My darling children,
A colleague of mine was diagnosed with cancer last November and he died in January; there were Facebook statuses and then they stopped. Here one minute, gone the next.
And now I have a tumour. You don’t understand what it is, but perhaps you will soon… and in the worst way possible.
How I hope that you will not have to go through life without me. But as I go through a bewildering cascade of hospital tests, death seems closer than ever. And I realise that it’s a doorway to somewhere else; no one knows quite where and we never know when we’ll be going through it.
There are so many things I want to tell you. But I can’t really sit you down now to talk to you about life lessons because at 4 and 2 years old, you can’t sit still long enough even when it’s about your favourite Gruffalo. But when you’re old enough, I hope you’ll read these words. It’s all for you.
- You are enough, and always will be.
You might think otherwise because sometimes I get angry at you. We cannot see through the eyes of one another, so I wanted to explain what happens when I get angry. It is not because you bring me pain or that you are not enough.
I want you to understand very clearly that you have never done anything wrong. You may not conform to my wishes, but this is not wrong. Any anger I feel is only at my own powerlessness to be able to control the situation. We all seek to control because ultimately very little is under our control and that makes us feel insecure.
- You are not here to make me or anyone else happy.
You are here to make yourself happy. That means experiencing life as you choose with whatever gender, sexuality, expression and people you choose. But you will have pain and suffering in your life because this is how we learn our lessons. You will therefore think that you need supports to make you happier.
You will choose ‘supports’ that will bring you more lessons and even though I can tell you that many problems will be self-created, this doesn’t make them less real. Your reality is very valid. Perhaps you will become religious. Perhaps you will cling to money. Perhaps you will turn to drugs. Perhaps even more destructive…I hope you will realize at some point that many of these outlets are not the supports that they first appear. On the contrary, many of them deplete your natural reserves. You are whole and complete without them.
- Your life matters, no matter what you do with it.
What is the purpose of life? No one can say for sure. But at the foundation of everyone’s life is the fundamental desire to make a difference that you lived. I want to tell you that just by living, you matter. Because life matters. You do not have to do anything to make it matter more. However, we do – because by nature we humans want to see physical evidence that our lives matter. You will try and make it matter more by getting a good education perhaps, or a fancy job, or by working at a soup kitchen on weekends. Or none of these! But your life matters even without this.
You will know your life matters when you let go of society’s expectations and you do the thing that makes you feel the most alive. I write because it makes me feel alive. It serves my integrity. By living in integrity, I show people that their lives and their experiences matter. Remembering that life matters will also help remind you that everyone’s life matters (no matter what they do or do not achieve).
- There is nothing you can do which would ever diminish my love for you.
Nothing. Ever. And even if I’m not here, I want you to know that whatever choices you make in life, I would always accept how you are. I’m not saying I would like it, I’m just saying I respect your right to choose (like is not the same as love, remember that). The important thing is that YOU accept YOU and your choices (as your ex-punk rocker father would say, fuck society). If you don’t, ask yourselves why.
What we want for you is to be yourselves and for you to love yourselves first and foremost. Why do I say this, when so many people believe we are here to serve and/or love others? Because I truly believe that the more you can love yourselves the better you will feel and the more you will contribute to the world, just by being you.
- You are not superior to anyone else in this world.
Of course you are amazing. And unique. But you are not superior. You might want to try and be perceived as superior by accumulating wealth or power. If you find that you strive for power in order to be superior, it will be because you are insecure and you do not love yourself enough. Superiority will not make you secure, there’s a good chance it will make you lonely though.
I promise you that every single one of us in this world is amazing. We are born amazing and then cover ourselves and each other in shit. Some people just shake off the shit better than others. The more you trust and believe you are okay, the more you love yourself and everyone within this context, the better your life will be and the better the world will be.
Love and accept yourself – as I do – with all your humanity. It is the key to everything.