A Life forever changed….
The power of belief…
As the new school year begins, I reflect back on all the students that have received the love and support of the Reaching Higher Class through the years. As they begin school this fall, their hearts will be filled with hope and they will greet their days with smiles on their faces, and face their individual worlds with a confident stride.
In one of my prayer books this morning I read that, “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.” Reaching Higher strives to work for the salvation of the masses, one student at a time, for the betterment of all.
Last spring as I met with one of our counselors to discuss the success of the Reaching Higher program he said, “Sit back and read this letter.” Today I share that letter with you. Thanking God and all of you that make Reaching Higher possible. This is but one story from one girl; many other students have similar stories of which we are proud.
“Before Reaching Higher, I was a mess, but no one knew that because I had perfected a mask that said I was always happy, especially when I wasn’t, and I wore it all of the time. It was like putting a shirt on every day, it was a necessity. I needed to wear it. While my mask on the outside said I was always happy, on the inside I was falling apart, especially during these past two years, and for the life of me, I just couldn’t be put back together. My family was splitting apart, my grades were slipping. I was a burden on my friends, and felt useless, like there was no reason for me to be here when only thing I did was mess up. In fact, I had a sign that in big bold letters, said FAILURE on the shelf next to my bed. So it was the last thing I saw every night before I fell asleep, and it was the first thing I saw every morning when I woke up. I knew that it wasn’t a healthy way to live, but it was a slump that I just couldn’t get out of.”
“Walking into the first session of Reaching Higher was a bit terrifying at first because I had no idea what to expect. I was just hoping that it wasn’t one of those cheesy groups that tried to jam rainbows and smiles down your throat, but to my pleasant surprise, it wasn’t. The first session was all about reminding us that no matter what anybody thinks, every single one of us are a miracle, and put on this earth for a distinct reason, and if we ever forgot it, just look at the palm of your hand and there’s an M, which stands for miracle. Even now, if I’m ever having a bad day, I trace the M with a pen or marker and I am instantly reminded how important I actually am. When I went home that day, I made a sign that said, “You are a MIRACLE” and put it next to the failure sign. I couldn’t take it down just yet, but I was making progress, slowly but surely. In fact, I didn’t take it down until session five, which was changing limited beliefs. In session five there was a guest speaker that told us the horrendous story of his life and he told us about how he changed the bad path that his life was taking by changing the limiting beliefs that he had about himself. That day, I shared with the group that I always compare myself to other people, especially my best friend, and my limiting belief was that I’ll never be as good as them. I changed that belief by making a promise to myself that from then on out, I would only compare myself to the person I was in the past, to the person I am now. It seems so simple of a thought, but that was a huge realization for me, with enough impact to make me go home and rip the failure sign to shreds and throw it away. For the first time in a long time, I was really, truly looking up. But by far, my biggest realization came in session seven, when we all went around the room and told everyone what we liked about them. When it was my turn, a substantial number of people said that I was always happy and full of joy, and when I heard that, I felt kind of iffy about it because that was the façade that I had always put up. But when I went home that day, I had the biggest shock yet. I actually had to sit down for this. I realized that I am actually a happy person. I love to bring joy and happiness to other people and I can do that without having a mask project it. It’s just me.”
“Now that the program is completely over, I can now say that I’m truly happy and I now know that I’m not alone as I thought I was. Now I have the skills that I need to cope with unexpected and stressful situations. I can now find a healthy way to deal with issues and problems that I may have. I don’t need to hide from them or have them completely destroy me anymore, and it feels fantastic. I’m proud to say that I am a graduate of Reaching Higher.”
Wow!! Yes!! Life is meant to be full of fun and joy and yes we can choose to be happy….