Moment to Shine

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PlayingIt was a speech that was crafted with love for a small little ragtag group of orphans and workers in northern Thailand, but it was a speech I wish she could have delivered to stadiums of people. To be honest, she never had the chance to give it to all of them, as time ran out and the evening never went as planned. But that night, when we returned to where we were staying, she shared it with those of us on Hero Holiday; and it has come to embody why we do what we do in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute).Abbie is beautiful, both inside and out. She has amazing and expressive brown eyes, and she has a deep sense of compassion that is waiting for an opportunity to shine. She has been on a long road to recovery from many painful issues, eating disorders, and personal struggles. Hero Holiday became a last chance that evolved into a new beginning for her. With much deliberation from her parents, her medical team, and our staff, we decided that Hero Holiday Thailand just might be the best thing for her. Her life had been a blur of depression, self-loathing, and anxiety, but something changed when she had the chance to work for something bigger than herself. In that country, on that trip, Abbie learned how to love other people, and to love herself in the process. It had come to our final night on that trip, and that night, when she gave us her speech, we all learned to appreciate her even more. “Many of you, I know, probably don’t know my name. But that’s OK. For all of my life, I thought I had it unfair. I have gone through many battles which would be too long and boring to share with you. However, what I’m starting to notice is that these battles, this unfairness, is what has led me to Hero Holiday, to Thailand, to all of you. “Some days I’d like to give up because my purpose, my reason for being human, has been lost and unknown to me. I kept thinking, ‘Why was I placed here or given these problems, while others can glide through life having no clue to what is happening around them or thinking only about themselves.’ I’m just the same as them. I came to Thailand to give myself a taste of what’s going over my head and it has been an eye-opener in which I will never, or shall never, want to forget. Cole and the KidsEven though we don’t share the same language, I want you all to know that it doesn’t mean less privilege or rights or that you are not special. You are all unique and inspiring people and I will tell you now that I’ll be talking non-stop about this community, this loving home, for days and days and days. Whatever story has brought you here is here to show you how wonderful you are. We are all a box of crayons. We are made, coloured and drawn differently but we are all crayons. And we are all in this together. You are never alone. This community is built by the strong love you all have for each other. And, although I came here for you, you have given me your passion for life, your courage, and your strength to keep fighting with a voice that I want to be a part of and support. I don’t care that you forget my name ( you probably don’t know my name now) or that my face will be erased from your memories. The only thing I want you to remember is that you will be constantly thought of and loved by each and every one of us at Hero Holiday.SkippingOnce your life has been touched by injustice, you are never the same. Once your heart has been captured, there is no turning back. When Abbie’s feet stepped back on Canadian soil two weeks later, they were the feet of a life that had been affected by change. She made a vow to let go of all that she had been harbouring in her heart and mind, all the self-pity and all the reckless choices, and she determined that she will never look back. She has stayed true to her word. The road to recovery may seem long, but with hope, purpose, and support it is navigable. Today, Abbie’s life is proof that our life is so much fuller when we decide to empty it of being so consumed with ourselves.This is why we do what we do; every life that is changed is a life that can influence others to the same.”There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first; when you learn to live for others, they will live for you.”~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 26th, 2009