When I started this blog, I envisioned a platform for inspiration … a place where we could all share a little about our lives, with the hope that everyone could find a small, helpful piece they could take back to their own lives. I imagined recipes, gardening tips and sharing ideas on how to stay motivated in our continuous journeys to health/fitness.
I never really imagined that PLANK could have a more serious impact. Last week, however, I received a letter from a reader who said that this blog had saved her. It’s always nice to hear that your words or ideas or attitudes have inspired people … but save them?
This letter, which described an extremely unhealthy and possibly dangerous relationship, moved me beyond words. I was taken aback by this reader’s willingness to share the intimate, not so pretty details of her life; and I was so touched that the platform we (all of you are a part of that we) have created here has helped her.
Her letter proved to me, once again, that even the smallest things we do in life can have a huge impact on others. Moreover, it reinforced my belief that, while we all walk different paths in life, we can always help each other out along the way.
This letter also scared me. The writer is in a situation that isn’t just heartbreaking … it’s dangerous.
I’ll admit, my first reaction after reading this letter was “not for one minute.” Not for one minute can I even fathom that relationship, much less staying in it. But I know that life and relationships are complicated; and while my gut screamed “GET OUT,” it’s often not that easy.
We’ve all lived a lot of life to get where we are … and our backgrounds and experiences shape our perceptions and reactions. Sometimes our past experiences make us stronger and more resilient, and unfortunately they sometimes make us believe we don’t deserve better.
I am not a therapist, I don’t know much about abuse and one letter certainly doesn’t give a full picture of someone’s reality, so I was really hesitant to even write about this. But if this woman’s words about how PLANK inspired her are true, then maybe discussing that here can somehow shed a light on dark situations for others.
So what to say to this woman and others who might be facing equally challenging times? I don’t know the answer, but I do know this … we have ONE shot on this earth! You must know it is never too late to start over and life is a series of reinventions, but it takes being brave and gutsy to push forward into the scary unknown. In my opinion, you shouldn’t spend your precious life in a place where you’re treated like less than the queen you are.
You shouldn’t stay in a job that makes you unhappy, you shouldn’t be resigned to a body that doesn’t make you happy and you darn sure shouldn’t stay in relationships that make you miserable.
But what’s the first step? I don’t think there’s a right or wrong first step … I know each person’s path to change will be different. For me, I’m not much of a planner … I’ve always been one to just say yes and figure it out along the way. I know that method doesn’t work for everyone, but do something. Take a step. Decide to change whatever is making you unhappy in your life and take a step away from that.
Sometimes all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. Sometimes, unfortunately the only way to make changes in your life is to walk through the fire.
It may be the hardest, most painful thing you have ever experienced, and it may take all of your wherewithal to stay focused on your resolve. But, when you make it to the other side the sun will shine …
We need to always remember … we are worth it … we deserve to have a peaceful beautiful life. Even if we have to fight tooth and nail to get it!
And if you’re truly lost as to what that step should be … ask for help. Whether it’s professional help, the advice of a friend or maybe even some online forum or group of people who are in similar situations. And please … if you, at any point, feel you’re in danger, please get help immediately.