I’m privileged to work with a lot of amazing community leaders here in Fort Worth. I received this email from my dear friend Carol Klocek, the Executive Director at the YWCA Fort Worth & Tarrant County. It speaks for itself. –COFFEY
None of us actually believes that what we need in this world is less courage.
But everyday courage isn’t always easy to recognize. When I read this statement in a blog post by Sasha Dichter this morning, I immediately thought of the women and children we serve at the YWCA. It takes so much courage to start life over, even when the old life is hardly worth keeping. That old life, as painful, humiliating or uncomfortable as it is, is what is known. I spent my early career working with children who’d experienced such severe abuse and neglect that their parents and “caregivers” were prosecuted, or at least had had their parental rights terminated. These children often purposefully find their parents after they grown up, to reestablish relationships. In an awful way – for many people who’ve only known violence, there is a terrible kind of safety they find in that violence. I found this very hard to understand, until I realized all of us do this – we reach out to what we know.
Moving toward something new takes incredible courage. Here are some examples of dramatic changes in belief that our women and children make while they at the YWCA….
From believing that “I can’t help what happens to me” to “I can make things happen.”
From believing that “Alcohol makes me feel better” to “I choose to take care of myself today”.
From believing that “I am a woman who deserves to be abused” to “I am a woman who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”
From believing that “I am a trouble maker in school” to “I love to learn and play with my friends”.
From believing that “I will go to prison because my father went to prison” to “I will go to college and take care of my family.”
From believing that “I’m a nobody” to “I am somebody.”
Changing these thoughts takes courage every day. Women and children who come through our doors often believe terrible things about themselves. And if you believe terrible things about yourself and who you are, then there is very little hope. Believing new things, taking steps down a new road, creating new kinds of relationships, seeing yourself with new possibilities – takes great courage, every day. Picking yourself back up after a fall takes courage. Taking a second chance that’s offered takes courage.
When you give to the YWCA, you are helping to change beliefs and fanning the flames of courage. As a witness to so much every day courage, I cannot say thank you enough.
Have a great weekend,