Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Little Miss Sunshine

Today's post is written by my friend Bonnie! Enjoy!

Little Miss Sunshine was a girl full of life and potential. She loved to swing for hours going as high as possible to see if she could touch the sky. She dreamed of life and felt her potential was as vast as the sky that she stretched her feet toward as her swing brought her high toward the blue. She being Little Miss Sunshine deserved every bit of belonging there because after all she was sunshine and the sun fills the sky with its glow and warmth. Little Miss Sunshine was an innocent girl who hadn’t experienced the world that the Sun’s rays hit, not every child has the comfort of her swing and the dreams she carried with each brush of wind through her hair as she flowed back and forth, back and forth. Her innocence had no idea that clouds thick and gray would soon cover her sky so blue and the warmth of the sun’s rays would soon be hidden by dark cold storms. Lightning would sting her as thunder would fill her happy little world.

Little Miss loved rain and the smell in the air that befalls with each drop. The storm that was brewing had no comfortable aroma and gentle drops. She had not seen with her innocent eyes the danger that lurked through her days. But soon the wind that gusted brought heartache and despair. This young girl who once saw a vast world of opportunity now see’s a small closed-in world of heartache and tears. Arguments crashed like thunder as her parent’s words were harsh and unloving toward each other. These words of fear filled with uncertainty were soon lashing out at her and her sibling. Slaps of anger smack across her mother; late nights of alcohol driven uncertainty and drug filled destruction filled her life. Soon she hugged and cuddled her mother not in the comfort of the living room couch, but in a hospital games room where her mother's once firm grip was shaking from the mental illness that bound her. How hard it was for this girl who has lost her world so seemingly perfect.

Little Miss Sunshine and her younger sister soon found themselves in strangers’ homes; brought there by strangers and counselors. Learning that this is a foster home, a safe place while her mother was in the hospital again and again and her father was stolen by beer bottles and drugs. Some of these foster homes were wonderful escapes for a few days filled with new clothes or loving gestures. She dreamed that this family could be her own or that her own could be like this family. Guilt would pursue her as she enjoyed the attention of this foster love. Some foster homes though were not such rays of warmth; some were dark and scary with virtues that were missing like compassion and kindness. These homes had frustration and apprehension that brought nightmares and tears. As her world got smaller and the pain in her heart grew she soon felt that this miserable life had no escape. She would always be tossed back and forth between her now divorced parents. Her loss of a mother to mental illness was like death to her, her mom was in and out of the hospital returning to the world more and more like a distant stranger. Jealousy enraged her as other kids at school had mothers to shop with and clothes that Little Miss Sunshine’s family could not afford. It was hard for this girl once so confident to feel like she belonged to this world full of happy families that didn’t carry the dark secrets that hers did.

As she grew from a child to the years before adulthood, her insecurity grew as her negative self-talk blinded her from the opportunity and value that she had. Little Miss Sunshine was only a glitter of her former self. Her world felt small and meaningless. There was no hope for this now young lady who ran away from home numerous times to escape the darkness she felt --- only to find her return to promises that always seemed hopeful but only disappointed her. Her father now remarried to a woman not able to give her the relationship she longed for. Disappointment fed her insecurity and the negative self-talk only reminded her that she was broken and not good enough. Was her life and circumstances only to blame? No she had made choices too --- all along the way that contributed to her despair. To her benefit though seeing her father crazed by drug withdrawal kept her from traveling that same road. But alcohol soon became her poison. She was no longer Little Miss Sunshine but Miss Sunshine couldn’t be found either which only allowed her mind to be filled with misery and didn’t truly believe in the hope that was offered to her by encouraging friends and teachers.

Counseling was defeated by her mistrust in the truth and in the doubt of the goodness in people and the world. Her small world seemed to be the only real world to her. She nearly lost her life a couple of times in those years, how doesn’t matter, what does is that death pursued her and was conquered by life. She laid in the hospital thinking I am alive! She questioned "now what and why?" there must be a purpose.The truth that spoke to her said that we all have value. She is far from the world she once knew realizing that her family filled with individual people who needed to make choices didn’t always make the right decisions. That she too had a choice to conquer or be conquered. It took a lot of effort for Miss Sunshine to begin peaking through the clouds and to start believing in her value and that she had purpose. She had to practice positive self-talk. She needed to see that her circumstances didn’t define her. Miss Sunshine’s rays only grew stronger as she moved into adulthood and became her own person as she learned that there is truth in a larger world and in her own ability. And most of all, that being happy first with ourselves is the key to true happiness. Sometimes she even sits on a swing and glides through the air remembering. Is her life perfect? No; but it is worth the effort every day!!! And today she is sitting here reading this story about herself to you.

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