Dear Little Ones, You Are Good Enough (No Matter What)

The following letter to my children—and to the little one in each of us—is an exclusive excerpt from my new book Loveable, which will be released on Tuesday, March 21…

grace

Photo Credit: soupstock (Bigstock)

Dear Little Ones,

I’m sitting in a parking lot as I write this. On one side of the parking lot is a playground where kids are laughing and playing. On the other side of the parking lot is a transitional living unit for troubled youth, where kids are hurting and struggling.

On one side, the dream of every parent.

On the other side, the fear of every parent.

I’ve often wondered why the county would put this facility next to a park. But as I sit here today, the message seems clear: the line between our brightest dreams and our darkest fears is a fine one, isn’t it? Finer than the width of this parking lot.

Little Ones, what you do matters. Each and every choice has a creative potential as powerful as the Force that hung the stars and spun the planets. So the fearful part of me wants to give you one more lecture about the importance of your choices. But I’m not going to do that. Instead, I want to tell you about who you are, regardless of the choices you make.

Regardless of which side of the street you end up on, I want you to know: your core is untarnished, your center is unaltered, your heart is unblemished, your spark is still burning, and your original identity is uncorrupted. Little Ones, regardless of your choices, I want you to know you are worthy.

You are enough.

On the day you bring home your first A and on the day you bring home your first F. On the day you make the game-winning shot and on the day you get cut from the team. On the day you sit at the cool-kids table and on the day you eat lunch with your loneliness. On the day you get a standing ovation and on the day you freeze up and forget your lines . . .

You are enough.

On the day you resist peer pressure and on the day you give in. On the day you enter college and on the day you enter rehab. On the day you get your first promotion and on the day you get your first pink slip. On the day you run a triathlon and on the day of your diagnosis . . .

You are enough.

On the day you were born you were enough, and on the day you die you will be enough, regardless of what comes in between.

Little Ones, I’m not saying you’re free from consequences. But I am telling you this: while many poor choices do have a consequence, most poor choices are already a consequence—the consequence of doubting our worthiness. The task of our lives is simply to rest into the truth of our worthiness and to walk the path of who we already are.

So, Little Ones, when you’ve lost your way and you wish you could do something impossible like rewind time, remember this: there is one thing that is always possible—it is always possible to return to the center of who you are. You will find there the truth of your worthiness whispered upon the tongue of grace and it will, quite simply, never steer you wrong.

To my Beloved,

Daddy

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Raj Kushal Rathour

    These words, dear Dr Kelly, bring the quagmire that we create just jostling to move ahead & out of the difficult situations in life and in the mind. Somewhere, find ourselves only more entrenched in a tunnel of dark quicksand. The perspective you share through your words & your wisdom, it comes as a light showing the way out of it.

    That exactly also is what being loveable is about, what ‘Loveable’ is about. Each thought in your mind, taken threadbare & given into the hands of your readers to weave their own rope out of it, in patterns of their own mind & realisation. That’s what makes this book & the stories you tell, like a bard reading out their stories, that’s what makes Loveable a very precious diary to keep, reflect with & a treasure to hold.

    Look forward to hear the bard read out those stories in his own voice with his special sensibility & the sensitivity, that come out from the deepest part of his heart.

    Raise a toast to this journey, travelled with you anew,
    Bon voyage,
    Raj

    • Raj, you are always so kind and encouraging, and I’ve felt grateful for you going on five years now! Thank you for abiding with me and us through this whole journey and continue to be so supportive. You, dear friend, are loveable. 😊

  • JC

    Good stuff.

  • A. Julie

    I am grateful for these words of encouragement meeting me in this unasleep fog. (My body is an insulted toddler in response to the time change.) Thank you.

    • You are welcome. I’m glad even the insulted toddler inside of you could receive this, Julie. 😉 Now, get some rest!

      • A. Julie

        😆

  • Watshipi

    I’m so thankful for reminding us that, we can always return to the core of who we are, there is so much grace for that.

    • Watshipi, thank you for listening to the reminder. I’m grateful for you reading.

  • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

    I have a pocketful of Thank yous for you this morning, Kelly, so you’ll know the ones I type are just the ones that made it to the screen. Thank you for the clarity of this reminder—-this epiphany that never seems to get stale—-that not only are we each enough, but we are enough in a wholly unearned, unstrived for, and as-is way.
    Thank you for tempering the ways I meet my kiddo in his lows—-to share space there without wishing to take away the pains and struggles that are his, but walking with him where he has to go.
    And thank you! For your foresight that exceeded mine in knowing that even though I preordered your book for me, I would think of someone who would need it before my snail-slow reading pace would get it into their hands and allowing us to go back to enter a long-ago invoice number from January. I am excited for you that your book is nearly out in the world doing what you do so well.
    Happy Wednesday.

    • Shel, I’ve got a pocketful of gratitude for you, too. It would be hard to imagine this space without you. Thank you so much for ordering the book, and thank you again for re-ordering it. I’m glad you were able to register for the bonus! Happy Wednesday, friend.

  • Sheree Serna McLean

    Even the not-so-little-ones need to hear this. Thank you for your powerful words!

  • your children are going to have such beautiful letters to read from you . . . what a beautiful thing they will have when they get older, and pass onto their own children . . . what a great gift you are giving them, which is wisdom to learn from, experiences, lessons of which can you teach, and truth . . . awesome!