(Written for Lucy. May you always choose love. Love, Aunt Allie)
There are many things I feel called to this earth to do. I dream of making differences and starting charities and rescuing orphans in Romania. I dream of continuing my passion for women’s issues and spreading awareness of all kind. For years this had been the center of my heart. I’ve felt compelled beyond all reason to give my life up for certain things, as I’m sure you have as well. I imagined my life full of schooling and PhDs and money and service.
And then I met Lucy.
Lucy was born on July 5,2015 to my sweet sister and her wonderful husband. She has ten fingers and ten toes and the sweetest lips you’ve ever seen. The first time I held her I felt something inside of me change. I still want all those things I have mentioned before- but now I have added a mission greater than all of those to my list of things I want to accomplish.
I want to teach Lucy how to love herself.
As I held her for the first time, I thought about the phenomenon that has baffled me for quite sometime. How are we born as beautiful, perfect, loved infants with wonder and curiosity and excitement and turn so quickly into doubters?
Somewhere along the way from birth to womanhood we forget how to love ourselves. We forget to marvel at the way our legs work, the way our hair can braid or curl or straighten, the way we can smile and light up a room. Somewhere along the way we are convinced that we are just normal beings, here to live a reasonable life and go back to wherever we came from.
But I want Lucy to know something different.
I want Lucy to look in the mirror and love the way her eyes gleam.
I want Lucy to walk with wonder.
I want Lucy to discover her true purpose on this earth and to embrace girlhood and womanhood gracefully and wonderfully.
I want Lucy to come to terms with her flaws and learn to embrace them.
I want Lucy to be kind to herself first so that she may better show kindness to all those around her.
I want Lucy to dream as big as she can and chase after those dreams with confidence and soul.
I want Lucy to see food as it should be seen.
I want Lucy to try on a swimsuit and embrace and show kindness to what she sees in the mirror.
I want Lucy to know her worth from the inside out and not the opposite way.
I want Lucy to revel in her talents and abilities, strengths and intelligence.
And not only do I want this for Lucy, I want this for every girl,baby, and woman in the world.
I am convinced that there is no greater work than to teach girls and women how to be kind to themselves, how to love themselves fearlessly, and how to rise above this destructive culture.
I hope Lucy never knows the feeling of a growling stomach from starving herself.
I hope Lucy never knows the feeling of a cold tile floor while hovering above a toilet.
I hope Lucy never knows the feeling of complete self-loathing because your 00 jeans from 6th grade don’t fit you anymore as a senior in high school.
I hope Lucy never knows the insecurities and doubts and self-criticism that society will try to make her feel.
I hope I can forever teach her a different, better way.
I am passionately led by a powerful desire.
And I am convinced that it all starts here. At Lucy’s young age.
We can start instilling self-love and kindness into our children from the moment they are born. We must teach young girls how to love themselves before the world teaches them the opposite.