Now more than ever, I find myself looking inward. I do this so that when I live my daily life, I’m doing it with purpose. It would be easy to just live life each day for me and not think about my purpose. Only, what kind of life would that be. As a survivor of so many things, I have found my purpose in taking my past abuse and exploitation and using it to reach others like you. I know that we have all had our daily lives turned upside down these last seven months. I bet if I asked you the very moment you realized that your city was shutting down and you were going to have to survive in a new way, you would be able to tell me. That is called trauma-bonding and right now, the world has experienced this in a way that I don’t know if we ever had before. I’ve been worried for myself, for my friends and even strangers. Only, worry does not create inner peace for you and it even takes away your ability to know your own purpose. If you are feeling alone or that you don’t know your next steps, I am here to tell you that is normal. I also want to share with you a few things that help me in my inner growth and purpose. Lean into your worries because you have a lot to learn from them. First, I lean into my worries and questions. I hear them and ask why they are there. What are they trying to teach me about myself? Next, I might find a few things that sooth and create peace for me. I have learned that mood music brings me peace so I created a little playlist to guide my own inner thoughts. Find daily ways to show yourself you love yourself. Seriously, it does not have to be some huge endeavor. Just. Take it day by day. I have lived with a serious illness my whole life on top of being trafficked as a teenager, so taking care of my health matters to me. What I put in my body is critical to my survival and happiness. I used to think it was too expensive to eat well because I was just used to going to carry out or eating what I could find. When I was staying in a safe home for survivors of trafficking, I realized that I didn’t have to give into this idea that to eat well I had to have money. I was at this smoothie place that was all kinds of expensive and reading the ingredients and realized, “I can make this way cheaper at home.” Well, I tried it and now creating healthy smoothies with almond milk, fruit or berries or even veggies really makes me feel like I’m loving myself. Reach outside yourself. I’ve also found myself feeling happier when I’m reaching out and offering support to those around me. I’m a transgender young woman of color. I have seen deep discrimination and hurt done to my friends around me who are gender minorities. Sadly, this includes police brutality or indifference. This is simply wrong and the way I’m going to give back and stand up is by sharing my own story. For those who have been hurt, I see you and am here with you. For those of you who seek to expand your heart, I’m here to support your steps as an ally. Believe you deserve to be happy. The truth is you have to hear yourself before you can hear others well enough to help them. You deserve to feel happy and live out your purpose. Yes, you do. Maybe you need to start saying that “I deserve to be truly happy.” Now, if you believe it, you have to live it. Are you doing things that support your happiness or holding you back? It’s okay to say, “both.” Just be honest in how you create space for your happiness. Create your own personal mission statement. I know what I’m here to do. I see it and I call myself inward each night to reflect on how I’m doing with my purpose. You can write it down. You can instagram it or have a friend act as an accountability partner. Find a method that works for you. Okay, now take that time to listen to yourself a little bit every day. There is no day too busy that you can not stop to hear your inner voice. Reach out to me in the comments if you have some ideas or questions. We want to hear from you.
Tutu Scott is a wellness lab associate at Karana Rising, survivor, marketing expert and registered nurse.
Survivors Share This is a production of Karana Rising. Join us each week to learn with and from survivors and allies as we build a global space for survivors changing their lives and the world around them! Support our survivor team and the support we offer all survivor members to ensure they are safe, connected and able to thrive. www.karanarising.com