In early 2016, I wrote a letter to my then ten-year-old granddaughter with ten specific thoughts. It was a spur-of-the-moment sharing, hand-written on simple lined “school” paper with holes in the margin, around which I drew little flowers. She asked me to hang onto it for her and I took it out, and reread it, yesterday.
My Dear Lauren,
1. You are amazing—even if there are times when you don’t feel like you “fit in”.
2. You are uniquely special—you have extraordinary gifts and are a joy-filled person who’s kind, funny, talented, smart, generous, creative and beautiful (on the outside and inside).
3. Some kids hide behind mean behavior trying to be cool—they’re probably scared inside.
4. Honor your sensitivity—it’s a wonderful part of you.
5. Figure out a way to juggle the “responsibilities” of life and have fun—it’ll make everything easier.
6. Never, ever stop dancing or laughing or singing or dreaming. You are an incredible, strong force of good in our world—always keep looking at life through the lens of joy.
7. Keep caring about the people who are just a little “different” from you.
8. Be patient—don’t rush to grow up, enjoy being young.
9. Always remember chocolate brownies and ice cream and laughing!
10. I will love you always and forever, and I will always be here for you.
As I read this note,
it struck me that these reminders are just as important for us
as they are for children.
So, this is my letter to you:
Dear Fellow Journeyer,
1. You are amazing—even if you don’t have the same belief system, lifestyle, or possessions as others around you; even when you don’t feel like you “fit in”.
2. You are uniquely special with gifts that are individual and important. Identify them, write them down, and then hang them up where you see them daily.
3. Some adults hide behind mean behavior. They, just like children, may be scared inside.
4. Honor your sensitivity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told, “you’re so/too sensitive”. That’s not going to change and, honestly, that’s a big part of who I am so I no longer apologize for it. Being sensitive has made me sensitive to others’ feelings.
5. Figure out a way to juggle your responsibilities—which are, obviously, significantly more weighty than those of a child—so that you can have fun. If you’re “all work and no play”, you’ll burn out really fast.
6. Never stop doing those things that feed your spirit. Whether that’s dancing or singing or painting or gardening or walking or volunteering, find where you’re happiest and live into those spaces, so that you can see life through the lens of joy.
7. Keep caring, or start caring, about people who are different from you. Whether we look different, talk different or walk through life differently, we’re all spirit souls, residing in (often) clunky bodies, playing out our role as humans, until we get back to spirit side.
8. Be patient. Are you rushing through life? If so, where are you rushing to? Don’t be anxious to be in the next place or to experience the next thing. Try to be in and rejoice in this moment.
9. Always remember the little things in life that make you smile. Always remember the joy.
10. God will love you always and forever and will always be there for you—
in the light, and especially in the dark,
in the success, and especially in the failure,
in the moments of peace, and especially in the moments of fear.
Instead of making more room for the physical things that we don’t feel we have enough of, what if we make room for more God, more joy, more laughter and more love? And, if it makes you smile, more brownies with ice cream, too.
If you enjoy reading peace full home,
please pass it along. That is the highest
compliment I could receive.