By Charissa White: Anyone who has experienced trauma in life knows how it shapes and colors your entire view of the world. As I worked through my own trauma, my new view of life became clearer, and I started focusing on what it means to take care of myself. I learned what fills my soul, my heart, and my mind -- I had to learn self-care. If I was given a second chance at life, I was going to do it intentionally this time. I would invest in my journey and make it mine. I was going to do life on purpose.
The dive into the self-care ocean led me to art. When I was younger, I hated art class. Instead of art, my love was for English. I have always had a passion for writing and journaling. One day I was writing in my journal and I thought about painting inside it. I wondered if it would work. And it did! A waterfall of therapeutic art began that day.
I've poured my innermost thoughts, feelings, joys, fears and obstacles into these books with a paintbrush and some pens. My Smashbook is my tangible second chance. This is my self-care manual, written by my heart with color and space. It is something I can hold in my hands and be grateful for during my journey. It contains pages of emotion, a map of my journey and my safe place. It reminds me that I'm here for a reason and that my second chance story can impact others.
When I noticed a POTSC quote, I decided to add it in my journal. This particular piece resonates with me. An integral part of realizing how my second chance is worth something to others --and to myself-- was learning that I don't have to be ashamed of my past.
Grace means that instead of serving shame, your mistakes now serve a purpose.
God does amazing things with broken people and I'm an example of that. Just because you've made mistakes or stepped off the train tracks does not mean you're not worth something. It does not mean you're lost.
What does your second chance look like?