Dear Ness


There was this photo I lost and that I look for from time to time.

I remember it captured me sitting on the couch, long hair freshly pressed, looking over at the television. It was my birthday. The picture always struck me deep down inside because I remember being able to feel exactly what I felt the exact moment the picture was taken. That instance where you can literally relive a moment. The one thing the picture didn't capture was my crippling sadness. I sat on that couch in a long gray and black sweater and black leggings as if I was totally "together" instead feeling totally void. That photo reminds me of what I made it through!

A stage in life I felt I had no value what so ever. 

My value would come from what exactly? Having children young, not finishing school, being with a man that I was about 90% sure didn't actually know how to love me, or not knowing how to love myself?

Young mommy of two, working part-time, welding a life that others could believe was a come back from the mistakes I made. It's amazing what a young immature mind will define as being an "adult" or "responsible" Kids clean and fed CHECK, House clean CHECK, Meal cooked CHECK,  His needs are met CHECK.  Young woman with no guidance and with out a clue in the world.

If I could go back in time I would give myself the biggest hug and just let me cry!

Totally isolated with too much pride to say I was hurting. I thought I was holding it all together so well. I made my bed and I was going to lay in it! A woman in passing told me once " You use to be so happy, now you look so sad" and literally just kept walking. WTH was that! As I quickly slapped on a smile and tried to piece together an excuse about "just being pensive" I quickly realized I wasn't fooling anyone. ESPECIALLY NOT MYSELF!

Somewhere in between laying in bed crying for hours to the last time I was hit SOMETHING SHIFTED. 

If I sat here and told you it changed over night, I would be lying to you! It was my personal mountain to move! There were times that I didn't feel good enough to have a better life than the one I was living. I promise you there is nothing like feeling defeated! That's a pain only the Lord can tend to!

Interestingly enough, I can't even give you the definitive steps that I took to make it through my storm, like some how-to guide. I am reminded of the Footprints In The Sand poem, where the man walking on the beach alongside God, sees flashes of his life. The man noticed that along the path of his life during the lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints in the sand. Questioning where God was when he needed Him the most. To which God replies "My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trials and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." 

As I sit here reliving some of my darkest days of TRIALS AND SUFFERING I firmly believe that in no way did I move my mountain on my own! For me God used people! Not the closest people to me either! I've experience that a lot of times in life people either, don't care or want to give you solutions. Speaking from experience what is most helpful is to feel HEARD, VALIDATED and SUPPORTED! Through my journey I've met people that spoke life into me, that helped me regain my smile, remember all of the dreams I had, helped me find what true value I posses and that walked me through my journey, the good, bad and ugly. I thank God for them and I try to be the same light for others that those souls were for me.

Several years later now, I can say without hesitation that my hard times made me a stronger, more compassionate, more loving individual. I've found peace and happiness that can't be taken. I've always said "If you ever see someone smiling, just let them! Because you never know how much they had to fight for that one smile." I've had groups of women say that they admire me, explain how they are inspired by my kindness and strength, tell me I'm motivating. It always makes me cry. I love the way I do because I know what it feels like to be unloved.  I am the friend I am because I've felt totally alone. I am strong today because I've been totally weak.

Dear Ness,

You may have had no guidance growing up, you may be living a life that you see no value in but please know that you are resilient, intelligent, worthy, important and loved. You deserve more than lies from any one and especially yourself. You deserve to have peace, support and encouragement. Asking for help and admitting you are hurt are NOT weaknesses. You are stronger than everything you feel and believe. You will walk through this valley and show up on the other side stronger, almost unrecognizable. You will exist in peace, you will find your purpose and place, you'll find individuals that support you, individuals that listen and understand. You will be better! You will be for others everything you needed during your darkest hours. You will be happy!

*If you, a family member of friend are lost or hurt better yet if YOU are a warrior, put a 💜 in the comment section below the post to show support and self-love*

Vanessa Ortiz