Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

Loss, lessons and overcoming
“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” – Helen Keller
“Character and wisdom are sculpted over time. They come with loss, lessons, and triumphs. They come after doubts, second guesses, and exploring unknowns. If there were a definitive path to happiness and success, everyone would be on it. The seeds of your progress are planted in your past failures. Your best stories will come from overcoming your greatest struggles. Your praises will be birthed from your pains. So keep standing, keep learning, and keep living” (

Some life experiences can be ruthlessly painful. The hard ones may knock you down and even keep you on your knees for a while. But at some point, when you catch your breath and find your inner strength, you will stand again. And you may find yourself stronger than you ever thought you could be, and find yourself holding onto a greater hope for a better life.

When a baby starts to walk, the first steps are shaky and wobbly. They may reach out to grab ahold of someone to steady themselves; however, they rarely give up no matter how many times they fall down and have to start over. This is the same for those of you what may find yourselves now free of an abusive relationship and struggling to navigate your new future. Beginnings are always the hardest, but it’s through walking down those hard paths that one can build strength and pave the way to a new future.

In the end, it will all be worth it. There’s an old saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. It means you have to take some risks and see how it turns out. If you never try to accomplish anything, you never will. Starting life over after abuse can be daunting and scary. But it can also be the beginning of a bright future you only dreamed of before. And though it might not turn out exactly as you imagined, you can find success in the fact that you overcame and used your newly found strength to start over.

Achieving meaningful things in life takes time and effort. Start by making goals and then work baby steps toward those goals daily. Each day move farther than the day before and be prepared to work harder than ever. Don’t settle. “Persistence is the single most common characteristic of high achievers. They simply refuse to give up. The longer you hang in there, the greater the chance that something will happen in your favor. Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration. No matter how hard it seems, the more you persist, the more likely your success” (

If you have experienced trauma due to sexual assault or intimate partner violence, chances are you have a lot of strong emotions that affect your life every day. Having a safe place to unpack those emotions can be vital to working on gaining control of your life and moving forward. Crisis Services of North Alabama offers free services in a safe, confidential setting. You may reach us at our Jackson County office for an appointment at 256.574.5826 or speak with a trained crisis counselor on our 24/7 HELPline at 256.716.1000.

-Teresia Smith

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