Sixteen Wishes for My 16-Year-Old Daughter

On the occasion of my daughter’s sixteenth birthday, I decided to pen 16 wishes for her that, I hope, she will keep close to her in the years to come.

Enjoy. Please feel free to share, if you wish….

To Holland: My sixteen wishes for you, on your sixteenth birthday.

1. That nobody or no thing shall ever persuade you to be anybody but yourself.

2. That you always know and remember that unconditional love exists – from us as your parents, and ultimately from your higher spirit that you recognize and embrace as the light along your path.

3. That you shall continue to provide good will toward others – and without expectation or the need for reciprocation.

4. That you shall find love that cherishes you for who you are, and not for who another might want you to be.

5. That you always remember that you are not alone.

6. That you always cherish the beauty in the present, and know there is treasure all around, all the time.

7. That you never forget that your life matters – sometimes in ways that we were never meant to understand or even know, if we ever realize it at all.

8. That you know our knowledge and our wisdom come not from the books we read but from the experiences we have thereafter.

9. That you remember that the roads you take in life are not supposed to be paved – the blazing of the trail is what makes it yours, and yours alone.

10. That you recognize that along the way people will attack, will belittle, will redefine meanness and cruelty. But you will always be better than that. And the problem will always rest with them – not you. Stand tall, stand confident, and have an unwavering belief in yourself.

11. That you have no regrets. We make the best choices that seem possible, and life moves on. To know how a different choice might have played out is simply impossible. The dreams of what might have been are never as good as the reality of the present, the only thing you know for sure.

12. That you have fun, and remember that having fun is not a crime, not something you do when everything else is “taken care of.” Fun is embedded in every moment. Find it and live it – and without regret or guilt.

13. That you know that, in troubled moments, stillness is the best remedy to provide clarity and understanding. It is in this stillness that you remember the simplicity in a single breath – filled with peace and resolution, life and love – and all for you, all the time.

14. That you remember that beauty lies in simplicity, where opportunities for clarity and possibility remain wide open to give, to receive, and to give again.

15. That you realize that perfect balance is, in many ways, an illusion. We are constantly tempted to stray from our beliefs and from who we are. These wobbles and periodic falls are temporary. The only path back to balance is to return to who you are – the true and authentic self.

16. That you always, always remember that love is, above all, the essence of our existence. And unconditional love for others is possible when we love ourselves first. It is through this self-love that we can truly be selfless in our thoughts and in our actions.

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