Survivors, if you're living in your own Egypt, if you're in a community enabling abusers and silencing abuse, and if your soul is crying out, know that God hears you. You don't have to stay in Egypt anymore. You have a voice. You may feel like Moses did. He worried over what words to say, he worried his words wouldn't be received, and he worried he wouldn't be believed...God gave Moses the right words to exit Egypt, and He can give you the right words, too. He can set your soul free.
Time is a runaway train. We can't stop it, slow it, or change its direction. We're either like Alice's White Rabbit, chasing the tick-tocks, stressing over some future deadline, or, we're like the jilted Mrs. Havisham...lamenting sad pasts. Like the Mad Hatter, we risk the time of present living, wasting ourselves in droll routine, drinking our daily tea but not knowing why...We murder Time.
Why, 300 years later, are we still warning young girls to be careful? Why aren't we tracking down the wolves and holding them accountable? Why aren't we making it unequivocally clear that preying on others will not be tolerated? Maybe it's because these "gentle wolves" are so cleverly camouflaged among us that we, like Red Riding Hood's own mother and grandmother, can't see them for the ruthless predators they are. Or, maybe it's that we don't want to see them for who they are.
Our design isn't accidental. We are damaged with purpose. By reframing our perspectives of ourselves, we allow defects to localize our light. Then, like the butterfly, we can scatter our energy into the world.
"I found kinship in the pages of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, and Kate Chopin. From Hardy and Hawthorne, I learned that experiences like mine transcended time and culture. I was not alone after all, and my experience was no tragedy. It was unfortunate, but it was universal. Women had universally survived such experiences since before Biblical times. I wasn't alien, after all. I was among survivors, warriors."
"Embrace your strength and beauty. There's nothing high-minded about having both a mind and a heart. There's no shame in owning your strengths and sharing them with the world. This indifferent world needs your empathy--it needs you."
"Failure is guaranteed in any endeavor. Success isn't. Failure is easy. Success takes work."
"Each day we lace up our true selves in the 'shoes' that best meet that day's mood, crowd, and occasion. Some days we wear patent leather personalities. Some days we wear combat boots. We bind up who we really are in order to portray who we think others want us to be. But isn't it freeing to take off your shoes...and go barefoot?"
"I heard a young, brave woman speak about the sexual assaults she endured as a teenager at the hands of her teacher. She said this about abusers: 'They will use our silence to kill us and then say that we enjoyed it.' She spoke so matter-of-factly absent any fear. I envied her freedom, her courage, her strength. It was then I realized I would never be free from you until I discarded the chains of silence and released myself from the weight of your deeds....this shame is yours to carry, not mine."