Words of wisdom for my children
Things I want my children to know and understand as they grow older
•You don’t need to change your body; your body is incredible just as it is. Unfortunately, we live in a world that profits of of us not feeling good enough. There is a diet, a weight loss solution, a lifestyle change, a make-up product, a cosmetic surgery that is ready and waiting to profit by offering a solution; to help you shrink your body and change your look, with the promise of making you a happier and healthier person. Take it from me, once you start to believe their words, it becomes very difficult to forget them. You don’t need to change your body, none of us need to change our bodies, there is nothing wrong with us, it’s society’s standards that need to change.
•We are all meant to look different, diversity is beautiful. When you are at school, and someone makes fun of a part of your body that doesn’t conform to society’s standard, stand tall. Know that the people who say mean things haven’t been taught better, unlike you. If anything, feel sorry that they are trapped in an unattainable ideal and that they turn their attention to others to make themselves feel better, and that’s a sad thing. Don’t absorb their words; be like a duck and let them roll off; know the opinions of others don’t define you. You define you, the people who love you define you, never stop building that inner strength of yours, that courage and fierce determination to stay strong in the face of adversity.
•You are and always will be more than a body. It’s a sad truth that women are primarily seen as bodies first, and who they are second. Men are not scrutinised for their appearances the way women are. Look around you, girls and women are posing seductively in advertising all around you, and that makes us feel like we aren’t good enough and that we should aspire to be that kind of beautiful too. Your existence on this Earth has nothing to do with how attractive you are to men, and it’s important you remember that. You are all the things the mirror can’t see; brave, strong, caring, fierce, determined, creative and loved. You are not an ornament who requires being praised for her beauty. Be so much more than beautiful.
•Real beauty is in the heart. Outer beauty fades, and it fades even faster when it comes with an ugly heart. It’s important you learn what matters and what doesn’t. The plumpness in your lips or the fullness of your eyebrows don’t make you any more or less beautiful. Once you realise that true beauty comes from within, you can release yourself from the pressure to have an outer shell that defines you. Work on being a good person, on caring for others, on making a difference and being who you really are deep, down inside.
•Always be kind. This is one of the most important things to remember. Be the person who leaves people feeling good about themselves, it’s never your job to bring others down, or make them feel less about themselves. When people go low, always go high. Rise above and be a bigger person, don’t get drawn in to negative drama, life is too short. Walk away if you must, but avoid responding in ways you’ll regret after, and remember that you’re never too old to count to 10 to calm yourself down before responding to someone.
•Know that you are so deeply loved. If ever it feels like things are too much, know that I will always be here to help you sort through the dark times; I will always be your light. Life isn’t always easy and you will face hard times, I know because I’ve been there, but there is always tomorrow, always. It’s okay not to be okay, but it’s important you talk. There is nothing you will feel that hasn’t been felt by others, you’re never alone.
•Embrace all that you are. Live well, laugh hard, care deeply and make the most of this incredible life that lies ahead of you. Always remain grateful. There will be people who have more, but there will also be people that have less. Be grateful for all you have, and give without expectation. Take risks, but not silly ones. Challenge yourself and learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect and no one has it all together, even the people you think are perfect have their struggles. Try to make good choices, and be the amazing human that you. I love you.