“Language is the repository of our prejudices, our beliefs, and our assumptions.” ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Our language imprints the world of our daughters and our sons and they use these imprints to navigate this world.
Reflecting on the conversation that I had with an amazing 10 years old girl yesterday, she reminded me of the power of our words.
Here is her happening
“One of her classmate, this 10 years old boy says that he loves and that now they are together. She added further that she understands none of this and for her, he is her friend. She wants to tell him that they are friends but she is hesitant for her intent is not to hurt him, so she has kept quiet for days now.”
I queried gently, “Do you know what is this love that he talks about? “
She replied “I have no clue about the love that my friend speaks of and I am afraid that he will be hurt and disappointed if I tell him bluntly on his face that we are friends and play buddies.”
We drilled further for some minutes and what came up next was her fear of “hurting him for not liking him the way he likes her.”
Here is what I told her, holding myself as witness and reminding that I would not say less to any little girl and boy out there.
“You are not responsible for how others feel. You have every right to choose who to like and not like, who to welcome in your space or not. This is your birth right. Your job is not to worry about how others will feel if you do not join them in their ride. Your job is not to fulfill others’ expectations. Your job is to be honest with yourself and your heart, even if this may scare you and even if this may put people off. You are not responsible for how others feel in friendships, everyone has a right to visions, assumptions and ideas. You my precious one, you are called to live by your own. People will be more hurt in the end when you get tired carrying the masks of faking, they will not understand why you faked for so long. Truth is, in your attempt to please them, you faked.
So know that you are not responsible for how others feel, not even how your parents feel.
Your responsibility begins and ends with yourself. Your responsibility begins with what, why, where, who, when, and how you say, do and be.
This is all under your creative reach.
Just because someone felt hurt because of his/her unmet expectations, know that this does not make of you an unworthy person and/or bad human.
You do not have to invest energy in fixing how others feel.
Hold space for others to feel what they feel and allow yourself to feel what you feel, even when it is not comfortable.
As a girl, you have the right to choose who to allow in your space and not. When things do not sit properly with you, when your heart and your pinky feel otherwise, heed to yourself even if the whole world roars; heed to yourself and know that you are always led, guided, protected and deeply loved.
As a daughter of the world and a woman in rise, know that you are called to no more carry the burden to pleasing this world; you are called to release the drama of becoming something else for this world; you are called to play a role beyond this world’s expectations.
You have every right to it.”
For every Mother, Father,
Guardian, Teacher, Fellow Seers
Who will read these words,
I invite us to spread these words,
I invite us to ripple these words across the globe
Language is a legacy that we have been passing on from daughters to daughters since the time of time.
A word is more than just a word.
The intent, the intricate definitions, the beliefs and agreements of the words can either caged our daughters or teach them to soar.
What we say to our daughters matter, because it teaches them what to value.
Our daughters will be the partners of tomorrow
What kind of partnership do we want to plant?
What is our vision?
What is our intention?
Where do we stand amidst this?
What do we need to hear about ourselves, for ourselves?
Do we have the right to choose?
Much love from my heart to yours
Image source: Guille Pozzi @ Unsplash
Post © Megha Venketasamy, 2019. All rights reserved.