A Letter to My Son


Dear Son:

It was a good visit yesterday!

I’d like to give a bit of fatherly advice.

You are now of an age and in a place where you can truly be your own man, your own boss.

Write down your short term goals and your long term goals and dreams.

Then, each day, make a list of tasks you want to accomplish today. One of those tasks should be something that advances one of your long term goals. Several of those tasks should be something that advances some of your short term goals.

If you work ten minutes a day towards a long term goal, then you will ensure that you achieve that goal.

Check off your accomplishments. At the end of the day, update your list, mark off your accomplishments. Even doing something that is part of a task is an accomplishment. Be proud of moving forward. Be proud of the direction you are moving in.

You are a man now. You get to decide who your friends are and who is your family. You get to decide what kind of relationship you have with family. You define who is family.

Just because someone is biologically related to you doesn’t mean you need to keep them in your family. Family is how you define it.

You will always have some sort of relationship with your mother. But, you are the guy who decides what that looks like and how that works. That is pretty much what you do about your relationship with your dad. You have decided how that is, and you make sure you protect yourself and work through all those feelings about your dad.

Same with your mom. Your job is to protect yourself and to make sure you have a healthy relationship with your mom, whatever that is. You decide. You set the boundaries. Don’t let yourself get hurt, or let her run your life. You are in charge of running your life. You are the boss, the manager.

Figuring out our relationships with our parents is tough stuff. I am still doing that, and both my parents are dead. Yet, I hear the old voices, the old ways. But, I am the one who decides what I listen to, and how I respond. I am the boss. I have the power.

You are smart about relationships and about feelings. You have the power, and you have the brains about all that. Put your learning to work. Do what is best for you. Only you get to decide what is in your best interest.

You are the only one who really knows what is best for you. Practice self love and self care. Protect yourself from giving other people permission to hurt you and to make you feel bad.

You have done very well as you have grown up. You have new skills and new power. You have self confidence, and self esteem. Keep up that good work. Move ahead, and go in the direction you want to go in. Be proud.

No one else gets to run your life. You are in charge. Do what is good for you. Go live your dreams.

Take those hard steps, and move in the direction you want to go. Don’t try to please other people. But, please yourself. Do what is good for you.

You are surrounded by people who care about you and who support you in all of this. Use that energy and that support.

Believe in yourself.

You are finding your power in what you are writing. Be proud of what you know and what you are feeling, and what you are dreaming. Go where you need to go.

My job is to be a cheerleader, and to believe in your dreams, and to support you in the direction you want to go. I don’t get to run your life, and no one else does, either. Don’t worry about what I think. What really matters is what you think, and where you want to go. What really matters is what is best for you.

If you need a tool, ask for it. You live in a place where there are lots of tools. You live in a place where people believe in you and support you.

Anything is possible.

All my love,

Neal

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