The human experience is filled with contradiction. The highs of great accomplishments as well as the lows of shattered dreams. The validation felt when celebrated just for being you as well as the hurtful times when you feel like you could never measure up. The knowledge of belonging when held safe and secure as well as the emotional suffering of rejection and abandonment. The protection felt when authority fought for you and the confusion where acts of injustice came from those who should have been protectors. These dichotomies cause our life’s story to be immersed in both good and evil. We all suffer from chapters that are shamefully hidden from public view while other portions are shouted from the rooftops (or highlighted on social media).
The nature of our humanness is permeated with thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences that speak to our value or torment our internal dialogue with the lies that we are not good enough. Every time a dream is squelched or hopes shattered our mind tells us not to dream again. It’s human nature to steer clear of the hurt and pain of disappointment. Every negative experience just lays another brick to the self-protective wall constructed around our heart.
I remember believing that I was the only one that was experiencing the pain, shame, and fear of a tattered soul. I judged myself based upon the reality of my experiences and the unanswered question of “why did this happen to me?” All the while judging others’ perfect lives founded upon their skillfully disguised façade that they toted openly because that is what they needed others to see.
I also was quite skilled in projecting the tough, audacious, got-it-all-together public image. In my opinion, I would have been a fool to uncover what was happening on the inside of me. I anesthetized myself with alcohol and other addictive behaviors. I was the “toughest chick on the block” refusing to reveal my weakness or vulnerability. I lived in the DC area and that clearly was not a culture designed for authenticity and transparency. Many of us were merely skilled actors on a stage of survival, existing without fully living.
As the years have come and gone, I have discovered that the problem was not the place I lived or the sufferings that groomed my reactions, but these challenges target every person’s identity, purpose, and potential. Despite the fact of varying degrees and frequency of mistreatment, neglect, or abuse, life has not been fair for anyone.
Countless have journeyed through the difficult chapters of their life’s story and at this time live on the other side. The other side is not a place of perfection, nor are we exempt from the disappointments of an imperfect world; however, if others have gained keys of understanding to unlock their prisons of injustice, so can you. If others were able to work through their past painful chapters giving them the confidence to enjoy another side of life, so can you. If others have discovered that they are not alone, so can you.
Today is your day of power because your story is not yet fully written. You are a work in progress and step-by-step you can get to the other side of whatever you have faced or are facing. If injustice has touched everyone on the planet, the ability to overcome is there for you too. There are principles and processes that lead to healing, hope, and a future that is good—not only for you, but for those around you. You no longer need to be defined by your past or present struggles. Instead, you can lift your head and look ahead knowing that your journey doesn’t stop here.
Whether you are in the process of navigating your own chapters of pain or have found the other side and now want to help others do the same, we are all in the powerful position to pick up the pen and write. Every single one of us has a story that is worthy of being told and in every peril fraught beginning; there is hope for a better end. I want for you the freedom of living your best authentic self, bringing your needed contribution to the table as you live the life you were created to live. As we do, we can help to be those heroes who see the gold in another, help them to see it, and create roadmaps of future for generations to overcome their past and find beauty in life on the other side.
With much love and validation,
Dr. Melodye Hilton
‘Unmasking Prejudice: Silencing the Internal Voice of Bigotry’ invites all of us to recognize and remove the hidden masks of prejudice so that we can have a hand in changing the cultural narrative and bringing healing to our land.