A few weeks ago there was one of those "copy and paste and post a picture of your daughter" posts on Facebook that I really liked a lot. It was a "Rules For My Daughter" post. And though I don't like the word rule much, I do like the ideas. Some more than others. Some were a bit fluffy for me. But others were right there in their message to our daughters, to our friends, to ourselves. And so I thought, at first, that I would do the copy and paste and share with some pics thing but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to write about it here. And share a few of my own of these things we pass down and hope find their way into the arsenal of information and opinions and experiences and wisdom and failings and lessons learned and shared that our daughters will then have available to them as they navigate their world.
I use the word arsenal intentionally.
Here are my few:
1. Do not hesitate to use your voice, say your truth, speak your mind. Stand up for yourself. Yet still know when it is ok to be silent. Make this a choice. Do not lose your voice, know when to use your voice.
2. Be big. Only be invisible when you want to be.
3. Buy less, good things. Be it beautiful clothes or amazing shoes or food or that needed massage or shoes or that class you want to take or trip you want to journey on or shoes. Buy what you love that has value, for you.
4. Know your triggers and take responsibility for how you react to the world around you. In other words, own your shit.
5. Never apologize for being right about something, or great at something. Do not belittle or minimize your talent. You are as great as you know you are.
6. Be loyal and nurture your relationships but not at the expense of your own work and growth. In turn, know when to choose to put aside your own work or growth to nurture someone you love. It's a balance that you intuitively know. Trust your inner knowing.
7. Let me say this again on its own: Trust your inner knowing.
8. Decide what information, words of wisdom, lessons learned and shared by others are the ones that resonate with you. Throw away those that don't.
9. You do not owe anyone anything.
10. Be smaaat and spaaaackly and - as that wise old soul, the Genie is Disney's animated Aladdin once said: Beeeeeeeeeeee yourseeeellllfffffff.
Here is the original "Rules For My Daughter." I've made bold the ones I like best!
Rules For My Daughter:
1. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
2. Send Thank You cards for every act of hospitality — except another Thank You card.
3. Travel light through life. Keep only what you need.
4. Put cinnamon in your coffee, and twice as much when you miss me.
5. It’s okay to cry when you’re hurt. It’s also okay to smash things; but, wash your face, clean your mess, and get up off the floor when you’re done. You don’t belong down there.
6. If you’re going to curse, be clever. If you’re going to curse in public, know your audience.
7. Seek out the people and places that resonate with your soul.
8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
9. 5-second rule. It’s just dirt. There are worse things in a fast food cheeseburger. In our family it was actually a five minute rule, all my kids survived and thrived!
10. Happiness is not a permanent state. Wholeness is. Don’t confuse these.
11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack your bag.
12. Never walk through an alley.
13. Be less sugar, more spice, and only as nice as you’re able to without compromising yourself.
14. Can’t is a cop-out. Don’t want to is perfectly acceptable.
15. Hold your heroes to a high standard. Be your own hero.
16. If you can’t smile with your eyes, don’t smile. Insincerity is nothing to aspire to.
17. Never lie to yourself.
18. Your body, your rules.
19. If you have an opinion, you better know why.
20. Study your curiosities and practice your passions.
21. Ask for what you want.
22. Wish on stars and dandelions, then get to work.
23. Don’t skimp on good sheets.
24. Fall in love often. Particularly with ideas, art, music, literature, food and far-off places.
25. Fall hard and forever in love with nothing but yourself.
26. Say Please, Thank You, and Pardon Me, whenever the situation warrants it.
27. Reserve I’m sorry for when you truly are.
28. Naps are for grown-ups, too.
29. Question everything except your own intuition.
30. You have enough. You are enough.
31. You are amazing! Don't let anyone ever make you feel you are not. If someone does....walk away. You deserve better.