Do you ever wonder where strength comes from? Your own strength? We all have the strength to get through tough times. We just have to put our mind to it and have faith in ourselves. There are many unwanted things/memories I have in my past that you may have as well. Things that you want to forget or feel like you cannot talk about or that it is not something that should be talked about. Usually, the things you find yourself and someone else struggling with are the things that NEED to be talked about. What if everyone kept all of their feelings and struggles to themselves? It would be a very boring world and no one would ever learn about you or know that they are not alone in this world. This brings me to family and as I always say, “you don’t get to pick your family".
Growing up I had what many would call, at least in the South, the perfect family. We were at church every time the doors were open, the house was clean, manners were taught etc. As you know, looks can be deceiving. Just because a family seems picture perfect does not mean they are and you never know what goes on behind closed doors. Unfortunately, I know this feeling all too well. You may be nodding your head thinking the same thing or tears may be running down your face. None of us wants to think of or be reminded of bad memories, but sometimes crying is a way of showing your strength. I always knew things didn’t seem right, but the mind has a way of blocking out negative things so you can survive. Being a survivor makes you a strong person. Yes you! You are strong even when you think you are not.
By the time I was 22 years old I was having recurring dreams. I guess my mind decided it was time to deal with some things. While this was making me mad, it also made me see some opportunities. I thought to myself, “There has to be someone else out here that has been in this situation or are going through it right now that needs me." What I decided to do was find a place that helped troubled teens and even adults. There are plenty of places out there; just look. My goal was to be able to reach at least one person to let them know they are special and most importantly that they are strong. Many call this process mentoring, but you could just call it caring if you wanted. Now, I know that not everyone is a people person, but someone you know is. This person would most likely collaborate with you and eventually, you feel more comfortable stepping out of your box. All it takes is you being strong and reaching out, and I know you can do it.
The first person I took under my wing was a 17-year-old teen girl that was pregnant and court ordered to be in a home for teen moms. She had a nasty attitude and didn’t care about anything or anyone. I talked to her and she would never look at me, and yes, this pissed me off. Therefore, I decided I would have to go another route to get her to listen, not hear, but listen to me. I knew I was going to have to get on her level. That is one thing as adults we never need to forget, the feeling of being a teen. Teens do not feel strong and a lot of the time feel worthless, but if you take the time to get in their space and give them no choice but to hear you, they will do just that, hear you. This young lady always looked at the floor when I was talking to her. One day I decided to sit on the floor and look at her under her folded arms and just said “hey!" Well, that got her attention and by getting on her level it showed her that I really did want to be there for her, that I cared about her.
In a nutshell, she eventually had her baby and actually stayed in touch with me. This was a domino effect with all of the girls in this home. I then realized how much THEY were actually helping ME! This is what I am trying to tell YOU. You are strong and have a lot to offer someone; all it takes is showing that you care. Remember, maybe that is all you needed at one time, even as an adult. Strength is within you and you can help show someone else it is within him or her as well. You are strong and can stay strong! By believing in yourself and helping others believe in themselves, you become this ray of sunlight. You will be so bright that people see you from miles away and are drawn to you. You can be that light and always remember how strong you are. Stay strong!
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