I’ll be honest. I’ve rewritten this page many times since I started this blog in 2009, and I still don’t know what to say. This blog has been an evolution, and I would never have dreamed that my life would look as it does now when I started it eight years ago.
So, in our Facebook-Instagram culture of personal branding and self-promotion, what should I say? One reader messaged me and said that she had no idea who I was, but I would argue that point. You might not know my name or political affiliation, but who I am is woven throughout the entirety of my blog.
This isn’t a lighthearted blog though, and that isn’t representational of my life or point of view because I am a lighthearted, optimistic person. I require joy and fun to progress in life and enjoy it. Practically speaking, I have four daughters, and you can read all about our very big life at Empowered Grace. After my nearly 20-year marriage came to an end, I decided to do what I had always intended to do before I had children–I went back to graduate school. I’m now neck-deep in Eastern and Western medicine earning a medical Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I might even get that PhD one day. You only get so many chances to start over in life. I’m not wasting this opportunity.
With that out of the way, what is this blog about then? What’s my purpose?
I want anyone who reads what I’ve written and observed the evolution herein to see firsthand that it is possible to overcome that which should be an impossibility. It is possible to create something solid and worthwhile from next to nothing. It is possible to rise from the clichéd ashes transformed and better. It is painful. It might take you to the edge of yourself, but it is possible. That is why I write. That is why I am honest. That is why I will write about my experiences with domestic violence, human trafficking, and childhood trauma and abuse. These experiences kill people. These experiences leave people in anguish and despair, but they don’t have to be permanent ontological states. Yes, you will have to work harder than other people to attain some semblance of happiness and wholeness, and that’s the inherent injustice in being abused and hurt. You are behind the eight ball in many ways, but that only gives you compassion because this state is inherent to the human condition. Your familiarity with suffering and pain can either destroy you or give you an edge. It is, in the end, your choice even if you didn’t choose to be given such a choice. It is still your choice to make.
Nelson Mandela said, “Even if you have a terminal disease, you don’t have to sit down and mope. Enjoy life and challenge the illness that you have.” He also said, “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” This is absolutely true, but I have learned that you get to where you want to go a lot faster when you go together. When you share your journey with others. I hope that I can add to your journey in some way.
In the end, I’ll always say the same thing:
Life is hard, and, to quote the Dread Pirate Roberts of William Goldman’s classic tale The Princess Bride, anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. It’s evidence that every one of us has a battle to fight even if we look fine on the outside. We all carry injuries and scars. We all have stories to tell. Battles won. Battles lost. Not a one of us has it all together. Just because you look well enough doesn’t mean that you are. Never judge anyone particularly based upon their affect and appearance.
Healing, however, is possible. A good life is available to you with one caveat. You must fight for it. Nothing good comes to you without a fight.
So, be tenacious. Fight for the life you want. And never give up.
Shalom to you, MJ