Once again, I had the privilege to attend the annual Women's Voices Project, a collaboration between Cleveland Public Theater and Elyria YWCA Campus Project. This event is a presentation of creative writings and poetry written by the participants who are recovering from addition, domestic violence and other adversities.
This year's event featured works by Satedra Beasley, Charmaine M. Castaneda, Clancy, K. Kitchen, Nova, Brandy J. Logan, Melody R., Tiffany R., Pam S. and Prudence D. Wallace. The readings were poignant, emotional, heart breaking, and moving. They were sprinkled with humor and sarcasm, but mostly they were filled with honest insight into the cruel things that humans do to one another under the guise of love.
This was the fourth performance of the Women's Voices Project that I had the pleasure of attending. Some of the faces have changed, but the messages have remained the same. These women have been to the darkest depths imaginable. They've chosen drugs over children, they've been beaten to the brink of death, and some of them have tried to take their own lives. Their stories vary, but their results are the same; they have found the courage to change the direction of their lives and climb out of their dark abysses.
Through recovery and therapy, they have learned a new way to live. Through creativity, they have learned to express the grief, the horror, and the pain of their experiences. Through writings in diaries and journals, they have faced themselves with honesty and they have learned that it is indeed possible to triumph over adversity and embrace hope for a brighter future. And perhaps most courageously, they have shared their journey with the world.
Coming face to face with oneself is difficult to do under the best of circumstances. I think most of us learn to bury the unpleasant events in our lives and carry that excess baggage by way of pain, grief and self loathing. I hope that you'll consider taking the steps to empty your excess baggage onto the pages of your journal. Demons only have as much power as you give them. Life is indeed short, dear friends. "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"