To My Daughters: The Most Important Choice You Will Ever Make

I want my daughters to know that what they choose to think is the most important choice they make.

I want them to choose thoughts that are kind, compassionate, and forgiving to everyone, including themselves.

I want them to know that choosing positive, happy thoughts is hard and takes a tremendous amount of practice.

I want them to know that I spent half of my life trying to do this for myself and it’s freaking hard.

I want them to know that swirl of thoughts in their head that resembles being on a carousel that never stops has an off button. They need to choose to turn it off.

I want them to understand that others mirror the love and respect they have for themselves.

I want them to choose the thoughts that feel good.

Maybe my friend is having a bad day… instead of my friend is so mean.

I love my body because… instead of my body will be perfect when…

I appreciate feedback even when it’s hard to hear… instead of I am inferior, stupid, or not good enough.

My friend must have a lot on her mind… instead of my friend is ignoring me.

I love this person because… instead of that person always / never [fill in criticism].

This is just a moment, my day can get better… instead of everything is going wrong today.

I choose to, I want toinstead of I have to, I need to…

I am grateful for…. Instead of I wish I had…

Like all of us, my children will meet people who treat them unkindly, say abrupt and damaging things, verbally attack them…and they will choose. They will decide what to believe about these words.

I spent half my life thinking that every time someone berated, scolded, or ignored me that IT MUST BE ME. I must have done something wrong. Surely I could do better. I slowly learned that most of the time someone’s words and actions are a function of their own unhappiness and have nothing to do with me.

I hope my girls take responsibility when they make mistakes but don’t take responsibility for someone else’s misery.

I hope they will premeditate their happiness by choosing their thoughts carefully.

I hope they know that I here to help them. That I won’t always get it right. That sometimes I need help too. And that I only figured all this out – and can act on it – because I chose an amazing group of people to support me. Including their dad.

Above all else, I hope their lives are filled with joy because they create joy within their lives.

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