Maysha Dawson is beginning our series on Celebrating Strong Women. I asked Maysha to contribute because she is such an inspiration of balancing family and outside interests. She and her husband, Thomas live in southern California with their one-year-old daughter. Maysha earned Teacher of the Year and joined the Mojave Chamber of Commerce all in her first year of motherhood. She just started blogging at http://www.myadventure-book.com.
I grew up as the 4th of 6 siblings. Often shadowed my older siblings’ successes and receiving less attention due the demands of younger siblings, I was the typical middle child. I sought attention from outside the family. My older sister and I had a nontraditional sister relationship. We rarely disagreed; rather we were close and shared all of our adventures. Our relationship helped me endure many of obstacles I have faced.
I have failed in many aspects of life. I have failed at relationships, failed at pursuing my dream career as a physician, failed in finances. While these failures defined who I was temporarily, they gave me the courage to try something new. I suppose I’ve always had the optimistic view that great things await me. I knew that if I was persistent, I would eventually land a well-paying job, the “white picket fence house” and a wonderful small family.
Entering adulthood, I realized that my choices and attitude define who I am – not my successes and failures. I have learned what it means to be a strong person and the importance of making the world a better place. A strong person is able to maintain a positive attitude even when faced with challenges. Currently, I am going through a transition at work. I have been removed from my current position and asked to serve at a different location. Although this transition will cause unnecessary challenges, holding resentment will negatively affect not only my work performance, but the attitude of other employee and students.
When I was young girl, I was victim of sexual abuse. Learning to forgive (or at least put it behind me) allowed me to look ahead and be optimistic about the future I have in store for me. I no longer consider myself a victim because I was able to cope effectively. Currently, I teach high school students and they often tell me that I have the dream life. One girl said that I should start a blog because others would enjoy reading my stories. My students say that I have put in the hard work to become educated and get to enjoy my life, and this is all true. I have a loving husband, a beautiful baby girl, and a job that I love (most days 🙂). I have manageable debt and can live within my means. I have more happy experiences than I do sad ones. How did I get here? I practice forgiving the people that have hurt me and forgive myself for hurting others.
One of the hardest struggles that I have faced has been forgiving myself for the harm that I have done to others. I do not think that there is deeper pain than seeing loved ones hurt because of the choices I made. How can I be happy when I’m the cause of their suffering? Repentance- reviewing one’s actions and then committing to a personal change.