My Dearest Child,

As I prepare your Purim costume today, fingering the pink tulle princess gown and rhinestone-laden tiara you will soon don, my mind starts to wander.

I think of the many costumes you will wear as you grow and develop. Such is the nature of life. We all have them, those facades we hide behind.

As you grow, you may find yourself—as so many of us do—working hard to portray a certain image of yourself to the world. One that is whole. One that feels in control. One that “has her life together.”

And that is OK. We all need to wear that costume at times.

We need it in order to walk into the work office after a hard morning with the kids. We need it to playfully engage with our children after a difficult conversation with our spouse. We need it in order to get out of bed on those mornings we feel unable to face the day ahead.

But, my dear, precious child ...

As I hang the costume in your closet today, neatly pressed and glittering, where it will wait for you to wear, I pray for you.

I pray that you have the wisdom to create spaces in time where you can shed the facades you have so carefully erected. Moments in which you give yourself permission to allow the costume to fall away so that you can face yourself in your most authentic and vulnerable form.

And it is there, in this most vulnerable space, that you will find both the tension and beauty of embodiment, of existence itself.

On the one hand, you will uncover a soul that pulsates with genuine light and clarity. With unwavering faith. With abundant joy. With the warmth and security of always feeling in G‑d’s embrace. With a burning desire to live in sync with its true purpose; a life of connection to G‑d, Torah and mitzvah observance.

At the same time, you will feel the pull of your physicality. A body that struggles to let the soul’s faith, light and clarity shine through it. A body that feels G‑d hiding from it. A body that feels consumed by darkness. A body that reacts with anger, betrayal or frustration.

Allow yourself to sit with the tension. It is the tension of Creation and its ultimate purpose. And therein lies the greatest beauty and light of all; it is the beauty of growth. The beauty of the mission with which your soul was entrusted—to feel the pull in both directions. To feel torn and confused at times. And to slowly create openings within your very physical and mundane existence for the soul’s rays to peek through.

As the Kotzker Rebbe once stated: “There is nothing so whole as a broken heart.”

But it takes work. And the courage to face yourself for real. The seeds of growth are planted with honesty, watered and nurtured with authenticity.

Talk to G‑d from that hallowed space. Pour out your deepest thoughts and feelings. Allow Him to carry that tension together with you, to help you create those openings for spiritual growth to take root. In those deepest recesses of your heart and mind, you will find G‑d. Right there, listening, carrying, one with you.

Surround yourself with a few trusted friends and with mentors who are on this spiritual journey together with you. With whom you can shed the facades of life and talk openly and honestly about how to live more in sync with your true purpose. With G‑d. With faith. With Torah and mitzvot. With true light. With inner peace. With joy.

I know you will be a lovely princess this Purim, my dear. The pink tulle, delicate lace and glittering gemstones will make for a most beautiful costume. But always remember that it is but a glittering veneer. It is in the struggle and effort to live from a more G‑d-conscious place within you that your true beauty will emerge.