As strange as it sounds, I had subconsciously hidden that little girl, Gracie, from my life all those years ago. To me, she had come to represent weakness and pain. So I pushed her into a closet and seldom allowed her to come out and play.
As I grew older, I went off to college, and the name Grace gave me the confidence and strength I had longed for. I became very driven and worked hard to gain an edge which would fit the image I was chasing. Little did I know that I was losing myself in the process. I was drifting further and further away from who God created me to be: Gracie.
Then, in 2009, I experienced a life-changing event that I often refer to as my “earthquake.” I often joke that not only was it an earthquake, but it was followed by a tsunami. I won’t go into details about the event in this post, but I will probably write about it later.
Little did I know that this dark season in my life would lead me on a journey of personal growth and self-discovery. While I started to draw closer to God and leaned into the pain of my situation, I began to see glimpses of my inner child, Gracie. As time passed, I began to simplify my life by purging myself of material things. That included relationships that were no longer consistent with the woman I was becoming.
Along the way, I discovered that I enjoyed drinking root beer, riding bikes and just being silly. I began to enjoy living in the moment. I learned to be still and trust the process of life. I was shedding the overly serious, intense person that I had become all those years ago. I felt a great relief when I no longer had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. At last, Gracie was returning.
After many years of therapy, I finally made peace with myself and sought my own forgiveness. I bought a doll that resembled me as a child, a little Gracie. I promised her that I wouldn’t ever allow anyone to hurt or abuse her again. I learned to compliment little Gracie, to embrace and celebrate her gifts and talents.
One day, I experienced a moment of clarity when I realized that this painful event had brought me to a new truth about myself. That truth became a blessing. My desire to share my life lessons and words of hope to inspire others is the driving force behind Finding Gracie.
I learned self-love by speaking positivity and love to myself. Not only did I bring Gracie out of the closet where I had hidden her long ago, but I gave her free rein over my life. I was truly lost, and now I’m found. And I want to help others reach that same feeling of freedom and forgiveness.