Last year, my cousin posted this picture to Facebook.
Although, I’ve seen it hundreds of times in my lifetime, it has been several years since I’ve seen it last. This time, for some reason, I noticed the little girl’s eyes – my eyes.
I stared at her eyes.
I say “her eyes” because I feel so detached and so far from her…decades. I stared at her expression. What is that expression? Timidness? Fear? Musing…maybe?
What is she thinking?
Who is she looking at with those eyes?
I don’t know.
I don’t remember.
I wonder about her. I wonder how much of what her eyes saw then impacts how I see things now – my friendships, my relationships and my expectations.
Who were her friends? Why did she choose them? What did she see in her friends then?
I wonder if they are some of the same things I look for and value in a friend now…she’d probably say they were her friends because they were “nice” to her. She wouldn’t know to use words like trustworthy, loyalty, compassionate and giving. Her friends were simply “nice”.
I wonder what she would think of me. Would she like me? Would she talk to me? From what I’ve heard, she liked to talk and she talked alot…just as I do now. What would she tell me? I’d like to talk to her every year from the date of this picture through her teen years.
Oh, the things that I would like to tell her…
…It will be one of the greatest gifts in your lifetime and a wonderful support, but there will be members, both immediate and extended, who will need to be loved from afar.
…Many friends will come through your life, some will be closer than siblings at times. Some will simply pass through your life for a time. When the time comes for them to leave, it may be hard, but it’s okay to let them go. There might even come a time when you’ll have to be the one to leave.
…Listen to your male friends because the things they will tell you and the respect they will give you during elementary, middle school, high school and college will teach you how to respect yourself as a woman in the same way they have respected you. They will set your “expectation standard” of how you expect men to treat women…how you expect to be treated.
…Failure is not the end of everything, it’s the opportunity create something new and try it again…differently.
…Your fears hardly ever play out the way that you think…goodness knows that your creative musings can conjure some far-fetched images.
…To laugh loudly and laugh often.
…Your smile is the greatest and the most renewable gift that you will have to offer next to your heart. You can give it away over 100 times a day and it gives back just as much in return…sometimes more.
…Although you will hate journaling, do it anyway. Learn how to reflect in peaceful places. Continue to write.
…Always listen to that small voice in your spirit because one day you will come to know the fullness of the voice and who it belongs to. Always seek the discerned, holy wisdom of that voice. His voice will set your path.
…Keep your ears open. Listen to the things that people tell you that they see in you…test them in your spirit, tuck them away until that VOICE reveals to you the truth of what they see and tells you, “It’s time to walk in it fully.”
…Listen objectively to the negative things that people tell you about yourself and ask the Voice to help you discern the person’s motive for telling you these things. Then ask to be shown how to receive it as an opportunity to positively change, if necessary.
I’d like to sit across from her and look into her eyes. But I can’t.
I can’t look into her eyes and tell her all these things, but now I have a different opportunity.
Now I have the chance to look into another little girl’s eyes…actually I can look into the eyes of several little girls.
Whether they are the eyes of my nieces, the girls at the juvenile detention center, the runaway shelter, or a seemingly random little girl or young lady at a grocery store or in the street, I can look them in their eyes, smile and tell them the things I want to tell her, the younger me. I will tell them the things that I see in them. I hope they will listen, tuck it away, test it in their spirit until it is revealed to them that it is time for them to walk in it fully…