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Raising a daughter means the lessons never stop, even for the mother. Here is a list of lessons learnt after the first and the second letter to a beloved daughter, which just needed to be passed on!
Today is a beautiful day. I love Monsoons; especially the afternoons. I feel these afternoons are timeless, they can take you anywhere. Such days always take me to the silent afternoons of my childhood. I never thought I would grow up one day. But I did. Such is the magic of time, beta, it flows unannounced.
Now this is my third letter to you. There are things that I have failed at and a few others that I have succeeded at, a few lessons have been learnt, and others, Maa is still learning. However, I say, your life lessons might be different from mine, but I hope you respect that everyone carries different text books in this journey of life.
I know, it is uncanny for Maa to begin a letter with something as gloomy as grief. But beta, grief is real, so is life, don’t run away from it. Grief is very private. It is your closest interaction to the life lessons God planned for you. And it’s okay to grieve. The world will ask you to hasten your grieving, it loves perfect faces. But stop, and take a breath always.
One of the most important places that you will need to find in this world is a place to grieve. Grief is very vulnerable and tender; you have to find that safe place. Mostly it will be your girlfriend’s shoulder. For you, it can be anyone. But do find that one place. It will help you go a long way.
This is something you will face when you rise a little in life. When you are on the same level as others, it’s difficult to find who you mean what to. However, there are times, when you will rise in life – you will be blessed in infinite ways, which others might not. There will be friends who will cheer for you and others might not. Success brings out a lot of demons within.
But beta, refuse to play small. If someone cannot take the complete you, it is an injustice to yourself to play small so that you can hang around with some people. It is your birth right to express yourself to the fullest, if it makes you an outcast at times, so be it. Hold your head high, cry in the washroom, and then walk like a queen who knows how to protect her Queen-dom.
There is one thing that a Queen does. She builds her boundaries. There is an immense need to build a healthy boundary to protect yourself. To build a boundary, you have to set your standards. And when you set your standard of what is acceptable and what is not, you behave that way. And believe me, you will be treated accordingly. I have seen, you will have in your life what you continue to let be. If you don’t like something, raise the bar to a better place.
Beta, there will be times you can just sing a lullaby and get over the situation, but know for sure after each sleep people wake up to face the truth. Nothing works in life like truth does. This I learnt from Iyanla Vanzant – that if you love them, tell them the truth. Truth is what you know for sure in the moment. Stick to it, take a breath, and speak the truth. Believe me, it will take you a long way.
Nothing worked in my life more than truth and honesty. And they are the pillars on which relationships work. If you like something, appreciate. If you don’t, tell it. And if you need something, speak out your needs. In life, not all can read you. Speak your truth, with integrity. But know, there is a difference between honesty and cruelty. Do not justify cruelty under the garb of honesty. It never works. Before speaking out, check your intention – if it is to hurt or humiliate someone, stop. I have learnt truth brings the changes we need, cruelty destroys it all.
Harsh it may sound, there are no free lunches in the world. One day you will take up a job, or a car or a house. With each thing that you get into your life, you will have to sign contracts. You can’t want a house and not check if it has security provisions or not. Such are relationships too. You cannot be best friends with a man, then fall in love and want to marry him. If you are in love, tell him. If you are just friends, it has different terms and conditions.
If you have fallen in love, the terms and conditions are different. Don’t be surprised if one day he invites you to be the best man at his wedding. Remember, you signed the contract for being the best friend. And that is what you got. Don’t sign half deals, ever. And trust me, if someone only wants to sign a deal of a friend, so be it. If you want a partner, there is always someone out there who will sign it for you. Always. Know what you want and go for it. Go for the full deal.
We are all broken in parts. Some are torn apart, some in pieces, some have marks, some are healed to some extent. But we are all broken at some part or other. And Rumi will tell you, that this is the place where light comes in. Trust people who show their broken parts. They are the only ones who have had enough courage to see their wounds. And they are the genuine lots.
I always have a hint of doubt when people show their perfect lives all the time. Remember, perfection is only for social media and most importantly Instagram. In personal relationships, it’s mostly about dealing with the flawed parts. If they are talking as saints or poetries all the time, sit on the fence and take time to gauge.
Beta, this has been a long letter, and I know I need to stop. But there is so much I need to share with you and with all my daughters who will read my letters. One daughter will share my womb and others, my heart. One daughter’s name I will know and others, their spirit. I will wait for the day when all my daughters fly un-pinned. And what a gorgeous world that is going to be. I might not share that world, but I know, we all worked for that one beautiful world.
I shall forever love you. You are a piece of my heart out in the world. Handle yourself with care.
P.S: Always listen to this song, “I have a dream.” You can choose any version you want. But do listen to it. At least once in a week.
Pic credit: Psicoloco (Used under a CC license)
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
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Letter To My Beloved Daughter (Part 4)
Letter To My Beloved Daughter (Part 5)
A Letter To My Beloved Daughter: Part 7
Letter To My Beloved Daughter (Part 6)
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