It’s hard for me to put into words the beginning of a lifelong prayer that is being written in my heart for you as each day I watch you grow goes by — but I am going to try.
I pray you always remember that the strongest muscle in your body is your heart. Use it to spread kindness, gratitude, compassion, and generosity every day of your life.
Also, understand that it will undoubtedly come to know hurt, pain, loss, and suffering, but it will not break. It will keep beating even when your mind tells you it won’t; your heartbeat is the rhythm of your soul, and your soul knows how to piece your seemingly broken bits back together.
I pray that you’ll know when to use your voice to speak up for what is right and what you believe in — and that you’ll know when silence is the most powerful response possible.
I pray you break stigmas and pave the path for change through your everyday conversations, behaviors, and actions.
I pray you always remember that nothing good ever comes from manipulating, ridiculing, or teasing other people — and that even thinking such thoughts in your mind can wreak havoc in your heart.
I pray you put respecting others — and let me be clear here, others of any gender, age, race, religion, identity, culture, and education — at the forefront of your responsibilities and that you do so with integrity, regardless of what others choose to do.
I pray you understand the value in communicating your wants, needs, and feelings consciously, honestly, and respectfully and that you continue to be surrounded with relationships that will accept — and never shame — your emotions, expressions, and vulnerability.
I pray you never measure your self worth by the amount of money you have, the status of a position you hold, or the appearance of a woman or man by your side — but rather by the values you exude through your inherent character.
I pray you always feel heard and loved — and that you truly care about whether you make those you love feel that way, too.
I pray you are given opportunities in your lifetime to spend quality, awe-inspiring time outside in nature of all kinds — and that you marvel in how small we are in this great and beautiful world.
I pray you make traveling a priority so you enrich your mind and life through exploring and immersing yourself among other peoples, cultures, and environments; perspective gained experiencing the world is invaluable — and helps to shatter walls of ignorance.
A Place Within Me
I pray you believe to your core that your thoughts and prayers literally have the power to turn into your reality if you walk into the light that God will shine before you.
I pray you follow your heart and stay true to your passions. Too many are swayed to do something other than what they love; be mindful of this as you make choices and connections.
I pray you always know and choose to come to me rather than run from me — even in the face of danger, disappointment, embarrassment, or defeat. I will always welcome you into my home and heart and never want you to worry about what I will think, do, or say. We can overcome anything as long as we have mutual trust and honesty.
And above all else, I pray you believe in God and know in your heart that when you turn to him, he will always be listening and providing. Faith and trust in knowing you are created and protected by a power greater than we can ever imagine will take you further in life than nearly anything or anyone else.
For now, this will be all but know in your hearts that my prayer will continue to grow in length and love for all of your days.
Love always, Mom
This story originally appeared on A Place Within Me