As I sat listening to my daughter, the COO of our non-profit organization, Battered Not Broken, I was moved to tears. Her words, submitted as part of a nomination for an award at a statewide victim advocacy conference, profoundly affirm our work and my journey. Although the outcome of the nomination is still pending, her eloquent tribute nourished my soul. It was as if she was giving me my "flowers" in that letter, a recognition of the struggles we've overcome and the impact we've made.
Years ago, I shared my story of abuse and the complex rationalizations behind enduring such experiences in a TED Talk. That talk resonated globally, helping others feel heard and understood while educating many on the reasons why victims often stay in abusive relationships. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with many sharing their personal stories. One particular comment has always stayed with me—a woman questioning if children who witness abuse are more susceptible to it themselves. The woman shared that her mother had chosen to leave an abusive situation to protect her and her siblings, implying that perhaps my decision to stay might have adversely affected my children.
In response, I emphasized that every decision we make impacts our children, but they are ultimately made with the best intentions and knowledge we have at the time; I expressed to her that "I did the best I could at that time. I believe my children are less susceptible to abuse, as they are now armed with knowledge and awareness of its signs. They have seen me broken, but more importantly, they have witnessed my resilience and my journey to rebuild and empower others.
Hearing my daughter's letter solidified this belief. It was a clear reflection of their pride in me. They understood the choices I made were the best I could do at the time, and as I grew and learned, I did better. There have been countless nights where my tears soaked my pillow, but my children didn’t just witness my sorrow; they saw me rise again and build something meaningful out of our collective pain.
I often tell others, and remind myself, of a message from one of our inspirational magnets in our Empower + Advocate Marketplace:
"Nothing can break you if you don't allow it. A true queen knows how to build her empire with the same stones that were thrown at her."
This profound statement has become a mantra for my life. It encapsulates the essence of transformation and resilience. Each challenge, each 'stone' thrown our way, is not just an obstacle but a building block for something greater. We, as queens in our own right, have the power to take these experiences, no matter how painful, and use them to construct a stronger, more empowered self.
In this journey, remember that resilience isn't about avoiding the stones; it's about choosing to use them as the foundation of your empire. Our struggles, much like the stones, are not the end of our story but rather essential parts of the grand design we are building. Every hardship I've faced has been repurposed into a stepping stone towards creating a haven for others who have endured similar trials.
For those of you with children, remember they are always watching. Even if you find yourself in an unhealthy relationship, let your children be your motivation to rebuild. Sometimes, we don't realize how far we've come until someone else reflects it. In those moments, we can truly appreciate the beauty of our resilience and the story we have written.
Resilience is a Legacy: Our strength and determination in overcoming challenges become a powerful example for our children.
Knowledge is Empowering: Educating our children about the signs of abuse equips them with the tools to avoid similar pitfalls.
Reflection Leads to Recognition: Often, it takes someone else’s perspective to help us see the true extent of our growth and resilience.
Our Choices Shape Our Stories: Every decision, every step, no matter how difficult, is part of the narrative that defines us and can inspire others.
Dive into our Mindful Missions, carefully crafted questions that invite you on a journey of self-discovery, challenging you to engage with your thoughts and feelings on a deeper level.
Building Your Empire with Stones: As you reflect on your journey, consider the stones that have been thrown your way. How can you use them to build your empire? Reflect on the challenges you've faced and think about how you can repurpose these experiences into strengths and foundations for your personal growth.
Redefining Through Resilience: Remember, it's not about the weight of what we carry, but how we choose to use it that truly defines us. Can you recall a time when you transformed a difficult situation into an opportunity for growth or a learning experience?
Reflecting on Resilience: Think about a challenging situation you've faced in the past. How did you use that experience as a building block for your personal growth? How can you apply the lessons learned from that situation to future challenges?
Empowerment Through Knowledge: Consider the knowledge and awareness you have now about life's challenges, be it personal struggles or broader issues like abuse. How can you use this knowledge to empower yourself or others around you? What steps can you take to spread this awareness and help build a more supportive community?
Recognizing Growth: Look back on your life's journey so far. Can you identify a moment or experience that, at the time, seemed insurmountable, but now you see as a crucial part of your growth? How has overcoming this experience shaped the person you are today, and how does it inspire your actions and decisions now?
As we embark on our journeys of resilience and empowerment, it's important to have reminders of our strengths and the lessons we've learned. The EmpowerMagnet Collection, featuring messages like the one that has inspired my journey, serves as a reminder. If you're looking for a tangible symbol of your strength and resilience, or simply wish to support our mission at Battered Not Broken, I invite you to explore our Empower + Advocate Marketplace. Here, you'll find not just magnets, but also a range of products designed to inspire and uplift. Your support helps us continue our work and spread the message of empowerment far and wide. Visit the Empower + Advocate Marketplace.