Jackie VanCampen
I’m standing here in my kitchen reading a message I received from a friend about how my book impacted her life. She said she had no idea how much I had gone through because I was always so full of light… As I thought about what she said, I began to think of the struggles and circumstances in my life and how I had decided to step out of being a victim to be being in charge of my happiness…

We often say that certain situations make us a better a better person, and, although I agree with this statement, I feel that it’s not so much our circumstances that make us a better person; rather, it’s the choice we make to win over our circumstances that makes us a better person. I know many people who use their struggles to keep themselves victims and disempowered.

When my daughter chose to move with her dad to Brazil, what came to me was that this was the time for her to be his teacher; for her to show him another way of being; for him to connect with something deeper within himself… I knew that she had been the main reason why I chose to go on a journey of healing and transformation. I wanted to give her a better life. I wanted to show her what self-love felt like. I wanted to show her what a good relationship looked like. Then tonight, as I thought of her mission to be her father’s teacher, it hit me that perhaps her mission those many years back, when I decided to go on my healing journey, was to be my teacher. What if she actually was the catalyst for me to know what self-love felt like? What if she came to show me what a good relationship looks like?

What if she truly were that powerful? What if our children were that powerful? Often times as parents we think we are the ones teaching, when in reality, we are the ones being taught. Now that’s an interesting concept!

As her father now gets to be blessed with having her full-time as his teacher, it’s my hope that he will take full advantage of the learning opportunity and begin his own journey of healing and transformation.

What would it take to acknowledge our children for the gift they bring to our lives; for the lessons and the experiences we get to have with them, even the ones we deem painful and impossible to change? How grand it is to intertwine the relationship we have as parents and children! How can we gift that to our communities and the world?

I will end with an excerpt from my book – Letters to My Daughter: A Mother’s Journey of Healing and Transformation

” Marla, your presence in my life has always been a healing presence, but this journey of watching you make your choice to go to Brazil has taken my own healing to all new places.

As I’ve watched and supported you in making your own choices and listening to your heart, I have been able to look back and further heal my own story.

You and I are being led along a magical journey, and we get to choose how we see, feel, and behave while on this new adventure.

You can fly. Strengthen those wings, Baby. Learn how to let the wind carry you. Learn to trust it. Your purpose is bigger than you can imagine. This is just the beginning.”
Tara Kennedy-Kline
There was a time in my life when I believed there was just too much to bear.

I had created a closet full of skeletons and hid them away. I spent every day in panic and depression with regular anxiety attacks. And then, because of a necessary credit check, the closet door was about to be opened and it was all going to coming spilling into the world.

I called at least 4 psychologists in my area but all of them were too busy. I recall speaking to a homeopathic counselor as a last resort. Her suggestion was to get a tanning club membership; she said the sunlight would cheer me up. That actually did work for a period, but my dog eventually got tired of me following him around to sit in his sunny spots.

Another Doctor thought it would be more effective to medicate me rather than listen to me. His plan was lithium…”Don’t they make batteries out of that stuff?! No thanks! I’ll pass!”

I remember the turning point for me as if it was yesterday. I was getting dressed (so it must have been late afternoon) I had spent the first part of the day obsessing over the debt I owed and how I wasn’t earning enough to pay it off, how I was sure my husband would leave me when he found out, how I had alienated most of my friends because I had become a complaining ego maniac. All the thoughts and beliefs that kept me stuck in my hole of sadness played like a broken record, repeating and screaming in my head.

I was standing in my closet crying. I don’t know exactly why, I suppose it was the overwhelm of my life and the fear of what was to come. “I can’t do this anymore!” I yelled out loud as if someone could hear me other than the walls. ” Please help me…I don’t know what else to do!”

I just stood in my little space staring at the things on my dresser and then I noticed a bracelet sitting there. It looked like one of the woven friendship bracelets I had made in school, but it had 4 lettered beads in it. WWJD. It wasn’t very pretty really, so I didn’t wear it except for the day it was given to me at a fundraiser by some old grungy Harley guy who came up to my booth and handed it to me. Now that I think about it…he was pretty happy!

As I stared at the bracelet, I tried to remember what the letters stood for. Wacky, Wild, Jesus Dude…I knew that was wrong, but it made me laugh anyway.

W…where, what…was…would: “What Would Jesus Do!?”

I let the words land for a minute as I thought about what was really going on in my life. My problems seemed mighty small in that moment.

Given what I had heard of the stories…what would he do?

“Bare the Burden and Make it Right.” The words blasted in my head as if someone were yelling into a megaphone. I had never heard that before…but the statement was so definite and powerful it made me cry…HARD!

I cried for a long time and when I stopped, my whole body felt as though I had been through a washing machine. I felt lighter and breathed deeper. And I felt like I had a purpose.

I didn’t tell anyone else about what happened that day…but from that event on, every time I felt panicked or a negative thought came to mind, I would clear it by thinking “Bare the burden and make it right”. This became my first affirmation.

After that day, I began to notice that instead of obsessing over problems, I was focused on creating the solution to them. My story went from devastation and depression to determination and diligence.

Doors began to open for me and more importantly, I got my friends and my life back.
I would notice and create hundreds of affirmations in the years to follow, but one will always be my challis, my trident. If something lands in my path that seems insurmountable…I look at it dead on and say “I can bare this burden and make it right.”