I’m so proud of all the unique and beautiful things the women in my life bring to this world. I am grateful for strong role models and mentors who push me just outside my comfort zone to the place where growth happens. And I adore that I get the opportunity and honor of raising a little girl to be a strong and beautiful woman. It’s a huge responsibility and there are so many things I want for her.
Here are 25 things I want my daughter to know:
- Love is louder than hate … even when love whispers.
- Fear isn’t weakness; it simply creates opportunity for courage.
- Tears aren’t weakness either. Crying means you have the strength to acknowledge and express your emotions.
- Your most beautiful self is your present self.
- Be kind to everyone, even bullies.
- Choose forgiveness, it will be hard but it will be worth it.
- Create your own definition of success.
- Feminism in its true definition is simply the belief that men and women deserve equal rights and opportunities. Be a feminist.
- You will fail sometimes and that’s okay. Keep trying.
- You’re strong. You might not feel it all the time, but you are.
- Other people’s opinions don’t define you. Tune out the noise.
- You have worth not because of what you do, but because of who you are.
- Follow your dreams.
- Some hard days call for chocolate and staying under the covers and binge watching Netflix. That’s okay.
- Take risks – surprise yourself and others.
- Smile a lot. Aim to have a heavy set of laugh lines before you hit thirty.
- Read as much as you can. Never stop learning.
- Be compassionate – to people and to animals.
- No one can ever take away your faith or your integrity. You alone own them.
- Admit when you are wrong, and apologize when needed.
- Stand up for justice, but be merciful.
- Be best friends with your brother. Forever.
- You have amazing hair, gorgeous chocolate brown eyes, and a smile that lights up the room.
- Don’t settle. In love or in life. You were created for more.
- I love you and I am proud of you and I will always be over the moon grateful that you are my girl.
(I originally wrote this post for my friend Mary Evelyn Smith’s blog in celebration of the birth of her daughter. It appeared here. )