There are numerous things that your mother and I have and will try to instill in you, countless bits of wisdom and stupidity, but, in the end, only experience will truly be your teacher. That being said, there are some truths that I, your father, consider absolute. Many of these truths your mother and I would agree on, though I doubt she would admit to giving some of them any serious thought, and some she might even disagree with, or at least with me sharing. One truth be told, I am writing this while you three are still babies, and I may never have the courage to give this letter to you. I would like to think I will, but my experience has made it clear that people change quite a bit more than we are usually willing to admit. My intention is to give this to you when you begin your transition into womanhood, though whether I’ll define that socially, physically, or spiritually is to be determined. Call it a replacement for “the birds and the bees” conversation that I am certain we will never want to have.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the gateway to misery, pain, and anger.
Fear is a primitive emotion that breeds destruction and inaction. There is no way to avoid the biological response that your mind interprets as fear, the release of adrenaline, endorphins, or cortisol, but these are useful chemicals that make you stronger, more acutely aware and focused, less susceptible to immediate pain. Use these chemicals to fuel you but never drive you.
Love everyone and everything.
Love is creation.
Love is pure joy, pure pleasure.
Love is the path to happiness, fulfillment, and understanding.
Love is an emotion more valuable than any rational thought.
Revel in orgasm.
Seriously. Revel in orgasm. It is a greater pleasure than any other, and, when coupled with romantic love, the most revelatory experience available to us.
Romantic love is a momentary burst of chemicals, like a prolonged, but fleeting orgasm.
Romantic love has as much in common with fear as it does with True Love or orgasm. Without trust, loyalty, and the faith cemented in established history, romantic love is just a passing fancy. Enjoy it, but don’t let it confuse or destroy you.
It will happen again. And again. When you find the person you can stand long enough to have repeated cycles of romantic love, without losing sight of genuine friendship in between, you may be fortunate enough to have found True Love.
There is nothing but chaos.
Don’t let that stop you from writing yourself a good narrative. The human mind needs a good story.
There is a Devil and a Hell.
The Devil is an idea. He persists in mankind’s notion that he persists.
Hell is a place inside your own mind. It is the prison that you lock yourself inside by giving into fear.
There is a God and a Heaven.
God is the ineffable notion of the dream of perfection, and Heaven is the place where you reside whenever you realize that everything is already perfect.
Allow yourself to be intoxicated. Embrace fun. Imbibe substances. Exercise to ecstasy. Dance and drink until Dionysus consumes you.
But never endanger your life.
Never operate in ignorance.
Never give the system reason to punish you.
Always ask for help if you feel, even briefly, that you need it.
Respect your body.
It’s the only one I’m certain you’ll have.
Maintain it with a varied and mostly natural diet.
See a doctor when you need to, but never blindly trust anyone other than yourself to truly care for your body.
If you listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs.
See as much of this magical world as you can. Understand as many different ways of life as possible.
Judge no one.
Never compromise your integrity, your honor, your faith, your love.
To compromise is to introduce weakness, to give in to fear.
Barter, exchange, share. Accept that fulfilling your highest values and future needs will often lead to denying your present wants, but never sell your True Self short.
Bend like a reed in the wind, but do not break.
The world will try to break you, but only your choices and your regrets have the power to do so.
The world will break you.
If it doesn’t, you aren’t living.
How you put the pieces back together is what shapes and defines you.
I love you more than life itself, and pray always that you are filled with the gift of Love, the spirit of Creation, and the serene state of mind that is Liberty.
Attention, girls! Here and Now. Always and Forever.