The following letter was written by Jessica of The Legacy of Leo for her son Eli. She writes to him as a teenager about the importance of being comfortable and willing to share his emotions.
Dear Eli,As you begin to enter the world of adulthood I want to take a moment to make sure you know you can always talk to us about how you are feeling. How do you feel today? Are you able to tell someone if something upsets or bothers you? I hope there is someone you feel able to confide in about how you feel. You always have us though, always.Some people might tell you things like, “boys don’t cry”, or “man up, pull yourself together” if boys and men get upset. I disagree, though. Boys do cry. And they don’t need to man up either. If you are upset, it’s okay to be upset. It you are happy, excited, or just content, that’s okay too. If you are anxious, worried, fearful, that’s okay.I just want you to be able to talk about these emotions. Right now, they probably feel quite fast moving and vibrant. Often, emotions can change very quickly. Other times, some emotions hang around for a long time and you can’t shift them, even if you want too. Some may feel more uncomfortable than others. That’s okay, it happens to all of us – even adults. It’s just important to spend time learning your emotions, and finding out what helps you feel as calm as possible.If you ever don’t feel able to talk to us, please find someone who you do feel comfortable talking to. It’s important to have these people in your life. They are special people, to be cherished. They should just listen to you, without judgement or critique. They might offer advice or another point of view, but you shouldn’t feel upset by their support. If you do, I’d suggest finding someone else – friend or family.If you don’t feel able to talk to anyone sometimes, then maybe have a go at writing your thoughts down. Sometimes it can really help to make sense of them, and often you feel a lot calmer as a result. You could always write a letter if you want to share those feelings with someone, or just keep it to yourself.Most importantly, just know you can share the thoughts and feelings that you have. I promise you’ll never be the first person to feel that way. If you are scared or find it difficult to understand your emotions, or they feel too overwhelming – remember you can always ask us for help. That’s okay too.And return the favour to those who listen to you. Being able to give someone, anyone, time and space to share their thoughts with you is a gift, and everyone needs someone like that in their life.Keep being you, keep being kind.Love,Your mummies