Dear daughter, know your worth: a letter I wish my mom had written

There are so many conversations I wish I had had with my mom but never got the chance to. I wish she had told me to know my worth and not settle for being undervalued or overlooked. I have struggled with feelings of low self esteem since I was young and unfortunately, as life takes it punches, that didn’t get better until a few years ago. My mom never told me to know my worth, perhaps because she never knew hers. She was a beautiful writer and for people who knew her, she had the most amazing penmanship. Here is the letter I wish she had written to me:

Dear Jan,

I want you to know you are worth so much despite what life may throw at you. People will reject you and you may take this personally – don’t. Remember at these times, that you are amazing and wonderful and strong. That people can be cruel but also loving and kind. You may suffer set backs and failures, these too are a part of life and shouldn’t be taken as some sort of reflection on your character. You may feel inadequate as a parent or spouse but this too is normal. Women are asked to do far more than their fair share, and we have to remember to take care of ourselves above all else. Women like you will have a lot of pressure put on them because you’re smart and capable. Don’t mistake this for needing to be perfect. No one is perfect nor should we try to be. Perfectionism is the enemy of greatness.

Daughter, I am so proud of who you are, not just what you’ve accomplished or will accomplish. Remember that what we do is not a substitute for being a healthy and whole person. Our achievements are always only a reflection of what really matters: our health, well-being, values and principles, family, friends but most of all, knowing that we are enough just as we are. I love you my daughter, my only girl. You are everything I knew you would become, wholly unique, always be yourself, ok? xo Mom

Published by Janet Gwilliam-Wright

Feminist and queer. Professional teller of truths. Slayer of personal demons.

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