Dear Cohen, Sophia, & Ellie- (and eventually Everett & Mae– when you can understand words and become more than just your “spark”)
I want you to know something– know something about yourselves, that is more important than being smart, being creative, being joyful.
I want you to know that there is an outside you and an inside You. The outside you (here I imagine drawing a crudely shaped stick figure) is important because it is how we understand who we are and how to be part of the world. The outside you is most often created by what people say about you, and even what we say about ourselves. Sometimes these things are good, happy things! “Cohen- great job on your spelling test!” “Sophie, what a beautiful picture!” “Ellie- you always bring the joy!” But sometimes things people say can make us feel sad, too. “We are the mean girls- and you’re not allowed to play!” “Dude- you’re so slow you can’t play with us at recess.” Maybe one day a sad thing might be “You did not make this team” or “You cannot go to college here” or “We just can’t be friends.”
But even though the outside you is REAL and important, there is something INSIDE you that is more important, something even MORE Real (how cool is that?)
Don’t forget the inside You. (Now, I imagine drawing a spark on the inside of crudely drawn stick figure.) This You cannot change– for better or worse. No matter how many times Mommy says “Great reading!” or a bully says “You can’t be my friend.” No matter how many pimples are on your face or math facts are in your brain. This spark won’t change. And listen to this (this is really incredible!)– the inside You can watch the outside you when you are sad– and it will tell you, “It is okay to be sad, but don’t forget Me. I’m in here, and I’m not going anywhere, and I don’t change. You can lean on me when you are sad and angry and happy. I can help you feel those things because I am bigger than those things.”
The next time you are sad or happy- watch your tears and your laughter with your Spark. Your spark is the lovely thing that makes you Cohen- makes you Sophie- makes you Ellie. It is the Really Real- the YOU in you– that knows without words that it is Loved no matter what.
In many important stories, the spark is called Soul, or Spirit, and is as close as the air we breathe.
Thank you for being you,
The Koine Greek word ψυχή psychē, “life, spirit, consciousness”, is derived from a verb meaning “to cool, to blow”, and hence refers to the breath.