A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF.
That’s what you are, you know. Lovely. Beautiful. Smart. Courageous. Unique.
The world will try to tell you what beautiful is. That beautiful is something you see in the mirror, something in the size of your legs, or the shape of your body, in the perfect complexion of your skin, or the colour of your hair. It will tell you that beauty is in the way you present yourself, the make-up and clothes that you wear, and how much you fit in to the world's version of perfect.
I'll challenge that darling girl. Your beauty is in the way you stand firm when you feel the weight on your shoulders. It is in the way you rise after a fall. It is in the way you love, in the kind words you speak to others who don't always deserve it, it is in your smile, in the sound of joy on your lips.
Your beauty is in your strength, in your courage to stand up for what you know is right, just, fair, safe.
Beauty is not proven by the shape of your body but in the shape of your character, by the words you use to encourage and empower others, by the way you say no, when the world is telling you to say yes.
The world will try to tell you what it means to be a woman. That you have to be 'attractive', that you have to be a princess, a yes girl, that you have to hide your natural beauty with make-up for the world to accept you, that you have to wear the right clothes for the world to accept that you have value.
Beautiful one, your value has nothing to do with anything man-made, nothing to do with any words spoken over you, or anything anybody has done to you. It is something you were born with, it is something woven into your every cell, and no man or woman alive can take it from you. You darling girl, are the one. You are the only one who can be you.
No woman in history will be remembered for the way they followed the crowd, for the way they covered their identity with other peoples wishes and demands. they will be remembered for the defiant tilt of their chin in the face of adversity, in the way they rose after defeat, in the way they stood in-between the vulnerable and that which tried to strip them of their power. Their beauty is in their courage.
One thing you can be sure of, is if you stand up for anything, for others and for yourself you will be challenged, you may even be ridiculed. You will be tempted to do things you disagree with, you may be encouraged or pressured to stay quiet when you know you should speak, to stay seated when you know you should stand, but stand firm darling girl. Be true to who you are. Love yourself. Protect yourself, because everybody has their own path, their own journey, their own purpose and often, their own agenda.
Stand firm. You know who you are – and remember you are not defined by what other people say about you, or do to you sweet girl, you are defined only by the content of your character, and by the fruit of your spirit. By your humility, your kindness, your compassion, your confidence, your convictions, your loyalty, your faithfulness, your joy, by the way you love yourself, and others, and by your confidence in your identity.
That is where your beauty lies darling girl, although many will not recognise it. I do. When you are faced with difficult decisions remember who you are.
You are not a copy – you are an original, and you are worth more than any person on this earth could ever pay.
Remember this truth which stands firm surrounded by lies – You are loved even when you feel unlovable. You are not alone, even when it seems every single person in your life has abandoned you, let these words ring true in the dark, as a light to your feet when life takes them out from under you. Climb up. Rise up onto your feet sweet girl.
Raise your chin in defiance and keep moving forward, one step after the other, for this is only the beginning of your story, the next page is blank and you darling girl have the pen. You have the power to make it beautiful. rise up.