To all of my daughters, nieces, little sisters and young home girls, this is your collective love letter. My niece, JaLynn, asked me to explain the importance of girls loving themselves. So, here I am attempting to give you the truth of who you are and who you one day will become.

First, I need you to understand that you have a responsibility to love and respect yourself. God commanded that you love your neighbor as you love yourself. You get it? You must love yourself first before you can ever love somebody else. How can anybody profess to love or respect you if you are unwilling to do it for yourself?

Second, love is not a touchy-kissy thing; it’s full of sacrifices and understanding. Love is earned through time and commitment. There is truth, honor and dedication in love. Once you learn to sacrifice for yourself, understand yourself through time and commitment to yourself; when you respect and honor your own mind and body, then you have the right to begin to see if someone else can cherish you the same way that you cherish yourself.

As young women you have a responsibility to hold all young men to a certain standard. Because they may look like Chris Brown or Trey Songz doesn’t mean that they deserve your time. I ask JaLynn, “What is beautiful Jay?” and she always replies, “on the inside”. This isn’t just her beauty, but yours. If a dude is ugly on the inside, what he may look like on the outside can hurt you more if you aren’t secure in the love that you have for yourself. If his life has no future, then what type of friendship can he really offer you? I said, “deserve your time”, because you are valuable and your time should cost, it should be earned through hard work, honesty, and serious insights. Some young man may come looking to be your boyfriend, ask him questions like this: what type of grades are you making, what college or trade school do you plan to attend, what church do you belong to and what does your future look like after college or trade school? If he cannot answer these in detail and in honesty, then he most likely isn’t ready to be your boyfriend. Most importantly though; if you cannot answer these questions yourself about yourself, then, my love, you aren’t ready either.

I tell you these truths out of love of who you are and will be. You are Queens and Princesses.  You deserve to be honored and cherished. You are amazing females that deserve to be amazed and understood. You will one day raise children to be doctors, teachers, and presidents. Have you seen any sports awards show or the NBA or NFL drafts? What do you see most of the time? You see single mothers there supporting their sons with pride. Don’t be that single mother.  If he really loves you, he’ll respect you enough to wait on you. If he loves you, he’ll understand you. If you love you, you’ll give yourself the best chance at being happy, truly happy with the one person that deserves your love the most–Your self!

So, Uncle Enoch asks you to learn to love you, to raise the bar and to make all the young men jump over it before they say… this is my girlfriend. Young lady, learn how precious you are. Don’t be in a hurry to grow up. There are a couple of things in life you can’t reclaim; your innocence and youth are just a few. Ask any older woman if what I say is real.  If she agrees, then do the world a favor and love you first.

Love Y’all,
Uncle Enoch