There are babies coming. At the time of this writing, my brother, Craig’s brother, and my best friend Kara are all expecting, and it has got me thinking about what I want these little guys to know about life. So here’s a meditation on what I want them to carry in their hearts the most, and a reminder for myself to keep rising to the best version of me:
Dear Little Loves of My Life,
First of all, you are loved beyond measure. More on that in the years to come.
Secondly, I want you to know a couple of things as you get started with this whole being alive thing.
Use your words for love and only ever love. There will be times people speak badly about you. There will be times someone who you thought was on your side will lie to your face. There will be times you hear something nasty said about someone you love, and it will be one of the most painful things to endure. There will be times when everyone around you is making fun of someone else. There will be times when you feel the urge to say something mean. There will be times when the words fly out of your mouth and immediately curve back around and punch you right in the gut with regret. Instead of using your words to tear others down, judge, or condemn, let yourself be filled with so much love that your words rise above your impulse. Let those words float up high where nothing nasty can get to them. Let them linger over others’ heads and hearts, letting them know that they are safe around you, that any words you send out to them will come from the deepest reserve of love you can find. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by a moment or another person.
And when someone else is bullying, talking behind someone’s back, or sitting in righteous judgment - send THEM love. They are in pain. They are overcompensating. They need your love more than they will admit. They might not accept it, but send it anyway. Take this quote with you when you feel the urge to let out your own overcompensation and pain: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” You are a great mind - use it for good.
The biggest risk is not taking one. You will want to create, you will want to share, you will want to express, you will want to expose yourself. You will have so many people who love what you do and how you do it. You will have an equal amount of people who don’t like it at all. Create, expose, and risk despite these people. Uncle Craig recently said to me, “The more people there are who love what you’re doing, the more people there are who hate what you’re doing.” Brilliance has an element of risk to it, my loves. If you don’t try, if you don’t create, if you don’t allow yourself to unfold into your authentic, beautiful selves, you deny those of us who DO love all of your brilliance the opportunity to bask in it. Let it shine. Take the risk. Take refuge in the fact that if someone doesn’t like your work, it must be pretty bold. It must be pretty dynamic.
Don’t try to please everyone; instead, honor your insight, instinct, and compassion. They will guide you to far more beautiful places than your doubts ever will. Just leap.
Forgive especially when it’s difficult. A moment will come when you are completely justified in being angry. Someone will wrong you and you will be more than validated in holding a righteous position. When you want to hold onto the glistening weapon of moral authority, or silent condemnation, consider what Anne Lamott said, “Not forgiving is like drinking the rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.” Let it go. Forgive others even when they don’t deserve it or want it. Don’t allow their unfortunate behavior to be their one defining characteristic. Because, my sweet little loves, some day you will make a mistake. You will hurt your parents, or your friends, or your partners, or a stranger. And you, too, will be more than that one mistake.
Allow others to learn from their mistakes without being strangled by them. And allow yourself to make a mistake without attaching it to your soul. Sometimes, forgiving yourself will be the most difficult process of all. Release your need for a perfect world and create a compassionate world instead.
Listen you guys, this world won’t always realize how beautiful you are. There will be times when you feel scared, doubtful, and hard. But remember that you have the capacity to use the brilliance inside each of you to create a better place to live. We need all of your goodness, love, and light, so let it out. There is space for you, there is love for you.
I can’t wait to meet you.
From my heart,
UPDATE: Luca Edward Romano was born November 3rd at 12:25pm to two happy and healthy parents! Welcome to life, you Little Wonder! We love you!