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It’s all about you

Updated: May 5

A child’s unanswered letter to God and the value of self-love

By Olivia Beardsmore

A letter to God – No Stamp Required

I was four years old, when I decided to write a letter to God. I didn’t know how to write – but hey! What did that matter? My curly swirls looked just like joined-up writing. Surely that would be sufficient to impress the great man in the sky.

Everything was in place for this great literary exercise – my bright red seventies plastic child-size table and chair, my favourite Crayola crayon and a couple of sheets of that continuous, perforated computer paper (do you remember it?) that Dad would bring home from work.

A strategic approach

There I sat, happily ensconced in my room, as little as I was, lower than the window-sill, drafting my letter to God. I can’t remember what I said to Him or even asked Him but it must have been extremely important.

The letter complete, I stacked my two little red chairs on top of each other, before lifting them on top of the table. I gingerly climbed up and carefully placed my precious letter on the highest chair. My thoughts behind this were strategic. If I place my letter as high-up as possible, God wouldn’t have as far to reach to collect it. Makes complete sense doesn’t it?

He’d drop by later

I softly closed the bedroom door, tiptoed away and patiently sat on the stairs – giving God the privacy to collect my letter. I left what I estimated was ample time for Him to reach down and collect my letter – probably about five seconds max. Then I crept back upstairs and peaked through the gap in the door. With luck, I’d spot God’s hand reaching down … but everything was exactly as I’d left it. Maybe God was a bit busy and would drop by a little later.

I left it for what seemed like an age … but was probably till just after tea-time.  When I returned to my room the second time, sadness filled my heart. My letter was still there, forlorn and neglected.

Dad would explain. After all, he knew everything. “Dad, why hasn’t God taken my letter?”

Poor Dad. Not an easy question to answer as his ever-enquiring blonde-haired daughter’s blue eyes pleadingly, hopefully stared up. I don’t recall the answer he gave. Nor does he. Knowing him, it was a wise and wonderful explanation about how God already knew what was in the letter, so didn’t need to collect it. But surely if God loved me he would take my letter?

Respecting all faiths and none

What amazing faith I had at such a young age. I obviously didn’t know about the tower of Babel story then or perhaps I might have feared repercussions. I was raised in a strictly religious background. I don’t class myself as religious now. Spiritual – definitely. My son found a word the describes me well – an Omnist – one who respects all religions and none – not following any one religion, practice or belief, but finding truth in all of them.

Don’t we all have a message we’d love to write to God, Mother Earth, the Universe, the law of attraction, whatever we want to call the energy or creation of life and the earth we live on? We all have questions, desires and dreams for a better life, even if we don’t necessarily believe in a higher power. If we pray either formally or informally (like me), we have a message we want to be delivered and want to know that someone’s listening and might even answer.

Life-forming experiences

Now, over four decades later, what would I write on that letter? In the intervening years, that little girl has been on quite a rollercoaster journey. She’s experienced things that she wouldn’t want her own children to experience. However, in spite of all the trials, I wouldn’t change my life in any way. I’m truly grateful for my life experiences. They’ve made me who I am today and I love her.

Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to love myself. I used to think this meant being proud or filled with ego. I now know and understand that loving yourself is the most important foundation to life. Once you love yourself on the inside, life flows. You avoid making the same mistakes, such as becoming caught up in toxic or unhealthy relationships. Loving yourself also keeps you physically healthy; your body no longer exhibits physical signs of low self-esteem.

It’s in the smile

People often remark on my big smile. There’s a reason for it. No matter what’s going on around me, I’m happy. Whether God is there or not, I love me. I no longer depend on external influences, such as whether or not God has chosen to collect my letter. My foundations begin with me and from there, radiates to others.

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