I really enjoy reading the comments that people post on my blog. On my blog entry entitled Words of Wisdom from “The Shack”: Dangers of the Label “Child Abuse Survivor”, a reader posted the following comment:
I found the statement concerning potential quite interesting. Are we limiting our “potential” by labeling ourselves child abuse survivors or perhaps it is just the opposite? We are reaching our potential by acknowledging we are child abuse survivors and doing the hard work it takes to heal – one moment at a time. I believe we get confused by the word potential. Do we think we have to accomplish something notable and amazing to have reached our potential? Or is it that we are the best human beings we can be, living truthfully, and committing ourselves to stopping that kind of hurt in any way we can.
My friends tell me I am a hero even though I am a child abuse survivor because I have broken the cycle. I can accept that because I believe there is hero in each one of us and it can come out in big ways or small ones. ~ Esther
I agree that each of us has a “hero” inside of us, and you don’t have to save the world in order to be a hero. I love The Starfish Story, which shows that we can make a world of difference to one person. To that one person, you are a hero. To that one person, you have changed the world because you have changed his world.
My name does not have to go down in a history book for my existence to have mattered. I don’t need a building with my name inscribed on it to matter. Instead, I make a difference by touching the lives of the people around me.
I have made a difference in many lives simply by healing myself. As I have healed myself, I have changed the way that I interact with others. This creates a ripple effect that affects still others.
I am most proud of the way that my healing has affected my son. I frequently marvel that I, a child abuse survivor, could raise such a happy and well-adjusted kid. How did someone like me, who loathed herself throughout most of her life, succeed in raising a kid who savors life and lives it to the fullest?
It happened through healing myself. I loved my son enough to learn how to love myself, which has healed me on deeper and deeper levels.
I might not be able to save every starfish on the beach, but I have definitely helped out my share. It might not make a dent from a global standpoint, but it has made a world of difference to a few.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt