Author’s Note: I wrote this letter in 2009 when my daughter was eleven. I’d shoved it in a file with all intentions to work on it a little bit more to make sure it made sense to her. I found it yesterday as I was cleaning out some old stuff. I had forgotten all about it. I think I’ve changed maybe three words. I gave it to my daughter yesterday. There are no accidents. She was meant to have it now and not then. I share it here because I saw and felt her utter relief. I pray that in the sharing, it does whatever it’s meant to, if anything.
This is a love letter to every child or teenager who feels lost and alone in the world, including my own daughter. I write it in an effort that they may one day free themselves of the bondage of enslavement and illusion that has been passed down to them by us – their parents, grandparents, institutions, society, and mass consciousness itself – who, in our own ignorance and refusal to accept our own beautiful innocence, and therefore our children’s, continue to leave a behind a legacy of deep shame and inner poverty. I also write it for myself.
I have been on a life mission of Undoing, and now I know it’s been both for you and because of you. I had to undo all that was taught to me that did not feel right in my heart. I had to undo what others taught me to believe in, things that my heart knew were not true, but when I was little, I had no way of knowing what these uncomfortable feelings were or what to do with them, so I gave in and accepted them as true.
So much of this Undoing began when you were born. It’s as though you came to remind me of something I had forgotten. You reminded me, as I held you in my arms, to ask the question – What Child Is This?
I wish I could have answered that question fully then when you were a baby. Perhaps it would have made you feel more secure inside, more confident that you were safe and loved in this world, that you belonged here. But without the journey we’ve taken together, without your beautiful poet’s heart to teach me, I would never have been able to answer that question. I can now.
This child is sacred.
This child is the light of the world, the proof of all things good, and true, and innocent.
This child is the ever present Now.
This child needs me to Be Here Now.
This child is beauty, and is where beauty comes from.
This child depends on me to teach her about Life.
This child is what total trust looks like.
This child is a gift to the world.
This child is spontaneous joy.
This child is the pure energy of Presence.
This child is infinite creativity.
This child is here to be loved and cherished.
This child is every angel that ever was and is.
This child has a purpose.
This child is a wise teacher.
This child is Love.
To my precious daughter, and to every child or teenager who reads this or perhaps has it read to them:
In all the world, from sea to sea, from sky to earth, from bear to hawk, I’d know your heart anywhere because it grew inside of me as the moon lit up the sky nine times. And even if you were adopted, the same would hold true, for I would have known your soul since forever and have found you. And even if you are a child that I do not know, this is for you, simply because you are a child, and that makes you precious. And even if you are an adult, this is also for you, for you too, were once a child.
As I sit and watch the leafless trees dance in the wind, as the first snow of the season falls, my thoughts are of you…delicate, graceful, strong, flexible, changing, natural, beautiful – just as life is. How I thank you for your heart. And while I’d know it anywhere, please forgive me for not always teaching you to keep it open like the flower that it truly is. Please forgive me for not always remembering that it is your heart after all, not mine. Please forgive me for doing for you that which you could have done yourself. It took away your confidence in your own abilities. Please forgive me for not always having had the wisdom to love you and let you go in every moment. But mostly, please forgive me for not having known myself enough that I could have taught you the truth of who you are from the start.
No matter what I, or this misguided world has taught you, or is teaching you to believe in, please know that your walk in this world will also be about Undoing what has been done to you, (hopefully not as much to undo) but more so than that, it will be about you coming to realize these things I’m going to share with you now – the things I wish had been taught to me, the things I’ve come to discover along the way.
What I’ve learned so far (mostly from Spirit, Life, You, and Nature) is…
That love is all there is. That anything unlike love; is a lie. That kindness and simplicity will take you far. That remaining true to your heart will give you dignity. That adversity or hardship will humble you. That reaching out to those who love you when you feel scared or alone, instead of isolating yourself and holding everything in, will teach you that you are not alone. That the key to living peacefully is a slow walk in balance. That creativity must be expressed and will free your soul. That your heart, and how it feels, will always tell you if a choice you are making is leading you to your highest good, or to your destruction. Pay attention to this! That you have the power to make a difference in this world when you learn to trust who you are. That nature is the world’s greatest teacher, and to immerse yourself within her safe beauty as much as possible. That tolerance and respect for all people, religions, and beliefs is a must. That speaking the truth of your heart, without exception, will leave your conscience clean and your heart free to love. That gratitude for the smallest gifts will make joy grow and expand within you. That treating every person, from the smallest child to the wisest elder with honor and respect will return honor and respect to you. That if you are wanting approval, eventually, it has to come from yourself. That money and material things are great to have, but becoming attached to them as your only source of inner security will leave you feeling dead and empty inside. That there could be no higher calling than that of serving others, whether pumping gas, waiting on tables, raising children, or running a country. That feeling all your feelings, no matter how painful or joyful, will keep you healthy in every way. That your precious Spirit holds the key to all your happiness if you can remember to connect deeply with it and let it guide you with its wisdom. That the only lasting source of joy, peace, and happiness comes from a place beyond your thoughts and mind, beyond what you see and experience in this physical world as real, and that place is Spirit. Live deeply there by going within often, and you will leave a lasting legacy of Love behind, and so will your children, should it be part of your destiny to have any some day. What a world that will be. And finally, always remember you are not alone, that you are not invisible, and that there will always be people that love you for exactly who you are. I love you always.