Article first published in the Huffington Post on 07/03/2016
In celebration of International Women's Day, I would like to share a letter I wrote to my daughters not long ago. It highlights what I value the most for them, as well as my hopes and dreams for their future.
My dearest daughters,
Ready or not, the day will come when you will become women and leave our home. Nevertheless, despite the years and great distance separating us, you will always remain my darling girls. Thus, I only ask that you keep this letter close to your heart.
Remember to love yourself always, with all the qualities and imperfections you may have. Never forget that you are worthy of love, kindness and respect. Don't settle for anyone who treats you any less than you deserve. Self-esteem is the key to being whole and happy.
Dare to live life to the fullest, go after your dreams even if you don't know yet what that looks like. Choose to do something you are deeply passionate about, you will find joy and fulfilment by living life this way.
Find ways to challenge yourself continuously, and don't be afraid to try new things, because this is how you will grow and blossom as the years go by. Choosing to do something outside of your comfort zone will ignite talents you didn't know you had.
Live with no regrets and let go of guilt. Learning to forgive yourself when you don't get it right or make mistakes is the best thing you can do to be truly at peace.
Travel whenever you can, because you will come to know yourself better and discover how full of wonders and beauty the world really is.
Apply yourself at your chosen career and always conduct yourself with integrity. Remember that every single one of your actions shows who you are and what you value.
Be thankful for all that you have and for all that you have received. The happiest people are not those who wish they had more, but those who feel they have enough.
Strive for goals, but don't choose someone else's definition of success. Instead, have the courage to define success on your own terms. Your uniqueness is your power.
Develop the spiritual side of your life and practice compassionate love, by giving back to those who need it most. Remember that with great privilege comes great responsibility.
Lastly, invest in the meaning and purpose of your existence, and find a way to live a life that matters - a life that empowers and uplifts others with kindness and true generosity of spirit. This is what will give you the greatest satisfaction in life. It won't happen by chance, the choice will only be yours to make.
So when the time comes, dare to make those brave choices and strive to live a life that matters and that is true to your heart.
Je vous aime de tout mon coeur.