“You look great!” It’s always good to hear, but I heard this about five times yesterday, when I was at our county fair yesterday. I just couldn’t understand it…I’ve gained some of my weight back and my hair needs to be cut and re-bleached (my roots are showing). What looks great about me???

Then — then it dawned on me. I know what the difference is! I am not walking around like a zombie and I am truly happy! I think it shows on my face, in my health, and in how I carry myself.

Now, granted, I wasn’t happy that my baby grandson didn’t place in the “Tots and Tykes” contest and I was “meh” about all ten of my “open class” photography submissions only getting “participation” ribbons. Okay, I was truthfully a bit pissed about both. However, I had people that I hadn’t seen in a while stating how good I looked. It was lovely to hear and definitely improved my mood!

Having lived for almost five years without my abuser and without the violence that surrounded him, can do a body good! I’m still struggling financially, but NOT having the constant threat of imminent violence is such a confidence builder! To be loved by someone purely for whom you are, is an incredible feeling! To know your children are safe — well, it honestly makes me want to cry with joy!

Isn’t it amazing how a basic human right such as safety, can be taken away? How a person can only remain in survival mode, ready to react in “fight or flight” mode, which steals a person’s reason for living. Five years ago, I was SO there! I was constantly in a “waiting” status. Waiting to run? Waiting to be beaten? Waiting to die???

Today, and every day, I thank God for my delivery into safety and freedom! Today I choose happiness. Today, I live within joy!