Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm better for it Friday...VALERIE'S STORY

today i am so honored to have
my dear scarf sister Valerie share
her "I'm Better For It" story.  

her story is powerful and inspiring.
 i am so grateful to her for sharing it...
remember...there is healing power in our stories
and in our words.

I believe in the power of this moment.

One night when I was sixteen, 
I saw the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. 
Just moments before, my self imposed death 
had been accidentally interrupted by a stranger. 
Who am I to be here, 26 years later, 
recalling the still vivid memory of a 
purely joy-filled moment of seeing a 
school of dolphins swimming beneath the moon 
racing the cruise ship I was on, 
the very ship that moments earlier 
I had fully expected to watch leave me 
in the dark depths of the Atlantic Ocean without notice?

I believe in faith.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary,  faith means:
1. a confident belief in the truth, value or 
trustworthiness of a person, idea or thing.
2. belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence
3. loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance

As a child I was sent to Sunday School, 
I went through the motions by learning the 
“important” passages and attending the
 significant ceremonies and rituals of various religions 
but none of them resonated with me 
enough to become mine. 
Yet in one night, when I was 16 years old, 
I found unwavering faith in something bigger than me.

Why was this younger, sadder self 
prepared to throw herself off of the railing 
she had climbed upon at the tail end of the ship? 
How did she become so resolute that she felt 
a soothing calm wash over her as she 
closed her eyes and breathed what she thought 
were her last breaths? 
The whys escape my older, braver self, 
though I know it was not a decision 
reached lightly or impulsively. 
But something greater than myself saved me that night. 
My savior came in the form of a Portuguese cruise employee 
who was attending to some job that 
put him in my path at that moment when, 
eyes closed, body poised, soul calmed 
I was saying my goodbyes to this life. 

I will never know what he said to me or 
what he thought seeing me 
but his words broke my reverie and brought me 
front and center in that moment. 

One night, when I was 16 years old, 
startled and scared 
I followed the railing away from 
the chosen moment of death toward the voice of people 
who were on deck pointing out into the sea. 
My head turned, and there, in the bright beautiful moonlight 
that I had neglected to notice before 
(what else had I failed to notice?), 
was a school of dolphins racing next to the ship. 
They were jumping in and out of the water, 
crossing paths with one another, 
frolicking with what I could only imagine 
as playful joy and in my hypersensitive 
awareness of the moment, 
I saw this gift as an offering. 
The dolphins’ joy felt like warm, knowing arms 
wrapping around some broken piece of me, 
reminding me that I had barely begun to live. 
In this moment it was revealed that 
individual moments happen and in them, 
circumstances and perspectives 
can change in an instant. 
I simply had to be brave enough to stick around 
and see what happened next.
Since that evening there have been several 
“chance” encounters that have occurred, 
other moments that have changed my life’s trajectory, 
always ultimately for the better. 
They have not been completely positive 
and I certainly would not have chosen some of those lessons 
for myself but when I stood 
front and center in those moments, 
took a deep breath and held steady to my faith, 
a meaning always emerged and 
I am always left feeling 
profound gratitude for the experience.

I believe I am part of something bigger 
than what I see before me and 
I believe my role in this life is to simply 
be present and mindful in all of the moments that I can. 
Since that day, when I was 16 years old, 
my faith has never left me and 
even when the lessons have been painful, 
my faith has always sought to protect me 
and help me to become the 
best person I can be… in this moment.
I have no doubt that I am better for it. 

you can visit the beautiful, brave Valerie 

i am so grateful for this beautiful soul
being in my life and i know i am better for that!
thank you Valerie.



  1. Dear Valerie, You are such a beautiful soul. I am so thankful to know you. Thank you for sharing such a deep part of yourself with the world. xoxo

  2. Sweet Valerie, I am so grateful that you chose to trust us with this beautiful and very personal story, straight from your heart. I'm sure it was not easy. I am sending you a big virtual hug and am so proud to call you my friend.

  3. Thanks to Valerie, as well as her 'scarf sister,' for posting this inspirational story! It is so important to keep in mind what really counts in life, and to remember that sometimes faith is all we have...and all we need.

  4. Oh Valerie, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my skin. I'm so sorry that you once felt so all alone, but I am so happy for you that you were given that gift of faith, the one that saved you. God bless you. I wish I could give you a very warm hug. Your message is simple and beautiful and true-thank you for sharing.
    Love, Kelly

  5. Such a powerful and beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  6. Dear Valerie,
    What a powerful story this is. Thank you so much for being so open in your sharing here. My hearts feels deeply for you and how alone you felt during those days and my heart feels so blessed that you did not take that step into the cold water. You are a gift in my life and a gift to this world. I am filled with so much love for you and I honor the strength and courage that you have. Thank you my dear friend for sharing something so personal to you so openly and honestly with all of us here. Sending you lots of love and an enormous hug.

  7. Oh my goodness, what a startlingly beautiful story. Valerie, thank you for sharing. I'm so, so glad you found faith that day and live to spread beauty into this world.

    Sending love your way,

  8. i am sitting here with such profound gratitude that i know you, my soul sister. that we are connected. and were meant to connect. seriously you are a dolphin alongside my own ship. thank you for sharing this incredibly moving part of your story. i know i am stronger because of your courage to share. xo Jojo

  9. valerie this made my heart expand. I'm so happy to know you, and so filled with love for in this moment. xo

  10. there are simply no words deep enough so i will just say thank you all for holding me so gently.

  11. yes, you are better for it. and so are we. love you. :)


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