“Fall seven times, stand up eight”
Tomorrow is my birthday! For some reason, I haven’t been excited at all. Honestly was praying for the day to come and go. Trying to build the business up these last few months has really burnt me out. A friend asked me today what I plan on doing tomorrow to celebrate. I told her nothing, that it was really nothing to celebrate. She laughed and told me how I had a lot to celebrate, even if it was simply reflecting over what I’ve overcame in life. The fact that I was able to create something beautiful from the scars, deserved quite the celebration. It made me think about life as a whole. She was right. You see life TRIED to break me, but failed. If that isn’t a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is. In light of this, I decided to share an excerpt from my book, “I had to WomanUp” about Strength. I hope you all enjoy…
You never know how strong you are until being strong is all you have. That quote touches me on such a personal level. So much of life has been unfair to me. It’s been so many times I’ve run into the question “Why me?”.
I had my children at a young age. I remember having to steal diapers for them out the stores because I couldn’t afford them. If I couldn’t steal the whole pack, I would open it in the store and get a few out so they would have enough to last them through the night. I remember going to agencies getting my light bills paid and going to the salvation army for adopt a family during Christmas time, so my children wouldn’t be disappointed. It doesn’t end there.
I remember the pain I felt burying my mother. The emptiness I felt. I remember giving birth to a stillborn baby. I can still hear the words clear as ever when the doctor said he had no heartbeat. I remember my father disowning me for his wife simply because my skin was different from hers. I remember the punch to the stomach I felt when someone I thought was my best friend became a foe. I remember being hit for the first time by a man who said he loved me. I remember the sadness I felt when I checked my bank account December 2014 and it had fifty-three cents in it.
I can go on and on about pain. I think we all can. When it’s happening, we don’t look at the lesson behind it all because we’re so consumed about the pain we feel from it. There are times where we all want to throw in the towel on life. Just give up. To look at our problems and say, “You win”, but we can’t. We must keep going.
Some of the strongest people I know have been through some unimaginable situations. I am so inspired when I look at some people after hearing their story and see light in their eyes. How after all of that are you smiling? It’s because their situation did not get the best of them. They got the best of their situation. Tough times define character. They make all of us who we are and what we are.
I remember my thoughts during some of my most difficult times. I felt like I was a failure. A life that was wasted. None of that was true. Life takes us on a rollercoaster ride. We have ups and downs. We have highs and we have lows. With everything that happens, there is a lesson to be learned. Either it’s to teach us, keep us safe, give us a testimony or strengthen us.
Bad things happen to teach us lessons? Yes, they do. Tough times will teach you lessons that can only be taught by going through it yourself. No matter how much my mother preached about certain things, I never understood until I experienced them.
Bad things happen to keep us safe? Yes, they do. Bad things will happen to shake you up to get your attention before something even crazier happens. It’s like life is warning you before you wreck yourself.
Bad things happen to give you a testimony? Absolutely. I run into so many people who are going through some of the exact same things I have. I didn’t understand why when it was happening, but it’s clear now. I went through what I did because my purpose is to inspire. To let it be known if I could overcome, anyone can.
Bad things happen to strengthen you? That’s my favorite. You must be strong in life and you can’t be strong until you’ve been through certain things. The type of things that knock you down. Regardless of what is sent to knock you down, not letting it defeat you is called strength.
Suicide is at an all-time high from people letting life get the best of them. That is something I refuse to do. I refuse to go down without a fight. Even if I get black eyes, bloody noses, and broken ribs, I’m willing to look life right in the face and say, “that’s all you got?”. I may be shaken but I will never be defeated. I may not know your story, but I do know this, you are stronger than you think. This too as with everything will pass and the lesson will later be revealed. Believe in that. Trust in that.
Life is tough, but so are you.