My Daughters . . .
Abigail, Isabella, Emma, Cosette and sweet Charlotte,
I am not sure exactly why, but I have been gently nudged to write you a letter. As I type it, I, myself, am not even really sure what I am supposed to tell you. But my heart wisdom will exit my fingers, and find it's way out onto the keyboard hopefully, in a somewhat sensible manner.
First and above all else, REMEMBER TO BE YOU, especially when those you know and love are standing with you. But even more importantly, when others, stuck in their own insecurities, are forcibly pushing against you. They may try to break you by saying you are too bright, too much, too big, or too outspoken. When you feel scared or confused, remember where you come from: a home full of love and light, where it is safe but messy, comfortable but cluttered, where all are welcomed. A home that often smells of chili in the crock pot, and the scent of wet dog after Bo comes in from the rain. Remember, that no matter what you do, positive or negative, struggle or triumph, big or small, my love for you will never, ever, ever change. I am here to celebrate all of your successes, but more so, to love you when you have failed, and are not sure if you have the strength to continue.
LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION. If something in your life is happening, and it doesn't feel quite right, and you can't seem to put your finger on it, that is God gently poking you, asking you to reassess the situation. Don't be fearful to ask for guidance and courage to do the right thing. And this right thing may be for you, but often, I have found in my own path, it is for someone else. This will be one of many opportunities to be brave, and self-less. Even if you feel unsure, remember that every step you have taken before this scary one, has prepared you for this exact moment. Trust this truth.
TRY NEW THINGS! I am quite the simpleton...in how I pray, in what I eat, and how I move my body each day. But I want MORE for you!
If your heart desires, jump off a bridge...SAFELY, and with a bungee cord, or course :) Learn to play a new instrument, and practice it, not caring if the music sounds horrendous as you master the strings or keys. If it fills up your spirit, play away. Sing...in the shower, up on stage, at a concert, off key, or while you're driving. Use your voice to unleash the part of your soul that remains silent at times, for fear of being found out. God gave you that voice before you even came here, and it is to be used! Travel...on a sister pilgrimage to Nicaragua, to Europe to discover where our families came from, paying attention to the people who come into your path, and how there are no coincidences. Remember that just by being you, amazing things will start to happen. People are drawn to the light, and you are that! For daddy and I, but for so many others. And you're not even aware of this gift. You don't even understand that yet, but it's okay. You are here to shine so that others may feel hope and joy and grace. Don't worry, you're going to do just fine!
Remember, no matter what happens, YOU ARE DIVINELY AND UNIQUELY MADE.
I don't have any sisters myself, to show "how to do it". In my own life, I have stumbled with arrogance, tripped with inflexibility, and made poor decisions due to lack of empathy and compassion. I have questioned my Catholic faith, my Priest (sorry Father John), and my church. I have fought against doing the right thing, because it was easier in the moment to be lazy and complacent. I have made mistakes, but in time, have come to realize they were each my greatest teachers.
In due time, I will share these experiences with you, when I feel it is appropriate. I firmly believe that by sharing the choices from my past that left me feeling shameful, unworthy, and unlovable, it will provide you the opportunity to choose differently in your own path. And to remind you that you are never alone, because Mama, too, is a work in progress.
May you drink in...
Joy and Grace in your thoughts.
Faith and Trust in your actions.
Love and Hope in your heart.
Courage and Truth in your abilities.
Strength and Humility from within.
You are worthy of all of this. I love you.