A Letter to Girls Everywhere
There are 1.1 billion girls under the age of 18 living in the world today. These girls have the power to confidently charge into a bright future and bring about change for future generations. But it’s still hard being a girl. In the lead up to International Day of the Girl Child, author Amanda Viviers shares precious words she wants our girls to know in the midst of the struggles they face.
05 Oct, 2016
When was the last time you thought I can’t?
Just two short years ago I gave birth to a little girl. It had been my dream to become a Mum for a long time and I was told this would never happen. Every time someone said I couldn’t, I dug deep into the recesses of my soul and found a light of hope that helped me through. We named our little girl Liberty, because we believed in our lifetime, girls across the globe would find freedom, walking with a courage that would profoundly change the world.
Women, daughters, aunties, sisters, best friends and girls the world over, today I want to remind you that freedom is waiting. Grace and courage are partnering together to bring a new breed of the feminine kind. Here is my letter today to celebrate International Day of the Girl Child.
To my dear sister
You were destined to walk free. You have a purpose planted so deeply inside of you that is just waiting to be realised. You, my friend, are simply stunning. I know I have never met you, but I believe in the power of everyone’s unique signature. We as women have a fierce tenacity that can spring up from the very depths of our being, but we also have the capacity for tender encouragement that nurture’s even the most fragile environment.
To the girl that feels alone
Day after day, week after week, I remember how alone I felt as it seemed everyone around me was getting married and I was left firmly planted on the shelf. To the girl who feels alone in a room full of people and unsure if anyone even notices her, let me tell you a secret. You are so unique that the breadth of your brilliance is awaiting its perfect timing. No matter the season of hiddenness or silence, that in the midst of winter there is an invincible summer and you will sing again.
To the girl that has been silenced
Most women have had a season in their life where they have felt the strange feeling of someone else switching on the mute button. Whether it is in a workplace culture or in a classroom where they were blocked, I know this feeling of being silenced is terrible for any human being. I want to let you in on a little secret. You have a voice that is so unique and full of purpose that no one person can hold the mute button on pause forever. Find your voice my dear friend. Find that part of you that shakes as you speak and stand up for the truth. Don’t shout, whisper my friend, there is a whisper that is awakening giants across the earth, a whisper full of hope and purpose.
To the girl who doesn’t feel enough
Tears fill my eyes as I think of you, my sister. To the young woman who is seeking approval and attention from people who will not acknowledge her strength. To the girl who is searching across a room hoping that someone will notice. To the person who is shrinking herself so she will not stand out in a crowd. To the mother who is at home with her littles, ashamed of her voice as it quivers in pain. My heart leaps for those who feel not enough. Can I let you in on my secret? We will never be enough, but that is okay. There is a company of women arising who are accepting their vulnerabilities and shame. A tribe of women who are finding strength in accepting just who they are.
To the girl that believed the lie of a bully
I remember being in dance class when I was bullied. The impact of their words still bears scars in my today. Can I let you in on a little secret, though? They were lies. They are not the truth. When we believe the negative words that have been spoken over our life, we step back from the potential in our present to live a life of contribution in our today. I am believing that perspective is coming and your tomorrow will not be shaped by the words of yesterday.
To the girl who feels too much and to the girl who feels too old. Or maybe you feel too young, not gifted enough, or unsure about what you could offer this world.
Malala Yousafzai encouraged me deeply when I read her autobiography I am Malala and she said this; 'We realise the importance of our voices only when we have been silenced'. Your voice, your signature and your opportunities in your today are profound. I strongly believe that rock bottom has built more heroes than places of privilege. May you find that voice planted deep within your today and begin to whisper freedom to the world. A tribe is gathering and a new day is dawning, one where we live beyond those places of fear and insecurity. A day where girls across the globe are set free.
Words by Amanda Viviers
Author, Speaker and Novice Mum
Amanda Viviersis a writer, speaker, creative coach and novice Mum. She has published three books and in December 2016 she is releasing her fourth Dear Single Self. She is a presenter on radio across New Zealand and Australia and is the co-founder of kinwomen; a network created to inspire women to start conversations that matter. Along with her husband Charl, she is the co-owner of a not-for-profit surf brand, Maximus and Liberty (named for their children) which manufacture surfboards, stand up paddleboards and merchandise to fund youth surfing projects globally. Driven by a passion for social justice, she loves supporting projects for children in developing countries. Teaching children to live creative lives, beyond their circumstances, is something she pursues daily.