Share Your Story: Patricia Saunders

patricia saundersWhen Patricia’s mother died, her world crumbled. He mother was the foundation of her family and was Patricia’s best friend. Her mother was initially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004, and her health began to deteriorate soon after.  Fortunately, Patricia had made a career change from a corporate environment to being self-employed. This allowed her the flexibility to care for her mother. However, her mother’s health took a dramatic turn for the worse in 2006. Patricia took her to the hospital when she suddenly began to complain of breathing difficulties. Patricia initially thought it was pneumonia, but never expected that her mother would never come home again. Two days after Christmas, having run a series of tests, the doctor explained to her that her mother was going to die.

The news devastated Patricia. From that point forward, she could not focus and had to close her business because she was unable to work at normal capacity. Having no income, she decided to sell her home rather than face foreclosure. Her life began to spin out of control. When she approached her family members for help, she found that they did not offer her refuge while she got back on her feet. Her sister suggested that she stay in a shelter. Patricia, who had once earned six figures, was now completely broke and homeless. She resorted to selling whatever she could so that she could eat.

The turning point that helped Patricia face this challenge came unexpectedly. She believes that people come into your life for a reason – and they did. When she listed her house for sale, she had befriended her real estate agent. The realtor gave her a book called “The Secret,” a book that Patricia had wanted to read but couldn’t afford it. After reading it she began to say daily affirmations and develop a positive manner. Since her mother had been an ordained minister, religion was very important to Patricia. While she was struggling in the midst of her personal turmoil, she kept attending church and praying.

One day she received a call from a recruiter who found her resume of on a website and asked if she would be interested in applying for a job that could utilize her travel background. She also went to her old apartment complex where she found a janitor who seemed like an angel to her. She fell into his arms sobbing. When he heard her story, he helped her get her deposit waived. At this point, Patricia felt that her faith had been tested and good began to prevail.

Patricia’s greatest fear during this time was what other people would think of her. She had been “successful” with her job, her house, and her clothes. Would people abandon her when this façade of success disappeared? She had already experienced the loss of friends when she was laid off of one job. This fear threatened to hold her back from asking for help. She didn’t want other people to know how destitute she had become. She felt a sense of shame that she had let this happen.

To move past her fear, Patricia began to write in a journal – and that journal became a book – a book of poetry that chronicled her emotions of grief, depression, the feeling of abandonment, the questioning of her faith – and more. As she wrote, she began to see some patterns that she needed to break. The process became therapeutic, and she started changing from the inside out. One of her poems addressed “letting go” toxic relationships. It was called, “Cleaning House.”

One lesson that she learned during this period was that she wasn’t alone and she needed to “let the sunshine in.” When her family and friends turned their backs on her, she actually became more spiritually grounded because she and God faced this together. She began to let go of her emotional baggage; she stopped caring about what other people thought of her and began to allow them to get to know and accept her as she really was.

Patricia’s life has changed dramatically. She restored everything that she had lost and is back to where she was financially before she lost her mother. Within three years she moved from her apartment and now owns a home. She self-published two books that address her journey: “Through the Fire” and “Loving Me.” Her faith has become stronger; she feels wiser; and she has learned to forgive.

When asked what the word “peace” means to her, she replied, “Peace means that it’s the God in me. I am at peace now with everything that happened because I am humble. I don’t need excess, and the best thing is to now give away the excess. I meditate daily; I have joy in my heart; and I am reaping my harvest. What I mean by harvest is all the things that I dreamed of are happening.”

When she feels the need to rejuvenate her mind, body and soul, she travels, writes poetry and surrounds herself with friends and family. She occasionally treats herself to a massage and seeks the company of positive people. Sometimes she prepares a meal using one of her mother’s recipes. This makes Patricia smile, and she feels her presence as she measures the ingredients.

Her favorite escape is anywhere near water. When she is at the beach, she walks, sits and gazes at the marvel that God has created. And most importantly, Patricia remembers that she loves herself first!!!!

To learn more about Patricia:

About Tina Hines

Tina C. Hines is the President and Life Transformation Specialist of For My Sister FriendsTM, a movement for women seeking support as they journey towards inner peace, wholeness and balance in their lives.

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