The Lost Girl…



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 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 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 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 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* 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*, 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* 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 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, in life..and to you I say *thank 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..

Thank you!

Much peace,


  1. #1 by Steve! on November 24, 2010 - 4:48 am

    I knew it! We’re related! lol!
    Beautiful post. SO SO wild. Seems most of the truly vibrant, colorful, spirit-filled people I collide with–seem to have similar threads through their web of stories. I won’t go into my story here…(I relate all over the place to yours) but I will say this:
    I, too, knew only one thing–well, two–coming up through:
    I wanted out.
    And I wanted to survive long enough to get out.
    And I did…both.
    No surprise–that even though I was physically out–I never really left that place, those people . It was all in here. And I had just done what all of the rest did in generations before–picked up what was passed to me.
    “You put yo pants on the same way’s the rest of ’em,” as one craggy, old woman spewed at me….lol!
    What I didn’t know then was…I didn’t have to.
    How COULD I know that? I was just doing…what we do…the way we do.
    I didn’t know how to REALLY get out. To break the cycle. And it went on that way…..and on.
    People have asked me how I got here, from “that”–back there. I can never just say it like you just did. So beautiful, cool, succinct, and full!
    So when they ask- I shrug it off–and reply: “Grace…alot of grace.”
    And lately, when asked, reply: “It took alotta dying to get here….”
    Yeah…..that too.
    And its woven all THROUGH that writing/your story Joy! To look at, deal, TRANSCEND ! your “stuff”–to deal with it–to put it down–to die to it—takes work, openness, a strength that defies words—a toughness (which we got from all that!) – being a Giant in the Courage Dept!–and a willingness…to be teachable… and grace……yeah, for me, alotta grace.
    And alot of teachers…..the coolest freaking teachers.
    You’re my Teacher today Joy! YES!
    Now? We LIVE! lol! And love! And have FUN! And laugh our silly asses off! And create and all that other cool shit! And we can–because like you said–in that one small, almost unnoticeable line—that to me reeks of transcendence of the highest order, of an alliance with your Divinity that’s defies description, of a fire that ROARS through your story— I LOVE this line: “I broke the cycle”…..
    Yeah baby. YEAH!!!
    And meeting you—reading you—feeling you Joy—I can say –YEAH! You broke it! YES! YES! YES!! And the planet’s a FAR better place for it! So THANKS! For being my Teacher! For a greaaaaaaaaaaat post! And for having all that fun, Joy-in-the-Moment light you spread around like its yo JOB!!! !
    Carry on chick-o! It’s all Joy! Joy -in-the-coolazz-moment Joy!!
    = P

    • #2 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 3:43 pm

      Hi Steve,
      Wow..Your comment touches my heart. Thank *you*!
      Such energy..such an outpouring of Love..
      I Hear you..Steve..and having met you and shared space..I see how vibrant your energy is and why I feel so connected..because we’ve *been* there.
      You say “It took alotta dying to get here..”–For me, every day I die to my ‘self’..every day I wake and open my heart and when I do, I release my self of yesterday. No longer her, but just one big bundle of amazing energy to create from and share with. Every day I choose to embrace and step forward. It is a *choice*. Ever yday I say “yes!! freakin’ yes!!!”..regardless of external…
      Your words are so passionate..and that’s what I that is *Love*..
      Evry day I share *Love* I’ve broken the pleasure indeed..
      And the little girl..she knows it and is so freakin’ happy to be here in this moment, she relishes this moment so very much, that this is the moment she allows to *be*..thus: “Joy in the Moment”..

  2. #3 by Robin Easton on November 24, 2010 - 5:52 am

    Dear sweet Joy,

    This is so beautiful, your sense of self is stunningly lovely, even as a child. The light in you now, was in you then, so obvious. It is something I relate to. You are pure love and it shows in all your actions, words, forgiveness, compassion, embracing of what was/is, and going on to love yourself and your beautiful children. Wow! What a soul.

    You wrote: “…Early on, I chose to live in faith regardless of external…” I so relate to this. It is a long story, one I will have to share someday, but for now I just so strongly relate.

    I also loved when you said, “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*!) ”

    THAT is totally powerful! I too never felt like a victim, no matter what happened in my life. And I too have never been one for labels. I feel they limit us, lock us in and retrain the spirit and the necessary movement it needs to grow. And it does this in so many ways. But that’s another story. 🙂

    So much love in my heart for you. So much beauty and love in YOU.

    • #4 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 3:48 pm

      I *love* you!!! You inspire me, you reflect amazing beauty, affirmation, joy to me…You *are* Love!
      Labels..limiting..very mind based..yet a tool many use to relate..I choose to turn off my mind and relate from my labels I Know You because I can feel you, experience you..
      I am not who I was even moments ago, how to put a label on *that* 🙂
      You mention necessary movement to grow..true on all levels..there are moments of rest..but movement, breathing deeply and then exhaling is movement..and all is necessary to thrive..past merrely existing, but thriving, enjoying, loving, exploring..This World is my home, my playground..and ours to live and play in..I think we often get so caught up in ‘should’ we forget the ease and pleasure of life..
      One of my greatest joys is to play..with my children, my friends, my self..laugh and play…
      With joy:)

  3. #5 by Lance on November 24, 2010 - 11:14 am

    Dear Joy,
    You are deeply loved. And in this moment, I just deeply want to reach out and embrace you with a warm and loving hug. Know that I am, right now, and I feel very deeply that oneness with you, in this embrace we share over distance, yet so close with the connection of our hearts.

    My life…it is so much better because our paths have crossed. You shine love, care, and joy in ways that light up my life.

    You are the Girl Effect. And you are, because you touch lives every day with your beautiful soul…

    Peace and love,

    • #6 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 3:51 pm

      Hi Lance,
      Thank you! You inspired me to write this piece..I thought of the love and joy your family shares and all that *you* share and how you truly “save” lives…with *Love*..Healing!
      I thought to share this piece because often people question the power of *Love* is healing, powerful, beautiful..whether you share one moment or many moments, when Love is shared it works magic..
      *You* are magical..thank you!

  4. #7 by Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord on November 24, 2010 - 2:11 pm

    And how did I get so lucky as to collide in this time/space continuum with you, beautiful Joy, and with other loveadoos like Lance, Steve, and Robin? I must have been drawn to the brilliance of your love. You are love, you are magic, you are everything good in this world, and then some.

    Like Steve said in his comment, you are my teacher today (always), and I praise & honor you. I love you, dear Joy… I love you, and because I can love you and see such love in you, I love myself better, too.

    (hug * hug * hug)

    • #8 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 3:56 pm

      Hi Megan,
      I *love you!!! Tears form because each person here is one who has guided me to be *here* and I am so grateful for remaining open.
      You have enriched my life on so many levels. Lots of what you reflect to me are things this little girl had never known, so to embrace whole parts of her and allow her the freedom to dance, play, revel in wonder filled. Amazing! To manifest beyond the love embrace my gifts and share from the overflowing well of love..
      I share my story to inspire others..*anything* truly is possible…it is my Truth and I *live* it daily…

  5. #9 by Keith on November 24, 2010 - 2:26 pm


    I am thankful for you. I am thankful for that you embody what is the ultimate purpose in life. To love and be loved.

    It is great that you are aware of your past, use your past as a “tool”, but you do not live in the past. You do not allow anything in the past to be an anchor that slows you down or impedes your growth.

    As you can see in the comments being left, you are imoacting the lives of many people, and in a way that causes us to feel Love and compassion. That, my dear, is a precious gift.

    Thank you

    • #10 by Keith on November 24, 2010 - 2:36 pm

      Oh yeah, that picture of you is adorable. I have three children, all daughters, and that sweet picture of you reminds me of my little girls (who aren’t so little anymore!).


      • #11 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 4:01 pm

        Hi Keith,
        *grin* daughter is an exact twin to that photo..and I like to think how precious I know *She* how very precious my own inner little one is too..
        My greatest joy is to sit back in amazement and watch my children relate to the world in such a heart led watch them experience, explore, share generously..And how all that they grow will blossom into beauty that we cannot even fathom yet..but we know will happen..

    • #12 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 3:59 pm

      Hi Keith,
      Thank you!
      When you referenced an anchor I immediately thought of how important an anchor is to rest..and how important it is to choose the correct anchor. One day I chose a boat with an improperly weighted anchor and I literally almost died–had a dramatic Coast Guard Rescue..I will write about that…but for now choosing the correct anchor is important, and I choose *Love*..peace, joy, beauty, grace..*Love*..Megan tells me “rest in the arms of angels”..amazing resting place indeed:)

  6. #13 by Angela Artemis on November 24, 2010 - 3:07 pm

    Dear Joy,
    You have a wonderful story to share. It’s so inspirational. You’ve pulled yourself up by the bootstraps and overcome your story – that’s a miracle in and of itself. I’m sure that you are a great example for your children too. What better legacy can you leave than to raise your children in a way that creates good people to pass this world onto? I’m in awe of all you been through and are still able to smile. What a shining example you are Joy.

    • #14 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 4:05 pm

      Hi Angela,
      Thank you!
      I think I was born with a smile..I’ve always been an optimist..find the nugget of good and grow it..
      Life is a series of choices, and I celebrate all of the times I chose to open my heart and experience *Love* step out in banish fear and anything negative from my garden so that the blossoms that did grow would be magnificent. I release all else..Every single day…
      And I’m smiling as I share this, because to publish this piece, I stepped into vulnerability and unknown and was rewarded with bountiful *Love*…

  7. #15 by The Exception on November 24, 2010 - 5:47 pm

    Joy –
    You are such a wonderful and loving spirit – and the strength and hope that you have is wonderful to witness. Thank you for sharing this, you, and your experiences.
    I read experiences like yours and marvel at the inner strength and love that thrives. I want to tuck these children into a warm embrace and fold a message into each of their hearts – one that they can always read – they are love – no matter what they experience… they are love.
    My daughter risk high risk for a life that isn’t what we want for our kids. She is high risk because of my disability and because she is the child of a single parent with an uninvolved and emotional distant father. She is high risk because that is how society has labeled her… I say that she is a child with the ability to fly – a child who is love incarnate… she is a child that is changing lives and adding love to the world every minute of every day.

    I hope that one day, sooner than later, we will each realize that children need us to do many things – including to see them as the love and the light that they each are… e can change lives by giving of ourselves, giving our love, compassion, and acceptance.

    Have a warm and love filled Thanksgiving Joy.

    • #16 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 4:09 pm

      Hi TE,
      You don’t realize this, but I *love* you..I love your energy, your resilience, your story..You inspire me greatly…I love what you share with your daughter, and how her life is as magical as what you create together..
      You *do* tuck a note in their pocket..each moment you share with your daughter is a note to the Universe..each time you open your heart online, in are saying here is *Love*..
      I fully believe the pain adults experience is residue from each moment there was an absence of love..we can spend a lifetime waiting for someone to fill that absence and love us..or we may choseo to fill that void with Divine or self Love this very moment and create from that..
      So powerful TE..
      Thank you!

  8. #17 by Tess The Bold LIfe on November 24, 2010 - 7:02 pm

    Hi Joy,
    Thanks for sharing your story with us! The powerful part is how we never know how much so little ( smile, compliment, etc ) can mean to someone who doesn’t have much.
    The great part is all the while you didn’t have much, you too, kept on giving what you did have…you’re beautiful spirit!

    And where does Megan come up with her stuff…loveadoos ? LOL Hugs to you today.

    • #18 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 4:19 pm

      Hi Tess,
      I think especially around Holiday season people may feel they have ‘nothing’ to share..when sharing is as effortless as smiling, opening your heart, extending a compliment or an I Love You…Each step you step beyond, that step is magnified..
      Love is a beauty filled foundation..
      Thank you! I have been called Spirit filled *grin* in many ways…

  9. #19 by Amy on November 25, 2010 - 2:34 am

    Thank you for sharing such a touching, sad, and beautiful story. I am sad for the little girl yet happy at the same time. It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean, but I imagine you understand. 🙂

    Your letter was so touching. You made me tear! I am so glad that we have been able to share pieces of ourselves and moments in good and bad. I’m glad that you trust me. I’m so thankful that you’re one of my dearest friends. You have enriched my life and we’re blessed to know you and the kids. In many years, we will look back on our friendship fondly…I’m glad that you’ve been in my life!

    • #20 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 4:23 pm

      Hi Amy,
      Thank you for stopping in..and for your comment.
      I think because you *know* the little girl..and you’ve seen part of her adult journey you have mixed emotion. I understand fully..
      I look at my children and am full of gratitude for the abundance of choices that they have….and I know that life will be magic filled for them..
      I’m glad my letter touched you..I always want people in my life to know how they’ve made a difference to me..You are one who was there through some pain filled moments and you reached out..and I carry those moments that you reached out very close to my heart and allow them to inspire me even still today…

  10. #21 by Evelyn Lim on November 25, 2010 - 7:36 am

    Your story made me tear. Obviously I have had no awareness of what you have gone through. You sound so full of love, light and laughter that I would never have guessed about your past. I am inspired by your story today. I am humbled.

    I wish you continued beauty, love and peace! You are a blessing to us all!

    • #22 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 4:28 pm

      Thank you!
      I share this bit of my story when I think it will allow for inspiration…It was tough to revisit and write, but I know that there are people who think I was born into magic (and I was, as we all are…it just took me a lifetime to open to it..). I *choose* magic..each and every day..regardless of external. I choose Light, and I choose Love..and my heart overflows with gratitude for each moment that I experience…
      It is awesome for me to read these comments..because each person has inspierd me greatly and contributed to this newfound awareness of who I am and all that I have at my fingertips to share..

  11. #23 by Simon Hay on November 25, 2010 - 10:23 am

    Hi Joy. Thank you for sharing. I’ve felt everything you’ve shared over the past few months, but to hear you speak out is powerful and moving. I’m grateful to be your friend. With some friends the conversations are silent. I love you.

    • #24 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 25, 2010 - 4:33 pm

      Hi Simon,
      I *Love* you…
      I love silence…a rare treat because not many are comfortable with silence..I *revel* in silence..nourishes my essence..
      I gladly share silence with you:)
      I prefer to Listen..not to explain but to Experience..However, when my heart chooses to speak I honor that and it is very power filled indeed. It is never about who I was, or am, or will is always about opening my heart to this very moment and sharing what I have in the best possible way…

  12. #25 by Zeenat on November 26, 2010 - 5:00 pm

    Darling Joy,
    I love you.
    Your life had been as it is, cause was your rough…you know like a daimond. You were diamond in the rough then. Now as you are found…you shine. Shine bringhter than any star or any diamond I have ever seen..and that heart of your is gold.
    You are magnanimous my dear..and you are truly truly loved.
    I consider myself so so lucky to have met you, connected with you..and felt you.
    Thank you for being in my life..for yuo teach me so much everyday.
    I do, I really you so much. I want to come there and hug you tight….but for now i will send it to you in energy.
    Lots of love always,

    • #26 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 27, 2010 - 3:47 pm

      Hi Zeenat,
      I *love* you too!
      My life verse is “better to be a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without” your comment touches my heart.
      And magnanimous is one of my favorite words–thank you for knowing it:)
      You reflect to me pure joy, bliss, of the most open, caring, generous hearts..thank you for all that you share!
      We will hug in person..for now I am sending lots of butterflies and glitter your way:)

  13. #27 by Julie on November 27, 2010 - 5:04 pm

    Joy, thank you for sharing your story. You can’t know how many will be moved to the deepest compassion, and then offer it to another. The ripple effects will be tremendous. Compassion. May we all feel more of it and more deeply than ever before. -Julie

    • #28 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on November 28, 2010 - 10:29 am

      Hi Julie,
      Thank you!
      Ripple effects are the wonderful reward of sharing love..we never know how many hearts are touched when we choose to open our own fully.

  14. #29 by Sara on May 9, 2011 - 10:59 pm


    What I loved about this story of you is that you found your way, even when you had so many obstacles put in front of you. You kept going and absorbed the love when it came your way. It’s like the story of stone soup, each person who gave you love, hope and faith helped you make your own life into a strong, heart-filling food that you now share with others. That’s a tribute to your soul.

    Thank you for sharing this story and I’m pleased you are reaching out to share it with others:~)

    • #30 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 10, 2011 - 11:17 am

      Hi Sara,
      Thank you:) Your comment is amazing, and my heart says thank you! Stone soup, indeed…isn’t that what life is like–we each contribute our best gifts and wonder filled creations are made:)

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