of mine, is a lesson in something called perspective. “Evil” is just the way our eyes see the shadows. Remember that above the clouds light never stops shining.
So, you’ll sometimes feel sad. It’s in our nature to want to find something quick and use it to club our sadness over the back of head, so we can drag it out of our way and be happy again. But not you, my warrior.
I want you to stand in the way of that sadness and let it hit you instead.
I must remind you to brace yourself and know that it is in these deeply emotional moments that the ability to feel real happiness is born. The reason for this is simple: you cannot numb certain feelings without numbing all of them.
So, you must feel. My wish, my darling, is for you to feel every single thing.
Ask anyone about love and they will tell you about heartbreak.
Ask anyone about being brave and you will learn of their fears.
In all of your most poignant moments—the ones you’ll look back on and realize were life-altering—you are going to be met with crippling uncertainty, sometimes even paralyzing pain. And it’s going to confuse you into thinking that there’s something wrong.
Nothing is wrong.
Push through those moments with all of your might, my love. Start recognizing those moments for exactly what they are—opportunities for growth.
No one tells you about the mourning that comes along with growing.
It’s letting go.
It’s pressing on.
Still, always lean into the fear.
Take the leap. It won’t be long before you watch with glittering eyes as your life opens up before you. You’ll keep getting bigger and stronger as you learn to breathe through the tough times.
I want to review a few important words with you:
Fearlessness—simply doing the work in life.
It’s doing what needs to be done. It’s overcoming. Fearlessness is an unrelenting effort.
Vulnerability—the birthplace of joy.
It’s being the first one to say I love you. It’s asking for help. It’s fundamental, period.
Responsibility—not placing blame, not discharging your discomfort and pain.
Everything starts and ends with you, so figure it out.
Patience—with your self and others.
Allow enough time to see things all the way through. You will get your answers when the time is right.
There is this saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I guess what I’m telling you is, be available for life to happen to you.
Honor the process.
Ask yourself, “What would everything look like if I just let it all be?”
Let things be.
Let people be, too. Rather than taking the time to know a person for who they are, it’s very easy to build relationships on our notions of who a person should be. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Accepting that some people just don’t fit in your life, will save you a lot of grief and self doubt.
Some people fit for only a short time—we call them lessons. We find the value in having loved people who are lessons when the gratitude finally conquers the loss.
Some people are forever fits. When you count your blessings, count these people twice.
Remember that people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves. Meet yourself deeply.
And I, for my part, will spend the rest of my days on this earth watching you with enormous joy. You are my proudest work, my truest love.
And, lastly, know this: you will always be enough.
Author: Kayleigh Lazar
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll/Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: via the author