Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Written by:
Wendi Friend

“A woman can’t be, until a girl dies… I mean the sprites that girls are, so different from us, all their fancies, their illusions, their flower world, the dreams they live in.” ~Christina Stead~

My little girl was so sweet. She was innocent, pure, hopeful, loving, compassionate, humanistic, and radiant with life’s light. She sat on mountain tops talking to the heavens. She walked through the forests talking to the animals. She released her voice in song as though she were an angel. Pursuing her dreams, she had talent and determination, ambition, and tenacity. My little girl liked to touch. My little girl liked hugs. My little girl wasn’t afraid of eye contact. My little girl held her head high. So high. My little girl was honest and full of warm heart.. Then she grew up and I stopped loving her. I just quit. When she had lost her innocence, I had lost my faith. When she lost her purity, I lost my interest. When she lost hope, I became hopeless. When she was scorned, I stopped loving. When she closed the door to compassion, I became hard. When she lost her humanitarian nature, I became selfish. When she became bruised and scarred, I was no longer captivated by her beauty. When life’s light no longer shone through her, I could no longer see her. Out of sight, out of mind. I stopped loving my little girl.

We used to play dress up together. It used to be so fun wearing huge hats and high heels. We’d wear lipstick and funny wigs, pearl necklaces and clip on earrings. We’d sneak into Mamma’s “Tabu” perfume so we could smell and look like and be beautiful women. Did we know what it meant to be little girls? Not until we’d become women and lost that mystic fairy dust of feminine youth. Did we appreciate our silky skin and small form? Not until they became distorted, scarred, and used. When they had lost their worth, we look back at our own inner children and we cry because we realize we are no longer innocent little girls filled with wonder and awe; but grew into women laced with cynicism and anger, who look back with nothing more than an acidic sense of “its too late, now.”

I stopped loving my little girl. When? Why? How? Where? What happened to make her worthless to me? Was it that she wasn’t strong enough to prevent being touched in the wrong ways? Was it because I witnessed the abuse that made me lose respect for her? Did I think she was weak? Maybe it was because I saw everyone else take advantage of her and disrespect her that I thought I should too. Maybe I was just mad as hell that she had to go on and grow up and prove herself wrong when she grew up to become me. Yes, I didn’t just stop loving myself. I downright hated myself. I did. I was so disappointed in what I turned out to be. I was so saddened by the many flaws that found their way into my fairy tale future. Fortunately, salvation came.

One day, I had a daughter. My daughter looks just like me, just like I did when I was a little girl. Her eyes are filled with such innocence, purity, hopefulness, love, compassion, and radiance. Together, we dream, we play dress up, we put on perfume, and we talk about how special it is that we were able to be born as girls. Sometimes, I watch her. I just watch. I’m watching myself in so many ways, in her expressions, in her singing, in her openness, in her tears. The first time I did that where it really hit me hard in the heart, she wasn’t even two, yet. She was in her baby crib, standing up, chewing on the side rail. Hoping she’d stay there, I went to my room, dug in the closet, and found the photo I’d been looking for. I was two, in that photo, standing in my crib and chewing on the side rail.

This felt like some sort of mystic time warp, some sentimental sting, and I stood there crying, crying, crying like a little girl. In that moment, I found my inner child. I starred through the crack in the door as my daughter’s delightful laughter sounded through her room. I loved her so much. I loved her so much I almost couldn’t stand it. She was my medicine. As she grew, she opted to share her insights with me, her feelings, her thoughts, her opinions, her dreams…. and she’s more like I was than I ever could have imagined. When I think of her growing into a woman, I think of her holding on to herself, being proud of herself. Never would I want her to think less of herself for having to endure life’s hardships. Never would I want her to lose faith in herself. Never would I want her to hurt just because she stopped loving herself.

Seeing the world through her eyes, I realize now that I didn’t stop being beautiful because I grew up. Rather, when I grew up, I stopped seeing beauty. I didn’t stop being magic or mystic when I grew up, I just stopped believing. I didn’t stop dreaming when I grew up. I just stopped reaching.

My daughter is not me. She has her own identity and her own personality, for which I’m extremely grateful. However, having her in my life, bringing so many reminders of who I once was, has helped me realize that it is okay for me to remember to love my own inner little girl. She didn’t die. She didn’t ditch. She didn’t disappear. She just closed her eyes, heart, and self when life made her get tall and broken. Now I heal. Now, I celebrate being a woman. Just because I live in a grown up’s body and world doesn’t mean I can’t have the heart, vision, and dreams of a precious little girl.

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