“I am a wife, sister, auntie, teacher, studio owner and a woman warrior of peace, justice, and truth. It has been from the flames of change that I have slowly been rising above and beyond the ashes of loss and confusion into the woman who I truly am and came here to be.
I am the daughter of homicide and suicide by cop. At the age of 26 years young, my safety net was ripped out from underneath me and my entire identity and all I thought would be, was gone. Losing both parents is one thing. But losing both parents when so many people do not understand forgiveness, love, and the depths of the human experience is another.
It was disorienting to witness more hurt and suffering on top of more hurt and suffering. My body and my spirit could not take it. I knew there was something within me that could not let the pain I felt in my body and soul, create more pain and harm for others.
It has been a windy road of more downs than ups and more pauses than paces,
But somehow, someway, I have slowly yet surely been finding my way.
I have been navigating life through my heart ever since it has been broken.
Through the loneliness,
The depression and anxiety,
I have chosen to love myself and honor my parents and all ancestors for paving the way for me – by trusting my instincts and allowing my heart to light up the darkness of my path.
To show up.
And participate in my life.
For so long I have forgotten who I am.
But through my experiences and choice to move forward,
I am beginning to remember who I am,
And loving myself more tenderly,
then ever before.
To be a part of the For Real Campaign is more than an honor – it is a gift.
To see myself – my real self – without any barriers, any facades, anything BUT myself –
Is absolutely amazing.
Sitting with the images the first time,
I couldn’t help but cry tears of awe and love.
I can see my mom.
I can see my dad.
I can see myself – stronger, resilient, and more alive than I have ever thought I could be.
I am grateful to Trisha who encouraged me to take this leap and see myself in an entirely new and vibrant light: REAL. HONEST. AUTHENTIC. BEAUTIFUL.
I understand how we can lose ourselves in our pain,
We can lose ourselves in others: our family, our friends, our roles.
We can tear ourselves down through comparisons and timelines.
We can set a standard for ourselves which we will never ever make –
Because it isn’t our truth.
I have been broken many times.
But I now lean into the beauty of putting myself together the way I see the pieces fit.
No one’s way but mine.
It is empowering.
It is healing.
It is me.
I encourage anyone who is sitting with doubt,
Or any of those lower vibrations to fight above and beyond the gravity of the oppression we and this world have created for ourselves and to lean into ALL the REAL beauty that is you.
May we show up for ourselves and each other as real, as authentic, as honest, and as compassionate as we can (our truest Selves).
That is how we rediscover who we are and also all the beauty we hold both inward and outward.
Thank you, Trisha Hadley, for bringing this wave of transformation into my life and our community. You have given me the gift of seeing myself more clearly than ever before.
I will always remember.