“The greatest glory in living

lies not in never falling,

but in rising every time we fall.” 


Nelson Mandela

If I could say one thing to you today, this is what I would say:

“Thank you for hurting me. Thank you for breaking me down. Thank you for stealing those years from me. Thank you for degrading me. Thank you for making me feel as if I would never amount to anything. Thank you for convincing me I was nothing more than a toy for you. Thank you for nearly killing me. Thank you for raping me. Thank you for stealing my innocence. Thank you for being my greatest fear. 

Without you I wouldn’t be who I am today. Without you I wouldn’t know what it is to overcome. Without you I wouldn’t know the joy in the becoming. 

Because of you I’ve learned what pain feels like, and I’ve learned what healing feels like. Because of you I know what it feels like to live a lifetime, and to still have a lifetime left to live. Because of you I know that I am not defined by words of men. Because of you I know that no matter what I do in this life, it will mean something. Because of you I know that I’m worth more than a one night stand. Because of you I know that I’m more beautiful than the words you said, because my beauty is not confined to a number on a scale or the reflection in the mirror. Because of you I know the beauty in waking up to see another day. Because of you I know my innocence may be gone, but my wisdom has just begun. Because of you I’m able to say I’ve faced my greatest fear, and I’m strong enough to overcome it. 

There’s beauty in letting go. Letting go of the things you’ve done to me. There’s beauty in moving on. 

Today I thank you for everything you did to me, because I’m a stronger woman because of it. You won’t hold me back anymore, and you won’t haunt me anymore. Today I let your memories go, and I move on. Not because I’m weak, but because I’m finally strong enough to not allow you to define who I am anymore. Today I am finally strong enough to thank you for the pain and actually mean it. Today I’m strong enough to forgive. Today I am strong enough to release it all.

Today I am strong, tomorrow I will be strong, and that strength comes from nothing more than overcoming you. 

Today I overcome you. I overcome the person you convinced me I was. I overcome the lies you told me. I overcome the pain. I overcome the memories. I overcome the insecurities, the brokenness, and the fears. 

Today I overcome everything I’m not so that I can become everything I am.”

I’ve struggled to let this all go for too long. I held on to the past and gave it too much victory in present. Don’t ask me why, because I can’t give you an answer. Maybe it’s because it provided me some level of comfort. 

Maybe it’s because I know how to live with pain, but not victory. 

I know how to expect the worst in people, but can’t accept their best. 

I see brokenness more than beauty. 

I am weak more than I am strong. 

I am a victim more than a survivor. 

That is why release has to happen. I’ve carried this all for too long, hoping it would go away on it’s own. But that’s the thing about hurt… it doesn’t disappear. You don’t wake up one day and feel better. You have to be willing to let go. And I’m finally letting go. In some ways I thought if I kept holding onto this burden of pain, it would lessen the pain of today. That if I allowed you to continue hurting me from afar, then it would prevent anyone else from hurting me. But that isn’t life. Life isn’t always pretty. Life is about the masterpiece we all have in the end. So today the things I’ve held on to so tightly are released, and forgiveness is given. Not for you, but for me. So I can move on in life and no longer have your face appear at every inconvenient moment. 

Today I overcome you, and today I decide to live free of your destruction.