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Dear Daughter: A Message to the Fatherless

I would first like to state something that should be obvious, but given some choices that were not in your control, you may not believe me:

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WANTED. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Do not search outside for the love you need. It’s within you. It’s been paved with every sacrifice your mother has ever made. Every prayer your grandmother has spoke. Every shoulder you have trusted to lean on. Everything you need to feel, everything he took from you is right there. It’s within you. You emit it without even trying. Do not chase a ghost for love that’s not there, because although he left you, he didn’t LEAVE YOU. You were and are perfect. His demons are on him and not you.

You might have missed daddy-daughter dances, him wiping your tears away when you cried and sweet talks about no man loving you more than him. But that’s okay. This is not your fault.  You did nothing wrong and regardless of what you think about your mother—be it good or bad—he should have fought for you! He should have known better.

Everyone expects you to be LESS: less successful, less confident, less loved. This cannot be far from the truth. You are a work of art derived from chaos against your will. You are light.

He missed out on a piece of magic. A piece of heaven that your laughter brings. He has and continues to miss out on watching you grow and become a woman of truth. Believe all these things and know that every bit of it is true. True love, tenderness and joy is meant for you. Everyday will not be perfect. It is okay to acknowledge that you are hurt, and it is okay to cry.

But choose love. Do not live in your pain and search in dark places to satisfy your urge to feel desired. You do know the difference. When you find love, you will appreciate it so much more than you can ever imagine. It is a part of your birthright.

YOU ARE WORTH IT. IT WILL HAPPEN.

You are beautiful, you are special, and I love you. I am you. Let’s breathe together.

Laura Miller is a writer based in Chicago.