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Proudly Supporting

Therese Rein's Inspiring Letter to her Granddaughter Josephine

On 22 June 2012 Thérèse Rein presented at the Young Minds conference and shared some personal stories of resilience - I sat and listened with the entranced audience. Towards the end of the presentation, Ms Rein spoke of her wishes for Josephine, her recently born granddaughter. Kevin Rudd MP and Thérèse Rein became grandparents on 31st May 2012 - Josephine's parents are Jessica Rudd and Albert Tse.

I was so moved by this that I rushed out like a groupie and asked Ms Rein if she would share these words with me to publish on happychild; graciously she said yes, and consented to a photo with me. The photo is just to prove how keen I was! (excuse the blurry image)  So here are the words for you also. Let me know if you love them as much as I do?

Letter to Josephine  

So, I reflected on what I would want to say to my newborn granddaughter as well, and I thought I’d share that with you as we finish.

I want to tell her stories.

I want to tell her about her Great, Great, Great Grandma who at the age of 12 arrived in Geelong.  And traversed the country from the South, up through the Burdekin giving birth under a bullocky dray.  Five times.  That was for shelter and shade.  And who ended up in the far, far north of this country.  

I want to tell her the story of her Great Grandfather; my Dad.
I want to tell her the story of her Great Grandmother; my Mum.  Who urged and challenged and encouraged and supported and believed in.  

I want to tell her of her own strengths.  I want to sing her the song of her own strengths, tell her own story.  I want to encourage her to burn the stick of perfectionism with which we often beat ourselves.  

I want to urge her to be just her, not anyone else.  To be her unique, beautiful, individual self.  
I want to be ‘out loud’ grateful with her to celebrate our freedom, our opportunity and love.   

I want to help her find her fields of fascination. I want to help her have a go at finding those and saying, "actually no I don’t quite like that", "that’s not quite me", or "actually, yes, I really like this".  

I want to help her savour being in the world.  I want to encourage her to get up and try again and have another go.  And have another go.   

I want to let her know that she has my love forever.  

I want to help her find her signature strengths and what she believes in that is bigger than her so that she can give to others and be kind to others.  

And I want to let her know that she can do anything, anything at all, if she puts her mind to it.  

Just as you can.   

Thérèse Rein 

22 June 2012

 

P.S. Interested in knowing your own signature strengths? Take the Via Signature Strengths Questionnaire on this page of the Authentic Happiness website. And here's Martin Seligman's book on Authentic Happiness.