I would like to introduce myself and allow you into some of my story. For the sake of the length of this task I will try and keep this as brief as possible without losing important content that will connect you to who I am. I like many others have undergone some adversity in my life, after all, who truly escapes life without being unscathed by some form of pain? I was abandoned along with my 2 brothers at a young age of 6 by my father and my mother was left to raise us 3 children on her own. When I say abandoned I mean it in the full sense of the word as he never looked back. My mother immediately took on the roles of both mother and father. Let me quickly commend my mother for picking up the pieces of not only her broken heart and broken dreams, but picking up the hearts of her 3 children as well.  My mother selflessly made sure we had all we needed through life despite the suffering and hardships any single mother in her shoes had faced. My being abandoned as a young girl left me with this underlying sense of unworthiness that I carried throughout my life and even though I smiled and laughed a lot it was always there bubbling underneath the surface. These feelings of intense rejection led me to pursuing an extremely abusive and controlling relationship in my early 20’s where my initial attraction was based on the false sense of defining possession for love. For sure I thought if he could not handle losing me or anyone looking at me I must be valuable. Well, that was a path that led me to near death, severe beatings, and suffering. It did not take me long at all to realize how detrimental the situation I was in was and I knew I had to desperately escape. The birth of my 2 daughters at that time along with the inner light I found in these dark spaces were what pulled me out of those times. It was the absolute fact that I would never allow my girls to grow up and think that it had to hurt to be loved. So, I left, not easily I assure you! We do not have enough time or space in this section for me to describe the severity of my situation, I can only say, my 2 daughters and I were kidnapped, I was severely beaten, held at gunpoint by a sawed off shot gun and barely made it out alive. I know this is dark and I’m supposed to be uplifting however, I want to say that good things came from this and I hope to show you my spirit and the power we all have to rise again. After my finally escaping him I began to put my life together via finishing up studying for my G.E.D. and then by getting into College for Physical Therapy. During my trying years I found this secret space inside of myself, and looking back I was not aware of what to call it, however, today I call it the light inside of me, that ever burning flame, that could never be extinguished.  No matter how dark, how bleak, he could not put it out. I also used the gift of telling myself opposite words and concepts of the horrible things he told me and secretly I began to build myself up and build my way out by repeatedly telling myself and proclaiming who I was, despite my situation telling me who I was not. In these most trying times I learned and developed this recognition of the inner flame and fire that no matter what was said or done I refused to believe. With each infliction I chose its opposite, with each dark moment I looked to the light and you know what? I became unstoppable! I paved my way out, paved my way up, earned my degree, got married (well not once) Hey! I am not perfect! In fact, I love my journey after those times. I went on to have 2 more children, managed to be a Physical Therapist Assistant for 20 years now, I learned to sew, paint, finally married the love of my life and here I am pursuing my dream and my calling. Those dark times were not the only ones I have ever encountered as divorce and not having a home to live in happened to me in the years that followed however, nothing since those times of recognition of that power within had ever eliminated that core feeling I had discovered years ago and what it taught me was this; we have the ability to re-invent and re-create ourselves at any given moment. We can choose  to see the power and light within or we can look to the bleakness we encounter and believe it is all we are. What I learned was an incredible amount of insights into how to survive many of the daily struggles not just in life but in our own minds. I have so much to share with you all and my insights are in my book. Let me show you the opposite side to life and let me help you see what you have within. I will keep you posted along my publishing journey! No matter what path we may be on, we take with us our inner flame…..Amy O’Brien