“You can’t get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I participated in multiple awareness raising events over the month in my role as Director of Community Engagement for Leap to Success including the San Diego Domestic Violence Council’s kick off event. It was a beautiful event with multiple community organizations committed to ending domestic violence present and a candle lighting ceremony for the 18 victims who died in San Diego County this past year as a result of domestic violence.
I have worked in the domestic violence field in one way or another since college when I volunteered in a domestic violence shelter, on a hotline, and provided domestic violence awareness and prevention education in schools. As a survivor of intimate partner violence in high school, I know the devastating impact being abused can have on your self-worth and confidence. Often the physical injuries heal much more quickly than the emotional and mental scars.
I have worked with many women rebuilding their lives after domestic violence, and the most common challenges they face are overcoming fear and a lack of belief in themselves. After years of being told they are worthless and living in fear, many survivors continue to believe those lies even when they are no longer with their abuser.
Beginning to transform that trauma can be profoundly healing and empowering. It has been such an honor to watch women reclaim their trust and confidence in themselves and start to speak their truth. The ripple effects that come as women rediscover what they feel and need and begin to share that in the world is powerful. These women’s courage, resilience, and stories of overcoming inspire hope in others currently in abusive relationships, and reinforce the possibility that life can get better.
Since victims are often isolated by their abusers, hearing another woman’s story allows them to not feel so alone in their pain and suffering. Hearing another woman’s story of overcoming can be life changing for a victim and provide hope in the darkness. For survivors, sharing our stories allows us to let go of the shame we feel since shame thrives in the darkness but seems to evaporate the more light we shine on it.
When we transform the shame, we are able to let go of our identity as a victim and become a victorious survivor knowing our value and worth and making empowered choices to be in healthy relationships. We let go of limiting beliefs about ourselves and begin to embrace the infinite possibilities. We are able to identify the qualities we cultivated in ourselves to survive like courage, strength, wisdom, and resilience.
Imagine how different our lives could be if we consistently embraced our value and worth and made empowered choices based on the profound belief in ourselves!
Whether you are a survivor of intimate partner violence or not, choosing to transform limiting beliefs about ourselves is the first step in healing our self-worth and feelings of not being good enough. Creating new positive and affirming messages to replace limiting beliefs is the next step. Then repeating these new empowering phrases over and over to ourselves is how we cultivate our value and worth and deep nurture ourselves.
As Louise L. Hay reminds us, “You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Reclaiming your value and worth will create ripple effects in your life and empower others around you to reclaim their authentic truth. The more you commit to authentically showing up in your life, the more you give others permission to do the same and the deeper your relationships become. Embracing our value and worth is at the heart of self-nurturing.
May you have the courage and wisdom to nurture your value and worth as you nurture peace in the world from the inside out!
Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,
Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker
Sign up to receive daily reminders with our mobile app!