The world is not a nice place, most of the time. People can and will be judgmental, mean, hateful, but they can also be nice, loving, accepting, and supportive. The world is not full of only bad people. There are still good people around.
The world is full of its’ own expectations of women: in how they look, in how they dress, in how they act, talk etc. It is not our job to live up to these expectations.
People will judge, no matter what kind of life you live.
Society’s image of a woman is not the image that matters.
What you think of yourself outweighs what anyone else thinks of you.
With that, I’d like my girls to know the following:
- Love God first. No matter what your friends say, your boyfriend, the neighbor, anyone. Love God first and you will have an enriching life. You will have a life of ups and downs but with the Lord as your constant, you will get through anything.
- Love yourself. Who you are is what God made you. For that reason alone, you are good enough. You are loved enough. You are pretty enough. You are nice enough. You are exactly what God made you and as hard as it is sometimes, it’s only God’s opinion of you that matters. God doesn’t make mistakes so just be You.
- You CAN say no. Say no to sex. Say no to drugs. Say no to alcohol. Say no to anything that makes you uncomfortable. There will be many times in this life that you will be influenced, prodded, maybe even coerced into saying yes, but stand for what you know is right.
- Laugh. Laughter is healing. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at silliness. Laugh or smile when all you want to do is holler. Laugh at your failures. Why? Because one can learn and if you can laugh at yourself then you will also have the ability to learn from the mistakes. Life is to serious sometimes and just needs a little more laughter. So laugh. A lot!
- Learn to cook. Help in the kitchen, use recipe books, create your own genius foods, but learn to cook. Eating out all the time costs tons of money.
- Have a dream: to be an artist, a doctor, an actress, or even a mother and wife. Having a dream gives you something to strive for. Your dreams will change throughout the course of your life, so look inside yourself and hold onto your beliefs no matter where you are or which phase of life you are in.
- You will get mad. You will get hurt. You will be happy. You will feel a million and one feelings in your life, but the key to moving forward is forgiving. Forgive whatever is done to you, remember how it made you feel, but learn from it as well. Forgiveness is going to help you to live and enjoy a happier life. Holding onto your pain and anger only hurts you.
- Find a hobby. Be passionate. Something you can do to relax and step outside of the world around you for just a little while (once a day, once a week, once a month, whenever you feel the need for alone time). Allowing yourself to delve into your own space helps you to re-energize yourself, to revamp so you can be back in the world and not go comepletly psycho.
- The right man in your life will love you, not hinder you. He will accept you as you are rather than try to make you what he wants. He will love you simply because he loves you.
- Having sex is a BIG deal and should not be taken lightly. It’s giving a part of yourself to someone else. I mean something emotional, not just physical.
- If the man you are interested in doesn’t have any ambition then move on. More than likely, if he doesn’t have it when you meet him he’s probably not going to find it along the way.
- Don’t let society shape your idea of the perfect life. Live. Experience. Dream. Travel. Get this out of your system before you take a husband and create children. Otherwise, you might regret what you didn’t get to do. But remember, #’s 1, 2, & 3.
- Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Don’t over-indulge everyday. Don’t starve yourself. Be active, eat right, and you will be healthy.
- Money is nice, but it’s not everything. Keep your values at heart. Don’t let money be your driving force.
- Put more value into the kind of person someone is rather than how cool or fun he/she is. Believe it or not, we can choose our friends. Choose wisely.
- Family is important. Love them. Forgive them. Help them. Hate them. But never completely cut them out of your life.
- You can always to talk to me. About anything. If you believe it’s goint to anger me, chances are it will, but I will love you anyway. If you believe it’s going to hurt me or disappoint me, you are probably right, but I will love you anyway. We all make mistakes in this life, but the key is what we walk away with. Did you learn from it?
- Despite what society teaches you, there is a woman’s role and a man’s role. Fighting to be in a man’s world is fine, but you then have to accept the same attitude given to that of a man. You can’t be in a man’s world and expect to be treated like a lady.
- Always listen to your heart because it does not lie. If you are unhappy in career, in a relationship, in a friendship, in a social situation, then get out of it. Now for marriage, if you are not being physically abused in your marriage, then find a way to work it out.
- As God teaches us, turn the other cheek when someone hurts you, angers you but you shouldn’t lower yourself to that level. Always hold yourself to a higher standard and never intentionally hurt another. Not because you are better or worse, but because God expects more of you.
- Learn and Love. Every. Single. Day. Learn something. Love others.
- Be wary of change, because it’s not always good. Therefore, be informed as well. Read the newspaper, watch the news…stay informed.
- Never! Never give up on your marriage. Marriage is hard. It takes work. It takes commitment. To fall in love is easy. To stay in love takes more than love itself. It’s a choice you make every day. When things are hard, you make the choice to continue to love. To love another means to give of yourself even when you don’t want to give (when angry, hurt, tired, etc. etc) See #19
These things, my dear girls, are what I want you to know. Do not be fooled though because there is so much more. Some things I can teach you, but other things you will have learn for yourself. The world is happy and sad and angering and hurtful but it doesn’t have to define you. Look to your dad and I for direction, but more importantly, look to God.