Dear Westyn Noel,
I know I tell you every single day that you are beautiful, smart, kind, funny, and worthy. At two and a half years old, you believe me. With a smile on your face, you boldly agree with a confident “Uh-huh!” after every compliment I give you. My heart feels overwhelmed with joy to see your confidence and self-worth so intact and unshakeable. But I know it won’t always be this way. There is likely going to come a day when you are going to look in the mirror and question whether you are pretty enough, skinny enough, or worthy enough. There will probably come a day when you don’t believe me when I compliment you. I already mourn for when this day comes because I can assure you, I mean every word I say when I tell you how lovely you are, and I wish you would never, ever lose sight of your worth. So I want to remind you that you are worthy. God dreamt you up, He created you EXACTLY how He wanted you, your value is not defined by your outward appearance. Do not listen to the voice inside your head that is telling you that you are not enough, you are. You have so many wonderful qualities to offer this world and those around. Your value lies in that.
Next, one of the most important qualities you can embody is kindness. I’m going to be honest with you, I wasn’t always nice growing up. I can recall times in my younger years when I said hurtful things, made other girls feel unworthy or acted as if I was better than others. I wish I could take those moments back. Be nice. We are all unique, but we are all valuable, make others feel valuable. If you have an opportunity to stand up for someone who is weaker than you, do it, regardless of the fear I know you will have in your heart at that moment. Accept and socialize with every kid. Be partners with the student in your class who usually gets picked last. Invite the new girl at school to sit with you at lunch. Compliment others. Smile at strangers. Use your manners and respect your elders. Try not to worry about what everyone else is doing, and focus on doing what is right. Sometimes what is right and what is hard are the same things, do what is right anyway.
Speaking of kindness, be kind to yourself. Be aware of your self-dialogue. Recognize when you are being unkind to yourself. Expect respect from other people, especially any man you choose to call yours. If someone says something to you that you wouldn’t want them saying to your best friend, do not put up with it. Do not forget that your body in a temple. You don’t owe anyone anything. If a guy is pressuring you to do something you are not comfortable with, I can assure you, he isn’t someone you want to keep around even though you may not feel worthy of someone better at that moment. Comparison is the thief of joy, you are YOU for a reason.
Forgive quickly, resentment in your heart is toxic, but do not forget. Second chances are great, but if someone is needing more than a second chance from you, there will most likely be a third and a fourth chance too if you allow it. Don’t.
Read for enjoyment. There are so many wonderful books that will give you perspective and personal growth, as well as books that will allow you to escape reality and transport yourself to a different world for a short time.
Drink your water. That may seem like silly advice but really, drink up buttercup!
Mom usually does actually know best. It took me a lot of years to realize that 9 times out of 10 my mother was right, but the older I got, the more I found it to be true. Your aunts are amazing resources, trust them, reach out to them, and if you have something you don’t feel like you can come to me with, go to them.
You will make mistakes. It’s human life. Apologize when necessary and don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong. I will always be here to help you navigate your mess ups and so will God. Take it to Him.
Remember that you are so loved. Life can be hard, but love wins every single time. So choose love. Be respectful of others with differing opinions than you but stand strong in the things you genuinely believe in. Share your faith and your heart. Be authentic and don’t be afraid to show your vulnerabilities. Sometimes we must break in order to release the toxic and build ourselves back up with a stronger foundation. It is ok. This does not mean you are weak, it is an opportunity for growth.
I said it once, and I’m going to reemphasize it again because I believe it is one of the most important aspects of your entire life, be kind. To everyone. You will never regret choosing kindness.
I love you. I believe in you. I know you were made for greatness. You are worthy. I am so proud to be your mom. I love you forever, just the way you are!