A Small Light Shining in the Darkness: Can It Change the World?

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Shirley J. Davis

I may not be the most astute person, nor am I rich or famous. My voice isn’t very loud, nor am I able to purchase large blocks of space in newspapers or magazines to advertise my story. Yet, there is an urgency in my heart that leads me to believe that, like the tortoise in the story of the race with the hare, if I keep speaking and putting real information online for people to ingest and read, perhaps I can make a small difference in the world in which I live.

My story isn’t unique, I wish it were. I’ve survived so many traumatic events in my life that it all sounds like fantasy. Childhood abuse that splintered my mind into pieces, several suicide attempts, living inpatient in a long-term psychiatric facility for over seven years, and breast cancer are only the highlights of my struggles. I can reach out and understand so many people who struggle with similar heartaches, and I can say to them, that not only have I survived but I am thriving when no one, not even myself, believed I could.

Mother Teresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” How right she was in saying this. Maybe I alone am only a lone voice in a huge world, but I have a message that many people need to hear.

 
What exactly is my message? What do I have to say that is so important? Well, to be honest it has many parts.

 
Life isn’t fair. Get over the idea that you are owed by the universe because you have suffered or because you haven’t achieved what you wanted in life. There is nor has there ever been a person who didn’t struggle in life. It’s called being human.

 
Life isn’t easy. There isn’t a person alive now or who ever lived who would say they had it easy. We all face the realities of birth and death, and success and failure.

 
Life was never meant to be just a horrible ordeal to get through and then die. It was always meant to be something to cherish and enjoy. Even the horrible times are a blessing because they offer lessons to grow from.

 
Pay attention to the beauty that is all around you. Look up at the stars at night and enjoy the laughter of your children. Life is too short to squander away and not notice the loveliness of the sky on a clear winters day or the wonder in a child’s eyes upon seeing a flower because we are all caught up in the problems of the world.

 
Don’t despair and never give up hope. Even when all seems lost or when disaster is imminent, we as humans can find peace. Resign yourself to the knowledge that no matter what happens today, even if you die, life will go on.

 
Most people are only surviving not really living. They exist from day to day only concerned with where their next meal is coming from and whether or not they get what they want from others. This is so sad. Why not just wake up in the morning grateful to be alive and share this wonderful feeling with others.

 
Yes, like the firefly on a warm summer evening flickering its light to attract a mate, I feel compelled to write about my mental challenges with Dissociative Identity Disorder, my fight to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, the words of hard won wisdom I have learned, and my hope for a better future for all mankind.

 
I can only hope that someone is listening.

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