I look at this photo and wonder what you are thinking about. It fills me with the wonder of a mother watching her daughter head into a life of possibilities and experiences and my heart fills for the joy that is your presence in this world.
I want you to know that you are amazing. I want you to know that you make me smile when you walk in a room and that your smile has the capacity to make others forget any sadness they hold when you use it. I want you to know that your sense of fun makes other people happy and full of laughter and fun themselves. I want you to know that when you stretch and pose while practicing gymnastics in the garden, I am always watching and full of pride and wonder at the strength of your body and your dogged determination to practice until you get it. I want you to know that you are smart and kind in equal measure and it makes you stand out every day as someone people want to be around.
I need you to know so much more that it pains me to say but I know I need to say anyway. I need you to know that your beauty shines from inside you and is a light that no mean words or unkind actions should ever be able to dim. I need you to know that you are stronger than any unkind words spoken by someone who was miserable and in pain and wanted to see you suffer too. I need you to know that you are beautiful and smart and full of endless potential. I need you to know that those mean words, while they hurt now, will fade with time as you reclaim your love for you and your love for your body. I need you to know that no one else is entitled to say anything about your body, how it looks or how it works or how it would show up on a scale if you were to stand on one. I need you to know that no one else is entitled to comment on your grades or make you feel bad so that they can feel better. You are perfectly smart and beautiful as you are and you work hard every day to do your best. I need you to know that is all that really matters.
You already know that what you think matters most but I need you to know, deep down in your soul, that you are beautiful inside first and that your outer appearance is just the means to help you enjoy a life filled with beautiful smiles and laughter and fun like you are. I wish you could see you like I see you. I wish you could know that this will all just make you stronger and better and even more lovely than you already are.
All you need to do is look after your body and your soul. Love them and show them every day that you appreciate all the amazing things they help you do. Tell them you love them – softly, gently and without restriction. Show it by eating fuel foods, moving for fun and consuming as many experiences and life lessons as you have the stamina for! Be you my lovely girl, just be you. On your terms, in your own way, with your kindness and laughter and smile and fun and smarts. You were born to be YOU, not anyone else and you is all you need to be to make this world a better place.