• Paula

The Mission Begins

I haven't had much luck with the men in my life. I have been rejected, assaulted, violated, punched, sworn at, degraded, belittled, taken advantage of, abused, and harassed. These men admitted to caring about me, and some even professed to love me. And, for most of my life, I allowed the opinions of those men to define who I am.

The snowball of negative treatment combined with the lies I started telling myself based on what these men said and did to me, brought me to a place where I believed that what I wanted didn't matter and what I thought didn't matter. I lived with the mindset that men could say and do whatever they wanted to me because I didn't matter.

Over the past couple of years, I have met some men who seriously challenged my beliefs with their genuine care, absolute respect, complete consideration, and astounding gentleness. For the first time in my life, I have men in my circle who never put their hands on me, yell at me when I disagree with them, or force me to do something against my will. I would like to say that I healed overnight, but that's not what my journey looks like. It took me years to reach a place where I believed I didn't matter, so I knew it would take time to gain some recovery.

Am I completely healed now? Oh, no. However, I have reached a place where I believe that no man has a right to make me feel inferior, to put his hands on me without my permission, to raise his voice at me in anger, to make me do something I don't want to do, or take my power by asserting his authority over me.

While I was in the process of learning all of this and working on myself, I didn't have the resources or recovery to adequately teach my daughter, Cailyn Ocean, her worth and how she should be treated by men. I know I could only do the best with what I had, but it is still difficult to not feel guilty about not empowering her to know her worth and own her power. Don't get me wrong, she is much stronger than I was at her age. She is not scared to voice her opinion, stand up for herself, and she won't be trampled on. She is an amazing young woman who loves people with all her heart, will help anyway she can, and will always give people a second chance. Sadly, she doesn't realize her intrinsic value. She seeks affirmation from men and finds her worth in relationships. Her biggest fears are rejection, abandonment, and being alone, which leads her to do what she thinks is necessary to keep the relationship intact because she doesn't want to look like a failure.

I can't change the past for either one of us. However, what I can do is start today to make changes that will affect our future. That's where the mission takes root. I know that Cailyn and I are not the only women out there with stories of having their identity defined by someone else, someone who has taken advantage of them, lied to them, or failed to treat them with even basic dignity. This mission is for you. And, Cailyn. And, me. It's for all of us who have ever been made to feel inferior and worthless.

It's also for girls to learn at a young age to know their worth and own their power. It's to do our best to empower, equip, and educate young girls and teenagers to be confident in who they are and believe that they matter and have intrinsic value, not based on anything they do but simply because they are a member of the human race.

Regardless of our age, or what's been done to us, or what people have said about us, we all have value and we all have power. As we work together to learn more about what those things are and what they mean for our lives, we have the amazing opportunity to share this hope with others. We don't have to hold it in, like many of us have been trained to do, but we can empower other women and girls by telling them they are valuable and they have power.

We are in this together. I look forward to learning and growing with you as we embark on the mission to:

Know our Value

Own our Power

Share our Hope

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