FOUNDER: EMMA FOX
Updated: Apr 16, 2020
It is easy to ask others to share their struggles on social media with a character limit but much more difficult to do it myself. Isn't that always the case, though? How we regard others is always different than how we regard ourselves. Exercises like this remind me of why I started this organization.
I'll try to summarize.
I am the child of teenage parents - an unwanted child. I'm not sure I need to expand too much on that other than to say that the rest of my childhood followed that same inconvenient theme. For much of my life I have felt strapped down by the cruelties that were dealt to me. Being unloved, misunderstood, beaten down and kicked out led to the development of an aggressive, defensive, and hard exterior, but interestingly, this only presented itself whenever anyone tried to give to me. My genuine lack of self-worth, (which was actually demonstrated as an over-inflated sense of worth to others), produced an unhealthy lifestyle in many ways.
I've never lacked in giving to others, but I have struggled immensely to receive the very love and care I was owed as a child and throughout most of my life. So, like most people with this kind of internal trauma, I redirected my negative energy (or, perhaps we can call it what it really is; compartmentalizing) into what is now my career and LIFELINE practice. There are three key tenets to creating your LIFELINE: Surviving, hustling, and thriving.
Although I have been making steady progress in re-developing my coping mechanisms for many years, the most significant jump into recovery came when I met my partner and best friend, who had such a similar life experience - from shared childhood trauma to the both of us having beat morbid obesity as adults. I was challenged in a way I didn't expect. I was, for the first time in my life, pushed to embrace the weaknesses and mistakes I had made (and was still making).
So what does that really mean?
Well, at the risk of sounding like the West Coast liberal that I am, it means that growth and betterment really are bred by community. We move forward when we have hands to hold along the journey. We flourish in environments of kindness and unconditional love, and those things don't have to come from a spouse to be given or received - we can create it right here! We can commit to gifting acceptance and giving grace to others when they cannot give it to themselves because we love one another. Because being there for someone is not situational or conditional; it is an inherent trait found in all good leaders, and particularly those who empower others.
So, it is in love that the Empowered Community was built; a love so strong and so immense that it is shareable and can be widespread and touches others. We have created a safe place where we applaud the things you feel embarrassed about or ashamed of, because every instance of survival in your past has developed the very resilience you need to hustle your way through to what you're going to do next - THRIVE.