I am re-posting this as a form letter. Perhaps it will help you write your your child or grandchild.
To what standard do you hold yourself? Who is the paragon to whom you compare yourself?
You do not disappoint!
You are a person of soul and virtue. You may have lived through things or done things which bring regret and self-recrimination with their memories, but these things do not define you.
What defines you is that spark inside that kindles and responds to adversity and says, “I think not!” What defines you is your tender love for your family and friends. What defines you is your generosity of spirit. What defines you is the sharp intelligence that searches for meaning and goes beyond the obvious to find new ideas and answers. What defines you is the beauty that shines through your eyes from your inner self.
You are young and you judge yourself harshly. You don’t realize that those of us who love you hold you in our high regard as well as in our hearts. We know you. We see your mistakes and the lessons you take from them…and we are happy that you can learn when you are young. We cry for the things you suffer and know that you are strong and will work through your pain and gain compassion to make the world better.
We acknowledge that you sometimes face decisions that cause confusion and discouragement. And you have taken paths that were wrong for you, but you recognized the signs and corrected your direction. This will go on for the rest of your life, because we all sometimes try and fail. We all test the water and change our minds. We all make what seem like horrendous mistakes and still keep trying to be our best selves.
You are a valued member of this family and this world. We want for you. We hope for you. We sometimes smother you and sometimes leave you struggling on your own when we should have been supportive. We don’t always respond with the right words at the right time in the right way.
But our hearts are always with you. We seek the best for you and would willingly provide it for you; but we know, also, that you are capable of making your own way. At times we think we know what might be better for you, but you alone can choose your life. Your choices will be your teacher and you are an apt student.
Have faith in yourself, but also have faith in us, your family. We know you and we love you for exactly who you are. You meet every expectation.
April 30, 2010 to my granddaughter