All About Babies

Singer's Open Letter to Her Daughter Is Exactly What We Need in Today's Divisive World

Teyana Taylor nails the right way to lift our kids up in a world that will inevitably put them down time and again.

Singer and actress Teyana Taylor's open letter to her 1-year-old daughter on Instagram is going viral, likely because her words perfectly capture many parents' dreams and hopes for their children who are growing up in an increasingly divisive political climate.

Taylor shares daughter Iman Tayla Shumpert, Jr. (whom the couple have nicknamed Junie, or June Bug) with NBA star husband Iman Shumpert (yep, like father, like daughter!).

Dear @babyjunie4 Since your first breath, life has become so much more. Everything makes so much sense now. You are my motivation and you bring the greatness out in me. You are my heart. I knew at first glance that it was love. As we gazed into each other's eyes and you thanked me for life, all I could think of is how much I should be thanking you. Not a tear from you as we watched your father cry. As you grow older, you will understand that life is a long road that you cannot travel without having people pointing fingers at you. We live in a world where people have the right to their opinions, however you have the right to refuse them as your truth. People only have as much power as you give them. Remember that. Be resilient and let the rain of judgments and insults slide down your umbrella of indifference. Bug, you have the ability to operate at a whole new level of permission for yourself. Never dim your light so that others can handle your brightness. Refuse to be objectified because of your race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Define your success, not by the words of others, but by the work, efforts, love and faith that you will pour into all of the things that you do. Embrace diversity in all kinds of people. In a world in which some leaders choose to exploit people's ignorance and create anxiety, reject their claims. Our lack of understanding of others and lack of open mindedness is what promotes division, rejection, hatred, fear and blame. I promise you a world filled with love and I'm going to give you that. You were worth every kick, every contraction and beauty mark. You are a beautiful distraction from this imperfect world; my beautiful sanctuary. As you grow carry yourself as a beautiful black queen without limits. I look forward to watching you develop your own grace, wisdom and patience in the essence of God’s perfect timing. Remember that you can do and achieve anything. As long as you can see it's real, anything is possible. Mommy loves you June Bug, always and forever. ❤️

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on

"As you grow older, you will understand that life is a long road that you cannot travel without having people pointing fingers at you," Taylor writes to her daughter. "We live in a world where people have the right to their opinions, however you have the right to refuse them as your truth. People only have as much power as you give them. Remember that."

Amen to that!

"Be resilient and let the rain of judgments and insults slide down your umbrella of indifference," she continues. "Bug, you have the ability to operate at a whole new level of permission for yourself. Never dim your light so that others can handle your brightness. Refuse to be objectified because of your race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Define your success, not by the words of others, but by the work, efforts, love and faith that you will pour into all of the things that you do. Embrace diversity in all kinds of people."

So. Much. Yes.

 

On a personal note, this letter deeply touched me because my youngest daughter's nicknames are June, Junie, and June Bug. But that coincidence aside, this strong mama's words of advice to her little girl about overcoming criticism from others, and not letting them define you, really resonate. Clearly the 224,000 people who liked Taylor's letter agree.

There can be no doubt that Taylor's little girl will be empowered to do whatever she wants in this world with her amazing mom's support. Here's hoping we can all lift our kids up the way Taylor does in this powerful missive!

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.