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Letters to Our Daughters: Knowing who you are

Hello Pretty Girls,

I wanted to begin this letter by addressing you for who you are. Knowing who you are is the main important piece of knowledge you must possess to not only survive, but to overcome the adversities you will face and can’t hide from in life. So I say again to you, “Hello Pretty Girls” because you are a princess in the eyes of the One that made you into a special and wonderful human being, who is God.

See, for a long period of time in my own life, I didn’t believe I was attractive. When I was at the age of most of you, I was taunted with the cruel behaviors of others and the ugly words that they said to me. Those actions damaged the way I saw myself. Deep down I knew I was pretty, but I found it hard to believe based on being intimated by the insecurities that others felt about themselves. I began to consume my mind with worthless thoughts. I was ashamed and compared myself to the false illustrations of prettiness. It got so bad, I tried to change the color of my complexion because my skin was not light like some of the other girls. Along the way I became a target for people to take advantage of me when they did not want to be bothered with their negative issues and used me to throw it off on. And it was all because of the fact of me not understanding who I really was.

And in addition to the horrifying terrors that held me captive, there was another crucial and very intense challenge that disconnected me from my real identity, which was the hidden pain of not having the type of relationship that girls desire to have with their daddies. My daddy was present in my life, but also absent. He was a good provider and took care of me, but he was hardly there during the times that I needed him and especially as I got older. I carried the emotional weight of abandonment and struggled with rejection for years that lead to several irresponsible habits I picked up, that caused me to keep spinning in a cycle of dysfunction.

But I thank God, the cycle eventually got broken and I found the strength and confidence to confront and deal with my problems head on and the dislike I felt about myself. I had to realize that my daddy was only able to love me in the best way he knew how to love me; he could only give me what he had and how love was expressed to him growing up. Yes, I wanted and expected more from him, I was his little girl, but I learned that I had to let go of what I may not get and put all my expectations in someone who will never fail me and that is God. That does not mean you have to close yourselves off from letting people in your life and trusting them, but people are not perfect and you will be disappointed and hurt by them too.

I’m glad today, I can share and say, I know without a doubt that I am pretty and the ignorance of what people do or say to me don’t affect and harm me like it used to. Once I was healed from my past, grabbed a hold of my truth, started living it out and walking in the power of it without any fear, I became unstoppable. So, if there is anything I want you to remember, it will be; to stay and remain true to yourself at all cost, forgive and pray for those that disrespect and mistreat you, trust God with all of your hearts and seek God for everything that you need.

I pray that each of you pretty girls, will make it a choice every day, to be a better girl than the girl you were yesterday. Be a pretty girl that reveals the authentic beauty that is within you because it’s not about how you look on the outside that counts, it’s what is inside of you that changes the world around you. You will grow and mature into a beautiful queen one day, so be the best image of yourself and not nobody else. Surround yourself with other girls that are positive and don’t settle for anything that degrade and devalue how priceless you are. There was a unique plan that was intentionally written by God just for you, I hope you will follow it, pursue your purpose and not let your gifts and talents go to waste. Whatever you do in life, don’t make it about yourself, let it be about honoring and glorifying God.

The sky and the stars limit you, go beyond the limits and have faith to reach for what you can’t see; stand up, step up, speak up and utilize every opportunity you have to introduce your true self to the eyes that need to acknowledge and recognize you and the ears that need to hear your voice, declaring with boldness, that you are not just the average and typical pretty girl, but you are a victorious masterpiece, cherished like a treasure and sparkling like the dazzling diamond that you are.

I love all of you to life, pretty girls, but God loves you greater than anybody else ever can.

Yours truly,

O’Dena Ford

Learn more about O'Dena ________________________________________________

ABOUT Letters to our Daughters Letters to Our Daughters is a B2F Girls! campaign that aspires to empower girls with the courage to overcome obstacles and follow their dreams as they learn from women who have overcome many challenges and have positioned themselves to live a fierce life. We hope that the stories will be healing and empowering for both the writer and the reader. ABOUT B2F Girls! B2F Girls! is on a mission to equip girls nationally with healthy self-esteem so that they can be the best version of themselves. When this happens, everyone benefits. B2F Girls! offers a robust certification program and training intensive, complete with resources, implementation guides and support for women who have a calling to mentor girls. We also produce national female empowerment events. OUR HISTORY B2F Girls! initially started as an organization called Tween Style Power that offered free local workshops for girls ages 10-17 that addressed the areas of self-worth, body image and leadership. After our first successful year of implementation, we began to notice we were receiving an influx of women from various parts of the country asking how they could implement a similar program for the girls in their communities. It was then that we recognized a gap that required a systematic and accessible way of providing the training we were already offering. This made way for the launch of B2F Girls!

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