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Dear Daughter: The One Thing You Have to Protect

Photograph by Twenty20

Dear Aria,

Just so you know, I wrote this when you were 9. Things may have changed a bit in the past four years. But right now, Instagram and Snapchat are a more vital way of communicating than words. The world has grown cold and detached, as we've cozied up to cell phones over humans. I hope that by now, there has been some revival of the old times. In the olden days we said "I love you" for the first time, face to face.

However some things will never change. And that's our connection to ourselves. This is timeless. This doesn't involve a computer. The only programming required is your own self-worth. It starts as a seed in our deepest core, with our beliefs about ourselves, and like a branch, it extends through the body and out to all we come into contact with.

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Our physical, emotional and spiritual connection to ourselves are all extensions of our feelings around self-worth. As you move through your teens, life will complicate and challenge this fortress. More than ever, you will need to hold on to the reigns of self-worth.

To remain whole and integrated. To stay true to yourself.

The voice of your self-worth is everything. It is your guide in life.

Your body is changing. Your hormones are changing. Your brain is changing. You smell different. You are on the precipice of womanhood and I am scared the world will chip away at your solid sense of center.

When something doesn't feel right, you will know. The voice deep inside will give the call and you need to listen. That is your self-worth calling. She may know more than you when your teen body and mind don't feel like playing by the rules. Being a teen is about defiance and rebellion, even toward yourself.

But this is where it gets tricky. This is where mistakes happen. This is where regret happens. This is when we start to lose touch with "her" and let "them" take over.

Who is "them"?

Things like: the pressure of group think, your friends, the media, cultural messages we receive as women, boys, crushes, magazines and the government who wants to own our bodies (but that's another subject)!

They will try to undermine you, distract you from your truth and sever you from your self-worth. There may be instances where things may feel so seductive that the call will arise, but you will silence her, tell her to shut up, go away and not to bother you now! There may be times when your hear her voice rising, but you are too scared to let her out and you may end up in a "yes" situation when your inner voice wishes it was a "no."

RELATED: Dad Gives Toddler a Lesson on Self-Worth

Remember: The voice of your self-worth is everything. It is your guide in life. It can be strong and silent, but it's still the most powerful fortress to honor and protect your mind, body and soul.



P.S. Can you please still call me that and NOT "Emily" even if you think it's un-cool? Please?

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