Today is the perfect day to write my current post. Today, July 30th, I was asked to speak at a in-house facility and school for kids that had been abused or other issues that have horribly affected their young lives. First I must say, the facility is a lovely place, very clean, beautiful architecture, plenty of trees and a very knowledgable and loving staff. I could feel the positive vibes from the staff and kids. I had 10 boys from the age of 10 thru 17 years old attend with 3 instructors. I gave my story about being a sexual abuse survivor and how we can overcome anything in life. We had a great time and really touched on a lot subjects the boys wanted to talk about the future. They asked me how did I overcome my past? How long did it take me? I noticed something very interesting, usually when I talk to students, they want to talk about how much money I make in business. These kids all wanted to know how can they be happy, and how to get over their past. I really enjoyed these young men, but inside I was hurting, all I could think about was how can people hurt innocent children and do the things they do to kids. I told the kids they were already winners, they had survived. One kid asked me about getting even with the abusers. This is when I talked to them about the importance of forgiveness. I gave my story about how I had to learn to forgive and if I got even with my abuser, he would have abused me again. I told them my life would be ruined if I got even and I would end up in jail and miss my family and my freedom. I told them I refused to let my abuser abuse me again by me seeking revenge and ruining my life. I shared with them this is where I had to learn forgiveness and trust in my Faith. I made it clear forgiving someone who has hurt you that bad is not easy, but it is the healthiest thing we can do to get well. I also shared with them we must forgive ourselves, because we often blame ourselves for letting someone abuse us. I said the way I get even with my abuser is being happy, successful, and helping others. I saw these kids light up during our time together. One young man about 10 years old cried some during our talk, and asked if he could speak to me in private after my speech. I asked each boy what they wanted to be when they grew up and they all had some great plans.
After I finished speaking a few of them came up to talk in private. One by one they whispered in private to me, they too had been sexually abused. The one boy who cried earlier, came to me and said thank you. He said after hearing my story, seeing my smile, he now had hope and knew he could overcome his past. He gave me a fist pound instead of hug and said thank you again and his eyes were bright. It was at that moment I realized the emotional energy it takes on me to speak on being a sexual abuse survivor was worth the energy drain. I knew at that moment I was making a real difference in others lives. I was giving them hope for a bright future. I know the road is not easy, and I learned how important it is for other survivors, especially young survivors, to actually talk and see happy and successful survivors. Today was the first day after speaking I didn’t go somewhere in private and shed a tear. Those young men gave me strength. I knew today my plan was working, giving other sexual abuse survivors hope, that they too can find happiness, love and success in their life.
This is why forgiveness and helping others is lesson number 5 in my life. I had planned on writing an entirely different post today, but these young men today changed my post. When we forgive, we are free to help others with a joyful heart and expect nothing in return. Remember to forgive yourself, forgive others and give of yourself by helping others. There is no helping hand we can give to small. Whatever we do to help someone else is a blessing to them and us as the giver.
Be on the lookout for lesson number 6, and remember to smile everyday and make someone else smile. Keep enjoying life. Enjoy some recent nature and architecture pictures. Enjoy the YouTube video of hiking last week in the North Georgia Mountain with my daughter. Check the earlier post and listen to a radio interview I did a few weeks ago on being a sexual abuse survivor.
I will be back soon for more of moodyspeaks.
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