I want to tell you something about this world I brought you into and I want you to remember that it’s love that brought you here. Love, and destiny, maybe, or purpose. For some reason, it was you that made it earthside. Here’s the thing I want you to know about this world:
No matter what you do, it will be wrong to someone. So whatever you do, do it because it’s right for you.
I know that I am doing the best I can in raising you. I know that I’m trying to teach you to have manners at the table, and to run barefoot through the woods. I am trying to teach you to play nicely with others, and to hold your hand up and say “stop” when others aren’t playing nicely with you. I am trying to teach you to sit like a lady and to run screaming through the woods howling like a banshee. I’m trying to teach you to clean your ears and brush your teeth and I’m also trying to teach you to camp with no ablutions for a long weekend and come out from the trees looking like a feral wolf.
I am teaching you these things, not so that I can determine your future, but so that you can taste a little bit of everything, in the comfort and safety of my love, before choosing what it is you want to become yourself. I am offering you little bits of all I know, so that you can decide where to go from here.
And no matter what you choose, someone will be unhappy with your choice.
You may love someone someone else doesn’t approve of. You will study something that someone else doesn’t think right or worthy, or you will work in a field that someone doesn’t approve of. You will prefer coffee someone else boycots and you will choose to marry or not, be a parent or not, breastfeed or not, pursue a career or not, and no matter what you choose, there will be someone out there to whom your choice will be the wrong one.
And that is okay. That’s okay, because when you look in the mirror in the morning, you don’t have to take any notice of a sea of disapproval looking back at you. You have to search only one set of eyes, and that is your own. You have to look into one soul alone, and it is yours.
I have tried to teach you to look into the stillness within yourself. I have tried to teach you to listen to that inner voice, the one that doesn’t come preset or downloadable, but is the calm stillness within you. If you can hear that voice, trust it. It will not lead you wrong. I will continue trying to teach you this.
Rudyard Kipling said ‘If all men count with you, but none too much; …Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it… And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”
I say something similar, if less poetic, to you: “If you can choose your path, and in your choice find peace, yours is the earth and everything in it, and which is more, you’ll be YOU, my girl”.
*my collective name for my two daughters
Dear Girls, Choose What’s Right For You
Such a wonderfully important post, a post that everyone should read. I totally agree both with your method and reasoning behind parenting in this way. I like you want my children to grow up with the strength to make their own decisions, to do what they think is right – regardless of the opinions of those around them. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful post with us here at #PostsFromTheHeart