To my kiddos:
There aren’t enough stars for all the wishes I’d make for you.
But if I were to create a post for the WordPress weekly photo challenge of Wish, this is where I might start.
I wish you won’t ever feel the need to spend too much time inspecting yourself in the mirror.
But when you do examine your reflection:
- I wish you’ll remember that you were born with DNA instructions that dictate what you can see: the shade of your skin, the shape of your nose, the length of your eyelashes. These features were assigned without any input or effort from you. They are part of you. They may be the first things people notice about you. They may be admired or they may be criticized. But these, alone, don’t define you, and they don’t define beauty, no matter what you hear in the schoolyard or read on the internet. These are just the tip of your iceberg.
- I wish you’ll look deeper into yourself to see these, as well: kindness, grace, and humour. Courage and perseverance. Resilience and curiosity. The capacity to love and to be loved. The willingness to help and to stand up for others. These, I believe, make you beautiful. Maybe you were born with some of these qualities. Maybe you were taught. Some of them are strong, while some need growth. In any case, your attitude and actions have influence in these matters. These are your superpowers. Use them for good.
- I wish, in the healthiest way possible, that you’ll also acknowledge the darker parts of yourself, like anger, greed, and fear. Apathy and doubt. They exist not only in you but in every single one of us. I wish you strength and support to cope with these, to accept them when appropriate and to rectify them when necessary. Do so to keep them in check, as they make very unpleasant superpowers.
- I wish you’ll read and enjoy this quote, because it’s so much better than anything I could have written:
“Take everything that’s bright and beautiful in you and introduce it to the shadow side of yourself. Let your altruism meet your egotism, let your generosity meet your greed, let your joy meet your grief. Everyone has a shadow… But when you are able to say, “I am all of the above, my shadow as well as my light,” the shadow’s power is put in service of the good. Wholeness is the goal, but wholeness does not mean perfection, it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of your life.”
~ Parker Palmer (click here for more of this wonderful piece)
- I wish that you’ll always look at yourself with equal amounts of honesty, courage, appreciation, and tenderness.
- I wish, then, that when you turn away from the mirror and face the world around you, you’ll appreciate the duality existing in everyone, in everything. Light/dark. Joy/pain. Strength/vulnerability. Nourish your empathy, because everyone has a story. In a way, we’re all balancing acts. Grief and regret are inevitable, but it’s still possible to cultivate joy and wonder.
For starters, just look up at the stars.
With all my love,