The strength of a woman can be found within her soul. In her place of “knowingness” – in her God connection- can be found an endless stream of strength, rejuvenation and fortitude. She then shares her strengths with her world – family, friends, co-workers, and the like. Often she becomes weakened when her “supporters” drain this strength out of her, leaving her defenseless and prone to accidents and illnesses. All women are born with this inner strength.
Some woman don’t know it – some woman don’t want it – some woman don’t choose to utilize its full potential.
I was born with this strength. At first I didn’t use the tools I was born with because I was taught by my family to become a victim. Of what was I a victim of? In my case it was a diagnosis. At the age of six, I was diagnosed with petit mal temporal lobe epilepsy. I can hear people saying, “Well that’s not so bad.” You are correct. It isn’t that bad. Yet in 1958 and to my family it was devastating! Their perfect little girl wasn’t perfect any longer.
My family always cared what our family “looked” like to outsiders rather than caring about the peace and nurturing that should have been taking place within the family unit. As long as I made A’s or B’s, excelled in conduct and didn’t embarrass my family – I was acceptable.
I tried to do all of these things. I wasn’t always successful. I remember a time when I was trying a new medication for my type of epilepsy. I broke out in a rash that looked like measles. My mother made me stay home from school while she told everyone I was sick with the measles. To this day, I don’t know if I ever had the measles?
As I went through high school and college many mistakes would come my way. A strength within me always allowed me to learn from my mistakes rather than become a victim as I had done when I was a child. It was not easy and lessons in life that are worthwhile are never easy to learn.
Then I was married. You would think by this time all of my lessons were learned. No, it was not to be! The marriage lasted 13 years and produced one child, a daughter. By the end, I believe we were both so ingrained with the turmoil that had followed us through our childhood years – we could not see the good we had together. It didn’t matter because the marriage just died a quiet death.
Now I moved with my daughter to the town I grew up in – Atlanta, Georgia. I always loved living in Atlanta. There is always so much to do, fun people to be with, great schools for my daughter to attend and a good place for me to find a new teaching job. Also a great place for me to find a new man because we all know that we are not complete without that significant other in our lives! Isn’t that what we are always taught? It must be true – right – no not right – and at this point in my life it was what I believed.
I looked and looked and looked. I didn’t find anyone because you can’t find anyone unless you first find yourself. I didn’t know myself yet. I had no idea what I was looking for!
God decided to assist me. I went to “the singles” place in Atlanta, at that time it was a dance place called Rupert’s. I went by myself because I just wanted to observe the people. I remember I sat on a tall stool off to the side just watching the other people buying drinks for each other dancing with each other laughing and talking. Then towards the end of the evening a tall handsome man came over to me. He quietly walked up and said, “I just want you to know you’re the most beautiful woman here.” Then he turned around found his friends and left. He didn’t ask for my number. He didn’t even ask for my name. He just left. I could not believe what had just happened and for some reason I was never able to forget it.
Oh well he was gone and my life went on with more lessons to learn. Soon thereafter I began having trouble with my balance. I also experienced a very severe pain in my left eye. The diagnosis was Multiple Sclerosis! I took some prednisone and a sol -u-medrol treatment after which I felt fine. I was already a speaker teaching awareness so I knew I could either approach this diagnosis with love or fear. If I approached it with fear then a fear-based negative MS picture would happen in my life. If I approached the MS with love – not that anyone would love having MS in their life because it is a very difficult diagnosis – then a positive “loving” MS picture would happen in my life.
I knew there was something I had to learn from having MS in my life. As I was sitting in my library at home one day I asked my daughter what she thought I had to learn from the multiple sclerosis. She said, “I know very well what you have to learn – You take care of everybody else but yourself!” Wow, Lightning bolt from heaven! She was very right! To this day, if I do and do and do for everybody else without pacing myself or taking “me – Mary Ellen” time – my MS is there in a moment to remind me to slow down.
The strength within me – my God connection – showed me this wisdom. I also read everything I could about MS. Everything positive that is – in 1986 when I was diagnosed it was not easy to find positive material on MS. Today positive material about multiple sclerosis is everywhere because today people know that you may be diagnosed with MS (or anything else) and you can still live a good life. It can make you the strong person of God that you were always meant to become.
Through these tribulations I finally learned who Mary Ellen is – I finally knew the person I wanted to attract into my life. It had only taken me ten years yet I was at peace with my family and more importantly myself.
A friend of mine set me up on a blind date. I’m not much for blind dates but we spoke on the phone and he seemed nice so we decided to meet for coffee. He walked into the coffee shop and we instantly knew that we had met before – but where? We started dating and haven’t been apart since! One day while driving through Atlanta I told him my Rupert’s story. The one I never forgot. All of a sudden he put on the brakes and stopped the car. “That was me,” he said, “That was me!” Now we knew where we had seen each other before, on that fateful night over ten years earlier!
We were already in love with each other. Even after I told him about my epilepsy and MS, he said he loved me! It did not matter. If I was all right with my diagnosis’s then he was as well. We have been married 13 years and we are still very much in love with each other.
My point in writing this article is to show you how you can utilize your strength. The strength of a woman is in her mind, body and soul connection. Whatever we think about as woman we can achieve. Whenever we view our bodies in a beautiful light, we can then shape them into this perception through the use of exercise and a healthy life style. In your quiet time with God, your soul assists you by renewing your strength. You need some quiet time daily. Do not allow anyone to weaken you. Take “ME” time, time for yourself every day.
Utilize your mind, body, and soul connections to assist your daily perceptions and misperceptions in your life. This will give you the strength to make the choices needed to achieve the peace you deserve.
Sincerely with Love,
Mary Ellen Ciganovich
Author of Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire
For more information on Mary Ellen Ciganovich, visit her resource page in the Whole Woman Library.