We are excited to celebrate our YANAsister, Fatimha Love. Mother, Teacher, Survivor, Conquerer, Personal Growth Coach, Author, Entrepreneur, and Motivator. To check out Fatimha's beautiful and heartwarming first book, click here.
I don't know why I find this question so strange. I guess it's because I'm simply a girl born in Harlem, raised by wolves, (yes I said that) who escaped the darkness, and made it into the light. In other words I'm just like the rest of you, just uniquely me.
However, if you ask me what championship belts I hold, I'll boldly answer: Fatimha Love - wife, mother, teacher, survivor, conquerer, Personal Growth Coach, author, entrepreneur, and motivator. My accomplishments are everything. They show that I made it through the storms in my life. They reveal where I've been and where I'm going. They prove that I can do all things through He who strengthens me.
What has been your greatest challenge?
A great deal of my life has been challenging. From being physically and sexually abused as a child, and self abused as a teen, to domestic violence as an adult, not much came easy for me; but I'm a fighter. Through all my despair, my greatest challenge was learning to love and forgive myself, and forgiving those who hurt me. Love of self was an unknown action to me. It was a foreign language that I never fathomed I would understand.
When I looked in the mirror I used to see the ugly duckling everyone claimed me to be. I accepted my fate. I would never be beautiful. Forgiveness was once an accomplishment so far from my reach I almost destroyed myself with anger, thoughts of revenge, and the desire to end it all. Once I learned to forgive, that ugly duckling actually turned into an unforgettable beauty. I'm not simply talking about looks but so much more than that. The way I see the world, life, and people. My vision became clear and I found a strength I never realized I had.
What people don't realize is that the anger, the desire for revenge, and unforgiveness holds us back. It festers into self destructive behaviors that eventually take us down the wrong roads of life. Thus, making life that much harder to enjoy and appreciate. When we are blinded by self defeat and anger we can't see life as it is supposed to be, filled with ups, downs, and victory.
What has been your greatest joy?
My greatest joy has been my testimony. Looking back at my life and being able to say. "I made it." I don't know if anyone can understand how good it feels, how liberating it is to know that after all my life's struggles, the abuse, the mistreatment, neglect, etc., I'm still standing, and better than ever. And because I made it, I have been blessed to bear two beautiful children, marry my high school sweetheart, and truly get to know and feel the love of God.
At one time in my life I had no clue how to love myself. But now I get to spread joy, inspiration, and love to my family, friends, and even people I don't know. Many have been through the storms of life but haven't survived. Had I not made it I could have ended up in the grave, unknown, and forgotten. Instead I'm able to help someone even when I'm going through my own struggles. I know desire and find joy in helping others overcome. So glad I made it, and grateful, He saw the best in me.
What would you say to inspire someone else?
Try your best to take all your ups and downs in stride. I'll be the first to say it's not an easy task but the more life throws at me the more I learn just how strong I am. More importantly than that, I learn just how much God has got me. The key is to be real, be honest with what you are going through, and how you are feeling. Be true to your thoughts and emotions. Recognize when you are feeling like too much is enough. When you are true to yourself, you are more open to sharing those feelings with someone who can help. You don't have to do it all by yourself. Each of us are designed to be victorious. You just have to be willing to do the work. Doing the work might mean fighting in the spiritual realm. Having it out with God. Questioning where He is or simply praying without ceasing.
The one thing you shouldn't do is try to hide from God. God knows what you are thinking even before your thoughts are formulated. The good thing about God is he is okay with you being transparent with him. Remember He knows the very count of hair on your head. Doing the work can also mean that you have to let it go. Let go of the hurt and anger caused by others, or simply forgiving yourself.