Friday, March 24, 2017

Don't Be Like Me: A Letter to My Daughters

The best piece of advice I have for my daughters? Don't be like me.

Many people look up to their parents; even want to be like them. I'm your mother. I know you love me. You admire me. In some ways you are already somewhat like me. I know you aren't going to understand me. But please, please feel me - what I'm trying to tell you. No matter how much you think I’ve got it together, how much you think I’ve overcome, how much you think I’ve accomplished. Because I love you and want the best for you, right now I am begging you. Begging you - please don't be like me. Don't turn out like me. Don't be anything that remotely resembles me.

Being me means you will get hurt.
Being me means you will get used.
Being me means you will be discarded.
Being me means you will be disrespected.
Being me means you will be disregarded.

Being me is to never be certain of yourself. To never be at ease in known or unfamiliar surroundings. To always struggle to understand things. To trust when you shouldn't and not to fear when you should. It is complicated, it is draining, it is being too much of some things and not enough of others.

To be me means that even when someone harms you, lies to you, betrays you, you don't value yourself enough to leave.

It means that no amount of trappings of pseudo-middle class life can sufficiently cover the impoverishment that dwells within you.

It means that no matter how many prayers you whisper, no matter how many praise songs you utter, no matter how many hours you spend on your knees in that prayer closet you're never going to be clean enough. You're still that little girl who got ruined so many years ago, whose body is only good for bringing others pleasure (but you pain).

It means that when you look in the mirror you hate what you see...who you see. But yet it's the only person you recognize, the only one you know how to be.

It means fighting with your own mind incessantly. Is what you're producing good enough? Are you working hard enough? Are you giving enough? Are you doing enough? Are you being enough?

Are you even enough? Will you ever be enough?

I don't want your beautiful, unique spirit crushed. I don't want your joy depleted and your self-worth deleted. I don't want doubt, anxiety, sadness, regret to take residence in your heart. I want you to be happy. I want you to be you. I want you to be fulfilled. I want you to fly…

I want you to be free. And that is why you must never, never, never, never

Never end up like me.






Image of a person gazing at their reflection through a shattered mirror. Photo credit: Time to Break My Silence website.


2 comments:

  1. It sounds like you need to hear how wonderful you are in a number of people's eyes. You are loved.

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  2. I hope your daughters grow up to be exactly like you. They will have pain and brokenness, no matter how much you try to shelter them. I hope they turn it into the strength and beauty you share with the world.

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