Twelve years old, letters to my mother

The biggest lesson I took away from reading my old journal



My mother taught me

how to be a woman.

I learned what was true,

By watching what she allowed to be true for herself.


Her compass was the entirety of my map.

I learned her path before getting lost on my own because it seemed safer.


For years I chased the gold stars that would come when I followed her example.

It wasn't just her, later it would be friends, teachers, mentors. But my mom was my first relationship when I outsourced my own voice and substituted it for hers. I became the mirror holding her reflection, and without her reflection,

I didn't know who I was.


"Roses are red

Violets are blue

I will go dead

If you

Ever leave me."


I wrote that to my mother at twelve years old in the pages of a journal that we were passing back and forth.


Anytime I read it I reflect on the loneliness of it all.

It is a language that I clearly articulated, but those words get harder to say.

Kids speak so plainly, so openly that it is devastating to behold sometimes.

Adults are rarely as brave and transparent as children.


So, my question for you is..

Are you mirroring something other than yourself right now?

Showing outwardly something that is only outside of you?

In times of quiet and times of chaos,

Are you searching for validation?

To be seen, heard, understood,loved, wanted?


What I’ve learned from sitting, reading, and reflecting in my 12 year old diary is..


It is so difficult to undo the chasing of

'the next gold star'.

To release from the attachment of accomplishment.

To exist without craving the recognition and admiration of those we admire.

To feel seen.

When our survival state is to camouflage

Under the reflection of another.


I will still notice spaces

Where I itch to surrender my leadership

For someone 'better'.

For a reflection braver than my own.


I feel this.

Even after 12 years of this work.

So I know what it is like to be so brave and sure of yourself, and validate and care for your own self,

And then feel the heat of shame creeping up, asking you to bow down,

to not even try, because someone 'better' has come along.


In my coaching framework,

The map to fulfillment;

Self-worth is the foundation.

And one of the pillars of self-worth is

Self-validation,

This means being the mirror and the person being mirrored.

Self-validation leads you into strengthened creativity, positive thought strategy and emotional intelligence.


I don't know how you learned

to become the person that you are,

But I do know that you will relearn each experience in a new form

until each lesson becomes your own.

This part of your learning is fundamental to your leadership.

And

Your ability to lead your own life, to face yourself and say

'I love you, you are enough'

Is fundamental to your fulfillment.


Can you relate to my 12 year old diary entry?

Are the words that you used to write down as a child still relevant in your current obstacles?

Do you sometimes seek outside validation?

Do you feel like a leader in your own life?


I know I go deep, stick with me.

Better yet, reach out and let's unravel this together!