My sweet daughter, you came home from school in tears again. Kids can be so cruel, and sometimes they don’t even know. You feel excluded, mocked, and lonely. There is a small, dark bathroom stall that is wet daily with your tears.
I can’t fix it and make it all go away, but I can hold you and listen. Talk to me. Tell me your troubles. Cry on my shoulder instead of the cold, unfeeling tile floor of the ladies room. I’m here as long as you need me. Then, after you get it all out, will you stay just a few minutes longer? There are a few things I need to tell you, things you have to know:
1. It Is OK to Cry. Releasing your emotions through tears can be so therapeutic, so natural, and so cleansing. Allow yourself to feel, to accept the hurt, and then to be free. Just remember the earlier you finish your cry, the sooner you can get back to laughter.
2. Nobody Can Take Your Happiness. The recipe to your happiness is inside of you. It is not a gift I can give you. It cannot be bought, but no one can take it from you. It has no limit, no scarcity, no expiration date. You can choose it every day, in each situation, for the rest of your life. Exercise that power. Make that choice. Live in happiness.
3. You Can Do Hard Things. Dream big, my darling. Then wake up and work. There is no end to the things you can accomplish! You have a complex, one-of-a-kind set of skills and abilities. Use them, improve them, and appreciate them. Find your unique life path and make the flowers bloom along your way.
4. You Are Beautiful. There are no qualifications, no exceptions, no exemptions. You are beautiful every day. You are beautiful first thing in the morning when your hair resembles a deconstructed bird’s nest. You are beautiful when your eyes are red, swollen, and filled with tears. You are beautiful after a muddy camping trip in the rain. You are beautiful when you are sick, tired, lonely, or afraid. You are so beautiful when you smile. You are beautiful always and forever, no matter what.
5. You Matter. You have always mattered. You matter to your family who see you every day, your best, your worst, and everything in between. You matter to the teachers who spend their days, and sometimes nights, discovering new ways to help you learn and love it. You matter to the stranded boy you helped down from the tree. You matter to the tired cashier who laughed at your intelligent humor. You matter to people you don’t realize. You matter to people you have yet to meet. You matter now, you always have, and you always will.
6. I Will Always Love You. I loved you before you were born. I loved you when I heard your first cry. I loved you the first time you clapped your baby hands and said, “Mama.” I loved you the first time you yelled at me, and the first time you slammed the door. I loved you the most recent time. I love you when the kids at school make you cry. I love you when you do not love yourself. I loved you then, and I love you now. My love for you is my superpower. It is the strongest part of me. It is yours when you want it and when you think you don’t. It is constant. It will not end.
The kids that tease you at school do not know you like I do. They see such a small part of your existence. They do not know your worth. Do not listen to them over me. I know you better. I know who you are. I know what you can become. They can’t stop you unless you let them. Don’t let them.
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