Saturday, November 13, 2010

Everyone has a Story

I have learned never to judge a book by its cover.
On the outside, I may appear carefree, enjoying life, always smiling and trying to make others laugh and feel good about themselves.  But on the inside, I am a woman who is trying to hold on…flashing a smile just to cover the pain and hurt that hides beneath the smile, the laugh.  The laugh that is covering my past, covering the anxiety, covering the depression, covering the sexual abuse that happened when I was just a little girl.  Covering the fact that the past 5 years have been filled with tragic loss of life, multiple times, over and over again.  Covering the wounds that begin to heal, almost completely, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel…ever so close, almost being able to touch it with the ends of my fingertips, almost being able to feel the end of another cycle of grieving.  And then, we receive “the call" that another family member has died.  Tragically taken from this earth, without having the chance to say a final goodbye, a final “I Love you”.  Gone.  Covering the fact that I became am an emotional eater over the past 5 years, as this was, at times, the only thing that could bring me comfort, to take away the pain, if only for a few seconds.  Then realizing that this coping skill has added “padding” that truly isn’t me.  I never wanted to be this size.  I am realizing that I need to pull back all of the layers to get to the HEART of my HURT.  As I take the corner of each layer and begin to, ever so slowly, peel back each layer, I am finding more pieces that make up my past, my story, my hurt, my pain but also the
 GOOD things, the things that have kept me going, the things in my life that I want to keep and NOT let go of.  The things and people that have given me HOPE and the DESIRE to face a new day.  Each layer is a new realization of my past, it is a scary discovery, a scary journey…but one that needs to be taken so that I can HOPEfully one day, feel whole again.  To feel WHOLE again.
Letting go of fear.  Accepting my past as it is a part of my story and the past can’t be changed.  I also realize it doesn’t define me, who I really am, today.  It doesn’t have a grip so tight on me, on my heart, on my soul that I am unable to breath. 

Some days, the grip feels a little tighter than others, but most days, I am able to loosen its grasp and say... "Not today, today I am going to BREATHE…just BREATHE…I am going to be in CONTROL.”   Everyone has the opportunity to get bitter or get better.  I choose, daily, to get better.  I CHOOSE to look for ways to help others, to inspire others, to give others hope.  This is a genuine and real desire of mine, to reach out to other women that are hurting.  We all have a story, we all have our own hurts.  Most of these hurts are buried so deep, beneath so many layers, that we think they do not affect who we are.  The truth is, the hurts that are not HEALED, the hurts that have never been able to be shared, that are so hidden because of shame, sadness, pain or fear, do affect us in some way, great or small, each and every day. 
God has given me many gifts and blessings in my life.  I DO love to LAUGH, to make others LAUGH and FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES.  This also brings joy to my life.  It takes the edge off of pain, off of the hidden hurt that is buried.  Laughter is AMAZING medicine, to the HEART and SOUL.   It is free and can make someone’s day J  I have many layers, many hurts but also know that if I ever want to feel WHOLE again, I need to begin this journey of self-discovery.  For me, it begins with FAITH, knowing that God will be with me every step of the way, wiping my tears, laughing with me, holding my hand, giving me STRENGTH to continue.
I feel it is time to break the silence, peel back all of the layers, discover who I am to the CORE.  Nervous, anxious, scared, fearful but EXCITED to begin this journey.  Face my truths head-on, realizing that life is too short to live in sadness or shame.  Everyone desires peace, joy and HAPPINESS.   
Hidden hurts, hidden truths, we all have them.  Do they have a grip on you or your life, that is so tight that somedays you can hardly breathe?   I want you to know that there is HOPE.  I want you to know that you are NOT alone. 

Finding the HEART to HEAL. 
WE can do it…TOGETHER.


  1. michelle, thank you for opening up your heart and telling your story. you are a HUGE inspiration to so many people and have one of the biggest hearts of ANYONE i know...thank you for being YOU and sharing this, i know it was very difficult but i know that you are going to help so many others out and hopefully it will help to heal YOU as well. LOVE YOU SO MUCH...and SUPER SUPER BIG HUGS!!

  2. You are an amazing person and I appreciate your honesty and realness and for being you! Your laughter, kindness, and much more has made an impact on my life and those I interact with. Thank you, for you and all your love. Sending love and praying for your hope and strength as you take this journey. Know that you're never alone.

  3. You are super sweet, Michelle! JUST love love love YOU to pieces:) I know I don't really "know" you--but I feel like you are a true friend! You have always been so kind to me--and I LOVE your positive energy! I'm glad you are sharing your journey! I, too, have had some of the same pains--I started peeling layers off last year. If you find it too hard--give me a call:) I'll be there!!! You are the BESTEST!! Lots of love!!

    sbmmhoover {at} yahoo {dot} COM

  4. So glad you shared your story. You are very brave and strong. Know that I'm always here for you, sis! Love ya!

  5. What a BRAVE and BEAUTIFUL step Michelle. It takes so much courage to let it all show and I wish I was there to give you a hug. You are such a beautiful women and I'm so sorry for all the hurt. Travel through the pain, deal with it and come back stronger...I KNOW you will do it..LOVE YOU!!!!

  6. You are one AMAZING and INSPIRING woman. While we all have a story to tell, it is the BRAVE who share it. I wish you STRENGTH as you begin this journey to HEAL. Hugs.

    Lisa Arana

  7. Thank you for sharing your story Michelle!! You are a beautiful soul!!


  8. Oh babe, how I wish I were there to give you a big hug! Thank you for sharing your story, I am here to cheer you on!! I miss you!! We should chat sometime...for reals <3

  9. Michelle, we have such similar parallels to our lives.
    About 8 years ago I finally broke free from all the secrets of my past, now I am that annoying person who shouts it out from the rooftops...I was raped, molested and abused, and it's OK to shout it out!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am probably to loud ♥
    But I am proud of who I am today, size 26 and all. I have worked hard to become the opposite of who my parents were to me and I am blessed with an amazing family.
    YEA for you for being real and being open! Love it! You go girl!

  10. I have always thought you were BEAUTIFUL, Michelle. Now, after reading your first two posts, you only appear even MORE BEAUTIFUL to me...and so very brave. I have missed you since you left Unity and I am SO proud to know someone who has taken such brave steps as the ones you are taking-and am SO honored to be a part of this journey w/ you. You amaze me. I just wish I could hug you right now!!!!

  11. God Bless you Michelle! You are an amazing, beautiful women who continues to inspire my every desire! As you take this journey know that you too are not alone! That you have many by yourside. Trudging along through the tough and the celebrations! Faith and believing in ones self is the best place to start! I know that you have both on your side.

  12. Wow, thanks for all of the super sweet comments! As I shared with the amazing people that sent me personal messages...launching this blog is something that I have wanted to do for a VERY LONG time. Fear has held me back for so long, fear of what people might think, taking a risk by "telling it like it is" and "putting you, all of you, out there" for others to judge. Well, the reality that all I want to do with my life is make a difference. I want to reach out to others and as this desire grew greater and greater within my heart, desire finally outweighed my fears and thus the blog was able to be launched. My mom and my dad, whom I LOVE to pieces and have been my biggest life cheerleaders and role models for me, were a bit concerned by my initial post. It is all going to be okay, everything happens for a reason and this is just a part of how "my story" is supposed to be. I shared this very thought with my mom. IT IS ALL GOOD because I won't have it any other way! I told my mom to hang in there and continue reading my blog posts as my crazy personality and sense of humor (whom I have my dad to thank for that) would begin to shine all while trying to share a personal feeling or thought that I think is of value to write about. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and if you would like to share it with others, I would be delighted :) IT IS ALL GOOD!!

  13. Michelle.. just found your blog and read it all..ohhh how I wish u cud hv attended BRAVE GIRLS CAMP with me this past Oct.. it was life changing for me.. and it unleashed such a love of art for me... I am so loving it.. I've started painting too!
    see my blog

    One thing I learned at brave girls.. what we all need is just love love love.

  14. I am 6 months after you shared your story...and I am amazed at how, after our chat at the show today, I am reminded that we people are put in our paths for a reason and I KNOW in my heart of hearts that after meeting you a year ago, that this is just the beginning of a wonderful friendship...WE will become a part of one another's stories..and that's a lovely thing!

  15. Thank you for sharing, Michelle. Thank you. Tears rolled. Wishing you nothing but GOOD THINGS for the rest of your life. I have learned that God is with us every step of the way. So often, God makes that next step (the one we didn't think we could take) for us. Because He makes that step for us, we don't realize just how much He has carried us throughout our lives.

    Oh my... thank you for blessing my heart today, Michelle! I don't cry easily (tough girl syndrome)but tears did fall for both of us today.

    On a lighter note *smiles* I am feeling truly "blessed" after reading your post and I thank God for allowing our paths to cross. I wish I could just reach out right now and hug you. Michelle, every night that passes, I ask God to wrap his arms around my Grandchildren and show them the love that I have for them through Him. Today... I am asking God to do the same for you since I can't be there to share a hug with you. Hoping you are blessed today in the same way that you blessed me...