The Courage to be Kind

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The Courage to be KindWhen I was pregnant with Florence, I often had restless nights out of physical discomfort and a wild imagination preparing for this next season of raising a human. My thoughts would wander and my heart was heavy and I'd grab my phone at four in the morning and rattle off the heaviness until I got drowsy enough to fall back asleep. Over a year after Florence's arrival, I discovered these gems, some preserved in full thoughts, others cut off mid thought. While I still feel the same way, I don't have the time to delve deep into thought for hours on end like I did when she was contently settled in my womb. Alas, a letter to my daughter.. The Courage to be KindI hope you never feel restricted on who you choose to love because love knows no restrictions. I hope you go in search of corners of the globe to meet people who look and think differently than you. With your heart open to every experience along the way. I hope you meet criticism with a strength and knowledge that there is always more to learn, whether it be on your part or the compassion and courage to open the other's eyes to a bigger world.As for religion, my hope is that you use it as a tool to both calm and awaken your heart. Your father and I both happen to be Catholic by upbringing and have chosen it as the best for our hearts. I encourage you to find the accountability and community you need to serve others and to continually challenge your level of goodness in this world. I look forward to the questions you arise in us and the conversations we'll have in years to come of the why's and how's and I hope that the three of us always walk away more fulfilled and with an underlying conclusion that everyone on this Earth is just trying to figure it out for themselves.I hope that we provide you with an unfailing rock for you to lean on, learn from, aspire to, ask without hesitance, be vulnerable with, and stand on to let your voice be heard. When we falter, know that we are individuals first. Our cup must be full of self love to fill anyone else's cup. Our marriage second. We work tirelessly to bring everything we can to each other and to live out our vows daily. And parents third, so that our choices and lifestyle are a dynamic result of us offering you the best of us becoming one. And that all of this lives out the light on the hill from the day we promised *forever*.

"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp stand where it shines for everyone in the house." - Matthew 5:14-15

I hope your curiosity overwhelms you and your thirst for knowledge goes beyond what our comfortable lifestyle can give you. We have chosen to live in a part of the world where we feel safe in ideology and judgment, but where we don't take comfort for granted. It hasn't come without trial and error, which is the part we're glad you'll take for granted. London is an exceptional city for inclusion and we want you to know that in your formative years. But you will grow and explore and find close mindedness and hate that stems from ignorance that we can't shield you from. We'll be there with you trying to understand why racism and bigotry and xenophobia exists. To teach you that there are so many ways to see and interpret obstacles and that ultimately we are all just humans searching for a commonality in the things that make sense to us.When you look up to people, I hope that it's strong characters like those who have given us hope in polarising times. The unending openness, caring, and activism of Pope Francis. The love, respect, and adoration between Michelle and Barack Obama. The public service and courage of RBG, Elizabeth Warren, Justin Trudeau, and the many others who fight beyond the opposition for inclusion amongst humanity. These happen to be Democrats by party, but know that you don't have to fit in any one umbrella for anything in life. You are complex and intriguing and have the ability to feel opposing thoughts at the same time. This is good. This is what makes this big ole world spin round. And it'll take courage to speak up about it. It'll take courage to listen past the hate to hear the voices that matter. Know that just because someone speaks louder than you doesn't mean they know more. It'll take courage to be kind. It's this kindness that the world longs for. And no matter what. We'll be right there with you, trying to navigate it together.