This post is inspired by Lance’s post at the Jungle of Life–Close to Home and Far Away.
There was a little girl who almost didn’t have a chance. Her mom said had she been a boy, she would have had an abortion. Struggling to live before she was fully formed. A premature baby, this precious little girl lived her first two months in an incubator in the hospital.
Her parents divorced soon after she arrived home. She lived with her dad for the first few months, until one day her mom “stole” her during a visit, moving with her ‘underground’ out of state, across the country. This little girl lived with her mom while her dad and family searched to find her. This search took a few years..until one day she was “ripped” from her mom’s home and returned to her dad’s.
This little girl enjoyed ballet, reading, art. She really enjoyed interacting with people..she loved when they smiled and laughed and wanted to smile and laugh too. After years of being told not to talk to strangers, this little girl was shy. After such an early struggle, at such a young age, she already felt ‘not enough’. This little girl was lost.
She didn’t have an idyllic childhood…she didn’t have much. Each day she woke, she was glad to be in the day..she woke with a smile and a hope that *this* would be the day she was found again..found by someone who would give her love and attention. Her smile and her hope stayed with her throughout the rest of her life..
She was cute, smart, and fun..very popular at school. Her family didn’t have much money, and she was often left home alone, so she would read, draw, play outside with her friends. I don’t know how she stayed out of the legal system. The only reason she wasn’t pregnant at an early age was that she was raised Catholic and the Fear of God kept her from sex. From her first crush to her first boyfriend this girl was fascinated with the ‘bad boy’ type..the one who was larger than life, the leader of his group, athletic and muscular. She craved safety and thought these traits would provide that for her. She was street wise yet she was cultured, and she was very much ‘alone’.
This precious little girl was lost.
The story goes on..and reads like a drama movie. You can find the later years at this link About Joy and This Blog. This little girl is me..Joy. I’ve learned to release my story to live mindfully present in the now, but I bring out parts to share as a motivational speaker and in forums such as this if it will inspire others to open their hearts and love fully. So I share with you here today..
Because the fact is statistics will tell you I should have been pregnant at an early age. I have not been on the streets, but I have been close to the streets my entire life. I have not used drugs but I have been around those who do. I grew up in chaos and disarray so my comfort zone was chaos and disarray..although inside I craved cleanliness and structure I hadn’t the skills to manifest them. There have been many days I had not even one penny, I’ve been hungry and wishing someone would share food with me, I’ve been close to losing my shelter. In my formative years there was an abusive person in my household…since then I’ve been subject to violence and violent people throughout my life. I’ve been dragged down the road, beaten and stranger raped. After my own divorce, I was involved with someone who literally left me at the side of the road to walk home while I bled, and who smashed my spirit daily. I never felt enough, so I could wish but I was so busy trying to ‘survive’ I never really knew how to *live*.
I’ve always been known to be the one with a smile..an energetic, enthusiastic, faith filled person who would share generously and help anyone who needed it. No matter where I was in life, I knew there was someone with less who could benefit from what I had to share. I always knew my smile might be the only light in someone’s day. I tended to give to others what I myself wanted…unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness..If anything I have may help you to achieve your dreams..I will share it.. I want that for *you*…
In these years, I’ve healed my wounds and kept my heart. How??
In every stage of my life God placed an Angel…someone who smiled at the right time, or guided me to the next place past where I was..guided with words, inspiration, physical help..and I allowed my heart to remain open fully. Had I closed my heart, I would have had a different life. I’ve never had a mom..yet there have been mother figures placed in my life. I’d never felt *love* yet there are people who show me love. I’ve not had abundant finances, yet there has been money. I haven’t had resources, yet I create in many mediums.
I tear up writing this..I feel so passionately about this..You just truly do not know how much a few dollars means to someone who has nothing. How much one smile means to someone who has been criticized the entire day. How much a few moments of active listening and affirmation means to someone who has not been heard. How much a thank you or an I love you means to someone who has been told they are unlovable and not worthy. How much teaching a practical skill means to someone to whom practical is foreign. How much a token gift of gratitude or love means to someone who learned that gifts were manipulations.
When I was a child, if I had bedraggled hair or unkempt clothing or a sack lunch it wasn’t by choice..it was by necessity. At a young age, children don’t have a choice to be other than who they are molded to be. There were teachers and adults that noticed me and encouraged and inspired me to be more, to reach for more..planted the little seeds of dreams. I was told about the importance of school and how my grades could be the foundation of my life..so I made good grades..almost to the point of perfection. I wanted “out” but at such a young age I just never knew what “out” would look like or how to get there.
I’ve never felt a “victim”..I’ve never been one for labels. I do know without a doubt that I am who I am and where I am today because of the love I have received along the way. (*Thank you for that love*!) Because there were strangers who thought to extend a kindness, friends who went above and beyond to guide me, people who believed in me or one of my abilities and nurtured that. Because there were people who cared to invest time, energy, resources in me..and later in life, most recently in myself and my children. When you think you have nothing, look again..you most likely have something that you can share that will impact a life.
I See You…I Know You…I *Love* You…
I am no longer lost..I am *found*..so found..Mine is a life full of magic and delight…and as you can see from this site, it is my *passion* to guide others to find peace and live the life of their dreams…
Today, my heart is full of gratitude for All in my life. I wouldn’t change one thing from my past, I enjoy these moments in the present. When you touch my heart, I tell you…either in person, with a thoughtful gesture, in a note. I don’t take anything for granted. I allow my heart to fill with love and gratitude and I serve joyfully from that overflowing well. I know you are precious, and when you trust me with your heart in life..or to guide you.. I will very care fully and lovingly reflect to you who you are at your core and Love you in that place. I *Love* you..here, out in the world, in my life..
I thank you..each and every one of you..for opening your heart in this space here. What I present is heart led..I want you to *feel* life..to experience life..fully.
My parents did they best they could with what they had..we all do. Each moment, we have a choice to live in faith or fear..and we live out those choices. Early on, I chose to live in faith regardless of external..and now my children have a much different experience than I. They may have external struggles, but they know without a doubt they are heard, they are loved and cared for, and they matter completely as they are. They know they have unique gifts, they know how to dream, they manifest miracles. I broke the cycle..
There are many girls..and boys..who are not as ‘lucky’ as I ..it is to them that I dedicate this post…
A heart-felt thank you to Tara Sophia Mohr and all of the writers who contributed to her space..If you clink on Tara’s link there are various inspirational essays. If you would like to learn more, please check out The Girl Effect.
There are many people who inspire me..online, in life..and to you I say *thank you*..you have allowed me to dream, dream big and to realize those dreams. I sleep peacefully under the moonbeams knowing I am loved beyond measure..I am enough..I am worthy and deserving..I am surrounded by magic and All is Well..