Ten valuable lessons for my daughter

Two months before I got pregnant from Isaya – on Monday, July 31, 2014 – I wrote down ten “valuable lessons”. For Aya, for later, all grown up. At that time I did not know name her Isaya yet. These lessons were addressed to “Darling you”. I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy daughter who can walk, laugh, chat, roar and could pee in a jar at the age of three. A stubborn little lady who will find her own way in life. But who knows, one day she might need her mothers’ wise lessons. I wrote them down once more in the daughter diary that I recently received from Elma van Vliet.

10 valuable lessons

1. Always say goodbye

Never leave a person or a place without saying goodbye to each other. No matter what, however the situation is. It could come back and haunt you if you don’t.

2. Connect with others without losing yourself

A life without relationships is cold and lonely. It is a form of art to connect to others without losing your own identity and beliefs. Do not loose yourself, try to  complement and inspire each other, stay true to yourself.

3. Open your heart and accept the painful consequences

“Freedom is a Naked Heart that always Dares to Give” (Katie Herzig)

I had to have it tattooed on my arm a a reminder. It is better to live with an open heart and feel the pain that comes with it, than to close your heart and not be open to people and experiences.

4. Getting to know yourself is not a process with a beginning and an end …

…het is een cyclus. Zolang je leeft en dingen meemaakt, zul je veranderen en andere delen van jezelf leren kennen. Laat je niet in een hokje plaatsen, blijf groeien. Ontwikkeling en liefde zijn de zin van het leven.

… it’s a cycle. As long as you live and experience things, you will change and get to know other parts of yourself. Stay away from silo thinking, keep growing. Development and love are the meaning of life.

5. Accept that people come and go

However difficult or painful, you sometimes lose friends. People come into your life for a reason. If you have learned enough from each other, have given each other enough, it may be time to move on without each other.

6. Take charge!

“When it becomes more difficult to suffer than to change, you will change” (Robert Anthony)

Do not get stuck in destructive, unproductive or unhappy situations and habits. It is your life: change it!

7. One of the most important conditions to be happy …

… is that you feel safe and at home somewhere. I have not felt at home for years and that felt terrible. Keep looking for your home, but also realize that you are taking yourself everywhere.

8. Learn to listen

Really listen. Practice yourself in listening to what others have to say. Both verbally and non-verbally. A world will open for you.

9. Mistakes are memories of courage

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid to make one” (Elbert Hubbard)

Dare to make mistakes. They are not wrong. They are memories of a time when you had the courage to try new things without knowing the result. That is living with an open heart.

10. Things can coexist

Life is not black and white. It is not one or the other, option A or option B. There is always an option C. Even if things seem contradictory. Life consists of nuances and personal, changing truths. There is no such thing as one truth. With one exception. One truth is certain. And that is that I will love you all my life.


This is a translation of a blog in Dutch by Kari van der Heide.


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