You could have heard a pin drop as 650 people listened to Elizabeth Smart tell her story.  You can read her story in her book, My Story.

After hearing her story, you begin to wonder how was she able to transform herself from a victim to a dynamic speaker who works passionately to help prevent crimes against children.  She says that one of the powerful reasons she was able to overcome her horrific nine months, was the advice her mother gave her the first morning after her rescue:

Elizabeth’s mother said, “Before it gets too crazy, I need to tell you something.  What this man has done is terrible.  There aren’t any words that are strong enough to describe how wicked and evil he is!  He has taken nine months of your life that you will never get back.  But the best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy . . . to move forward with your life.  You be happy, Elizabeth.  If you go and feel sorry for yourself, or if you dwell on what has happened, if you hold on to your pain, that is allowing him to steal more of your life away.  So don’t you do that.  Don’t you let him!   You keep every second for yourself.”

Perhaps some of you needed to hear Elizabeth’s mother advice:  “If you feel sorry for yourself, or if you hold on to your pain, you are allowing someone or something to steal your life and your chance of happiness.  So please don’t do that!”

Sherri Maat

Sherri Maat

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