I’m sure you watch or read the news, if not everyday, then at least a few times a week. My home page for my computer is actually set to a news site. So it’s the first thing that I see every time I get on the computer and open up my browser. You know what I see a lot of? Murder, kidnappings, bullying, suicides, self hate, and a lot of ads telling me what I should be, do, see, or partake of. It’s rather disgusting. At least in my opinion. I get it. Our warped society get wrapped up in all the hatred that spews day in and day out all across the world. That, I don’t understand. But it’s just the facts.

As a parent, there are so many things you hope to teach your children, that, sometimes, it’s overwhelming. And when you get to the point of letting them go and do things on their own, you hope, pray, and cross your fingers that you’ve done enough that they will remember and be good members of society. While there is so much that I want to share with my beautiful daughter, so much I want to show her, teach her, and help her do for herself, there is one thing, above all, that I want to make sure I teach her thoroughly. And that is

L ~ O ~ V ~ E

No, I’m not talking about finding a significant other to dote on and spend the rest of her days with. While that is most definitely a blessing in life when you find the right partner for you, it is not the most important. I want to teach her all aspects of the word.

Love YOURSELF. Do not fall into the fads, and soak up what society tells you you should look like. Love everything about yourself. From your little toes to your crazy bed-head, and everything fantastic in between. Love YOU.

Love THE WORLD AROUND YOU. Sounds silly, I know. But find love for the world God created for you. Cherish the beauty that surrounds you, and leave things better than when you arrived.

Love THROUGH YOUR TRIALS. Hatred and anger close your eyes, heart, and mind from seeing the possible ways out of a situation. When you remain calm and stay positive, you will find doors where you once only saw walls.

Love YOUR HOME. Whether it is your first apartment, your first family home, or the home you retire in with your spouse, make it a home you WANT to come home to, not a home you HAVE to come home to. Fill the walls with decoration, have a place for everything, make it a place your spouse longs for after a hard days work, and a place your children are comfortable bringing their friends home to. Build a home of love.

Love YOUR WORK. No matter what you choose to do for your occupation, love the work you do. Make it something you enjoy doing. When you dread getting up to go to work everyday, you will find a piece of life missing.

Love YOUR INDEPENDENCE. So much emphasis nowadays is placed on finding a partner to “complete” you. You, my sweet angel, are the only one who can complete you. Be content with who you are as an individual. Build on your strengths, and work on your weaknesses. When you find the right person, they will work into the life you have built for yourself, and boost you in new ways. But until then, spend time on you.

Love LIFE. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Be bold with your adventures. Make a bucket list, and continue to add to it throughout your life, as well as work toward crossing things off. Life is the most amazing experience, but it will only be as brilliant as you make it. Find things you want to see, do, and eat, and do them all!

The Beatles totally had it right, all you need is love. To some, I may sound completely naive. And that’s okay. I know that life is not all sunshine and rainbows. I know bad things happen, and I know sometimes those bad things are inevitable. I am not naive to those facts. But I also believe that life is too short to live afraid, and to be consumed by the bad. It makes me want to do as much as I can to help others, and show them that there are loving, kind, generous people out there in this world. And I never want my daughter to believe that those good people do not exist. I want her to know, and be a witness to, the magic and power of love. And I want that to start with her.