A letter from Stephanie Louise, aged 31, to Stephanie Louise, aged 13
Dear Stephanie Louise, 13 years old
I've come to give you hope, for as the year's unfold
Things get much brighter, from under the cloud
Of these difficult years, you will deshroud
The oppressive guilt, the never good enough
That hurts to the core, though you act tough.
You'll surround yourself with friends and family
Who build you up and encourage regularly
To have confidence in yourself and you'll start to see
How great you are and so powerfully
You'll learn to shed that guilt and fear of doing wrong
In every situation that comes along.
Life gets so much better when you leave school
And you suddenly realise that the clique that was cool
And hip and the people that you looked up to
Fall by the wayside in life, but you
Will blossom and grow, as you set out
On the path of life, finally free and without
The angst and pain of gossip and peers
Who look down on you, make you disappear
And vanish from the face of the earth
But after school ends, this'll all disperse
And you will find yourself with friends anew
Who think you're awesome and love the true
You that you've been hiding so deep inside
And now unleash upon the whole big wide
World and find she's liked so much
And appreciated by people armed with such
Love for you and those friendships made
Stand the test of time and the hurt will fade
Into the past, til it's only memories
And you form new ones, with happy stories.
Love your body because you're beautiful
Keep telling yourself that every day until
Beyond the words you start to believe
The truth that's there for all to see.
Don't judge yourself through society's eyes
Don't feel a lesser person because your size
Is larger than the average girl
Feel good in your skin and let your light unfurl
And be open to other's love for you
Because I tell you darling, it is true
That we receive the love we think we deserve
So dig in deep and drop your reserve
And your cloud of shame, don't believe that shit
Your body is yours so learn to own it
Cos fat or thin just let your heart be true
And attractiveness will shine from you.
Love your body, and find comfort in your skin
Have pride in your curves and your beauty within.
Now don't believe the things they tell you at Church
The Sunday songs that cause your heart to lurch
With joy for a glimpse of hope in life
Some place beyond the daily strife
Of seeking love and acceptance in someone's eyes
But please don't pause and believe the lies
And promises that religion claims
Cos I tell you that once through the haze
Of incense smoke and heartfelt prayers
Lies guilt and oppression, stacked up in layers
That'll hold you back from who you can be
And try to stop you from ever being free.
So take that big leap into the unknown
When the seeds of doubt and truth are sown
Be brave and strong and look deep and hard
As you question exactly what transpired
When you knelt down low with your hands pressed tight
Earnestly feeling that something aint right.
So take that faith and put it somewhere new
A place that you're not constantly being preached to
And taught that you are inherently flawed
By a far and distant fatherly Lord.
Take some time instead to love the earth and sea
See the problems entrenched in our society
And focus your efforts into building instead
A world in which we can all be fed.
And I tell you now, that you're good at things
Not just maths and all those school based rings
And hoops that you always leap right through.
No this stuff is your deep down true
Gifts and strengths, your reason to be
Your contribution to the world truly
Is something rare, these things are only yours
And they're far beyond your grades and scores
That your strive towards, seeking praise
That you'll never receive no matter how high you raise
Those numbers, so seek value and love instead
In the lives you touch, in the way you've led
Your life and the principles you strongly uphold
Your grace as situations evolve and unfold
In ways unplanned, but just try and go with the flow
And worry less about the things you don't know.
Your smile and love bring joy to those around,
Your laughter lights up faces at its sound
And your enthusiasm will spread and infect
Those people around you and then connect
These folk with others and you'll then start to see
The power of just being simple you and me.
So Stephanie Louise, 13 years young,
Your life is hard, and now it seems to be hung
So unbalanced and the road ahead so hard
But keep on fighting even when you get tired
And can't see the point, hold your head up high
Because I tell you the truth with all of my
Head and heart, you will rock this world,
Love from Stephanie Louise, 31 years old.