On my journey to empower women, I met Nancy in a Facebook group of women over 50. I posted that I was looking to interview women who went through hardship and had overcome it. Searching for inspirational stories, I certainly found one in Nancy. After multiple personal tragedies, she has risen above it to lead a happy, fulfilling life.
I received an email from Nancy along with a brief description of her experiences. She asked me if her story was what I was looking for. I had a strong need to hug Nancy after I had read her email. I cried. I cried for many reasons.
First, I cried because I couldn’t even understand the pain she had gone through. My inability to comprehend her pain caused me angst. The degree of suffering she had gone through was inconceivable. Then, I cried because I felt wrong to complain about my own sufferings. They are dimples next to mountains.
I asked Nancy a few questions that taught me a very important lesson. This has strengthened my belief that by sharing our stories, we can all learn from each other. By sharing our pain, we can find healing. First, I asked her:
Nancy, what was the turning point for you? When did you start realizing that you do matter?
“The turning point was actually directly after my son was born. I had just had baby and a D&C without ANY anesthesia. My son was tiny but born breech. They were wheeling me from labor and delivery when a nurse caught my doctor’s arm and asked him if they should move me off of the maternity floor.
My son was expected to die. She thought seeing the other babies when mine wouldn't make it would be too hard.
By then, I’d known my doctor for several years. Dr. Garcia stopped in the middle of the hall. His eyes never left his nurse’s face, but he took hold of my arm. He said, “No. This one is strong. There is nothing she can’t handle. She doesn’t need to be hidden from pain.”
I was astounded. I’d never told him my history, but this man SAW me. Me!! He actually saw me and what he saw was something he admired. He respected it. He respected ME!
That moment changed my entire life. My strength wasn’t my imagination. Someone else had spotted it. It was like stepping into Cinderella’s shoes and finding they fit. And they were mine. It was AWESOME!”
Lessons from Nancy
- The Power of Words
Words matter. Sometimes, the simple act of validation can completely change the trajectory of one’s life. We have no idea how our words will impact another person, for good or for bad. So many words had destroyed Nancy’s sense of self, the sense she mattered. One sentence, one hand holding, one act of kindness made her realize she indeed mattered. Another person could genuinely see her value and strength. We must watch our words and use them for kindness. Our goal should be to use generosity with kind words and stinginess with hurtful ones. We can uplift or crush people with our words. Let's choose wisely. But let’s not forget that Tuf Love has a place as well.
- Is Forgiveness Possible or Needed?
Forgiveness is different for everyone. I am always curious about how people see Forgiveness in their journey. Here is Nancy’s reply on the issue of forgiveness:
“Forgiveness was a huge struggle. I didn’t see the need to be kind to the unkind. Then, I realized that I was plugged into the energy of the world, as is everyone. We all take and give energy. The same energy that gives a flower the power to bloom or a baby to take its first breath is Our Life Force. I wanted my energy that flows back into the world to be as beautiful as I could make it. I believe this will help offset the unkindness that hurts so many. I didn’t want to feed it. I didn’t want to litter the spiritual world.
So, I learned to find a way to forgive each person, authentically, as a way to cleanse or purify my own energy. It was hard. Really hard.
Then, I realized that by failing to be the person I would have been before my hardships happened, I was letting those unkind souls have power over me. Still! They were STILL being given a voice in who I’d get to become. I was still being hurt. I was still being a victim. I wasn’t growing naturally. I was ALLOWING their voice to overpower mine and THAT was unacceptable.
So, I reasoned, I would be bigger, stronger, kinder, and 50 times better at being a human being than those who had sought to hurt me. They will never win because I am strong enough to forgive them. I might have been a target, but I will never EVER be THEIR HELPLESS victim again.”
Nancy’s take on forgiveness is very different then Jaqueline’s. (If you haven’t read her blog, click here) Interestingly, though they are different, they have found a way to heal, to not allow themselves to remain victims. The objective each reached was the same, despite the paths being totally different. This, in itself, is such a lesson. There isn’t one right way to go through life. This is why we must listen and learn from all people, accept their decisions, and respect our differences. There are many paths and as long as they lead us toward personal redemption, they are the right way for each of us.
- It's Never too Late
There is always a chance! Nancy’s life was a roller coaster. First there was the family abuse. Then, the repeated bad relationships took their toll. After that, she had a health-related crisis. Finally, Nancy had a baby knowing the risks but she took the risks and had the opportunity to be a great mother. Nancy transformed her career path and received incredible accolades for what she accomplished. Despite so much adversity, not once did Nancy lose faith. She never gave up hope on love or on life. Ultimately, she never lost hope for herself. This was the most important gift she could have given herself and in turn, the world. Those who have the pleasure of knowing Nancy, get to know a beam of golden light that illuminates the cracks of life.
Nancy has reaffirmed that healing is possible after tragedy. Even when the hardships are as extreme as Nancy's journey, you can find your own unique path to healing. No matter which path you take, it can help light the way for others who are in pain. By sharing your story with others, we can join hands and realize we are all Kintsugi. We matter and our scars are beautiful. Together, we can discover a way to share our experience and heal together.
Visit Nancy’s websites to view her amazing work:
Professional Cultural Influencer
Nancy is Kintsugi and so are you.
If you have a story you would like to share, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Loving and supportive comments are always welcome!
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