Dear Shani

Dear Inner Child,

One day you will understand why I do what I do and why I taught you the things that I did. I only wanted you to grow up to be the best you you can be. I admit that I don’t know everything, but I have lived enough of life to be able to pass down wisdom. Understanding. To transfer what I know as an expert for reading what people do and why. That is a gift I can pass to you.

You will find exactly what you are looking for if you only have the patience and desire to achieve something great. To leave your mark on this world so that the positive energy you put out into the universe will last forever. You already are quite amazing and I am in shock every day that you have grown to be such an incredible soul. I thank G-d every day for giving me you. I constantly am learning and in raising you; growing. I pray that you continue to shed light unto the world and the people around you. You are loved in so many ways and by so many. People want to hear what you have to say, though not everyone expresses it in the same way.

Remember that.

Remember that all people are different and that is what makes them beautiful. Try not to expect things of them that they don’t know to give. Attempt, instead, to give to them from your goodness because it makes you happy to see them smile. As cliché as it sounds, all I could want is for you to be happy. Truly happy. The kind you feel when you are with your best friends in the whole world just hanging out. The kind you feel during Kabbalat Shabbat when the sun is setting. The kind you will feel when you discover your inner gift and find a way to use it for good.

When I see you, I see a force of nature that is ready to spread joy. The energy that you emanate is what keeps me going every day with a grin and a laugh. Take care of yourself. Take care of your physical health as well as your spirit. Both need more attention than you realize. Recognize that it is okay to rest or to sit by yourself on your bed and watch a movie. Alone does not necessarily mean alone. You will never be alone because G-d and I are watching out for you. The love you receive from your family and friends accompanies you everywhere you go.

You were destined for a special mission only you can fulfill and I will follow you every step of the way because you have made me the way I am. You are the reason for my purpose in “finding myself” as the expression goes. No matter what, remember the only one you can expect from is you.

If you aim to be your best self, you will be. Fight for what you believe in and comfort those in need. Take every opportunity to help those around you because they were put there for a reason. Start conversations with strangers because each one has a story to tell. Hold the door open for those behind you. Greet others with a smile and a hello. Live healthy. Exercise regularly and eat your veggies. Enjoy the smell of the outdoors and breathe in G-d’s creations at every moment. Sing a lot because you can and it’s fun. Dance because it makes you understand beauty.

Surround yourself with people whose qualities you admire. Make sure you tell them you love them often. Hug and kiss your parents when you say hello and goodbye and visit often. Say yes as much as possible; you never know where it might lead you. Make eye contact when speaking with someone. Be genuine and be hysterical; laughter is the healthiest thing.

Travel to interesting places and get a feel for the world and its many cultures. Volunteer in something that benefits the community. Perform in public. Take pride in your heritage and spread the knowledge. Pray often because G-d really wants to hear you sing. Learn every chance you get; pick something small and do it daily.

Never grow out of sleepovers; they are fun.

Stand up for yourself and others. Always take the more challenging path because you might just grow more and the end will be sweeter. Practice healing and meditation and then give it over to others.

Remember to breathe. Try to grow a plant. Stretch daily. Cook foods from varying countries. Open your home to guests. Dress up once and a while just because. Forgive those who may have hurt you; it doesn’t really have to do with you at all. Trust that people are good, but it is acceptable to be safe.

Don’t run with scissors (I’m serious this is legitimate advice).

Be kind even when it takes a lot of effort. Use basic etiquette; it sets you apart. Limit cell phone use in public places; there is so much to see every moment. Read a lot of great books, your brain will thank you. Invest in the subjects that interest you.

Always express your feelings and be honest. Follow your dreams because as corny as it sounds, you will find happiness doing what you love. Marry someone who wants to build a warm, positive, and G-dly home. Raise children who love G-d and love giving. Teach them what you have learned.

At the end of the day, all I can hope for is that you find your place and your mission and that you accomplish good with joy and care. That when you create a family of your own, you can help them grow and advise them the way I have you. With that and so much more, I end this letter with saying how much I truly love you. You’ve done so much and come so far and I couldn’t be prouder. Thank you.

With abounding love,

Shani

About the Author
Shani Weinmann was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in the Jewish community of Toco Hills. She attended Torah Day School of Atlanta and Yeshiva Atlanta before coming to Midreshet Harova and then joining the IDF. She now works as a Madricha in the Midrasha and is studying Dance.
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