WIANLTransition can be difficult, and the journey to self sufficiency is not an easy one to travel. Making the decision to leave an abusive situation is often times emotionally challenging. It is only the beginning. The mental, physical, spiritual, financial and educational barriers can prove to be overwhelming without the proper support and guidance. Helplessness, fear, shame, anxiety and uncertainty are common feelings. Compound with potentially limited education and a lack of substantial resources, the transition can be overwhelming.

If you’ve ever spent any time talking with a battered man or woman, you cannot help but feel their hurt and pain. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with a lot of men and women to talk to them about everything from teen issues, HIV/AIDS to homelessness. The common thread was that much of what I heard dealt with some sort of domestic violence. I have laughed and cried with them, shared their triumphs and their trials and know first hand what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Unless you’ve been in this situation, it is not fair to pass judgments on why a person stays with their abuser or how they ended up homeless. What is key is to take the knowledge of that person’s hurt and show them how to channel it into something powerful and meaningful.

Walking Into A New Life is the nonprofit organization for which I serve as Executive Director. It is just what the name says-walking. The road to a victorious recovery takes time, patience and will. You will not and should not expect to simply just ‘get over it’. It is perfectly alright to take your time, monitor your steps and measure your level of progress.

Education plays a vital role in the survival process. Education of life is just as important as any formal setting of higher learning. The key to holistic wellness hinges on the level of education you receive to assist with recognizing your talents, skills and abilities. Once the various levels of education have been addressed, your level of self esteem is increased and you can begin to take charge of your life. I look forward to spending more time with men and women who want and need hope and encouragement to take that first step, discover and/or enhance their talents, own and maintain their own businesses and ready to live full, productive lives.