Love Letter to My Daughters
“I trust the flow of life.”
“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.” —Khalil Gibran
Trust is a word that came up for me this month. As a parent of college-age daughters, I spend a lot of time worrying as they venture forth in the world. With every horrible news event, I hit a new peak of anxiety. Are they safe? Have I taught them what they need to know? Is my voice enough to drown out negative messages from any source that tells them they are not smart, whole, beautiful, and perfect just the way they are? Have I taught them to stand up for themselves and to speak up for others? Have I encouraged them to pursue their dreams?
Recently, they reminded me that my role is not to impart my wisdom to them, but rather, to trust their ability to make their own decisions. The future generation is here, now. They are intelligent, brave, and skillful enough to figure things out – without my interference.
If things don’t turn out the way they had hoped, there is learning in that as well. I can’t know where their path will take them or what lessons they need to discern on their own. But I can trust them to do what they feel called to do in this world. I can trust them enough to let go: To let them make mistakes. To let them try again. To let them succeed, on their terms. To let them laugh. To let them mourn. To let them love. To let them live and be who they are meant to be.
What is it that happens when we trust? What happens when we release the need to control?
In part, it brings our attention back to our lives. What are our life lessons? How do we build a healthy path forward? Perhaps, in learning to trust my daughters, I am learning to trust life. I am learning to trust that despite violence, there is always more good than hate in the world. I am learning to trust that my actions, however small, matter. I am learning to trust Spirit for guidance. I am learning to trust the inner knowing of my heart.
Ultimately, we empower our children by listening to them. We empower them by encouraging their passions. We empower them by loving them. And as difficult as it can be, we empower them by setting them free.
May they be proud of our work in creating a more loving world in which to dwell.
In joy & gratitude,
Diana J. Ensign