I wish I could tell you this was my idea, originally. It’s powerful… but the idea actually came from a group of yoga instructors that I follow. They all did a similar post and I had sort of had this blog brewing for a while but their posts motivated me to finally write it.
I read once, “Be the parent that you needed” and I had a similar powerful reaction to that. You see we don’t all have the same experience when it comes to a mentor or feeling supported and truly understood. Some of us have felt mostly misunderstood and without a true north.
I am one of those.
I always thought I would have a daughter to make up for this. As if being her true north and mentor would heal me. I had so much to tell her! So much to pass along after all these years. But … somehow we get exactly what we need. And I needed my sons. I needed them to learn that I am a powerful woman and mom… because of love. Pure love – no agenda. I felt like I had NOTHING to teach them in the beginning. Just be a good human. The rest has been a discovery of how love can heal your heart in all of the broken places… just because it’s love. Those baby boys asked nothing else of me. And they healed many broken places in my heart and soul.
But what about this baby girl? The one in this picture? What would I tell her? What would I teach her? Well here is where the healing truly started to begin. When I realized that this little girl is the one that has needed me all along.
So what would I say to this little Shannon if she was sitting here with me? First of all, I would hug her until it was awkward …… because you see I love this little girl. I love that sparkle in her eyes … the kind of sparkle that you know means it’s a bit naughty too. I would listen to her and not speak… there was so much innocence and optimism for what could be in that child. And after all that ..here are the things I would tell her:
Do not ever stop being you. YOU are different. Different is OK. Smart is OK. Being shy is OK. Liking alone time is OK. It’s when you start to feel the need to be “normal” that you start giving away little bits of your sparkle a piece at a time.
When you are a teenager you will say to yourself “I want to have the most fun possible and never regret missing anything!” But here is something you won’t see coming… Guess what your one big regret will be as an adult? Selling your cello in 7th grade and never playing again. That was one of the first times you gave away a piece of sparkle to fit in with girls you won’t even speak to in a few years. STAY DIFFERENT.
Don’t be so afraid of your own mind. That movie War Games? Yeah you will lose a lot of sleep over that and the idea of the world ending……. Ummm baby girl .. I want you to stop trying to learn about what life means from movies. They glamorize a life that does not exist. Not in the rest of your small town and not in the rest of the world. Keep reading voraciously though…… that is a world you can escape to without so much commercial harm.
Find yoga and meditation sooooo much sooner. You have the ability to shake all of the small townisms within you at a pretty young age … but here is the thing about your mind. It races and it will become a prison of fear even when you move far away. Breathe baby girl. Everything is a learning experience and no one decision will ruin you. Maybe don’t party so much though…… that certainly had the potential to ruin you…… and as “fun” as you thought it all was … you gave away most of your sparkle to it.
There are dark years coming you beautiful little thing. Quite a few. But they are of your own making. They are made from your fears and decisions you have to make entirely on your own, from a place of fear. These are the years I wish I could be there with you. To hold your hand, To listen, To get you out of your own head and reassure you that I am here waiting for you. You will be so proud of you! You are going to make it. You are going to be a more loving and understanding person because of this pain. I promise.
Money. You are going to work yourself to the bone to have it. You are going to make every decision around it at some point. You are taught and you will remain in the mindset that you have to work to have all the shiny things. It is a lie. Let me repeat … it is a LIE. So finish that art degree girl… because you love it. But you won’t – you will drop out and get a Marketing degree instead. But even that decision will work out….. but a little secret about you… your artistic, hippie mind will figure out the lie about money and you won’t stop trying to find yourself under all of the layers of bullshit the world taught you. See? Aren’t you proud??!
You are going to make soooo many bad decisions. I could tell you every single one. But I’m not going to. I want you to make all of them because guess what? When you are 47 and you look around at everything you have, everything that you are now, everything you have worked so hard to build……all of it is because you made all those bad decisions that land you right where you are now, writing this Blog. And you would not change one single thing if it means you would have a different life. Those baby boys? Remember when you never wanted to ever get married or have kids??? Ohhhhh girl you are going to have a good laugh over that one.. many times. But those baby boys…. You will change because of them. Someone once said that a woman goes into the hospital to have her first child, and a different woman leaves. Nothing could be truer for you. You have no idea the capacity for love within you. You have no idea what a powerful woman they will make you. You will protect them, you will teach them, and you will be their true north….. not because you planned any of it. Because it was in you all along. THAT is the woman you become and that woman is waiting for you – to heal all of your hurt – when you are ready to let her.
I challenge all of you to write or think about, what you would say to a younger you. I promise you.. most of you will find that you have been your own true north all along.
*****Ladies …. if you are a newer mom and want similar Blogs that touch your heart … hop on over to Thinkbaby.org! She has an amazing website and touching stories as well!*****