Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wonder Woman Wednesday-Always Keep Fighting

I know, I know, Wonder Woman has been on vacation for a while, but I promise she's back and has gathered some stories that are going to make you laugh, make you cry, and call you to action.

This week was a peculiar week for me.  It seems that every time I tell my story, I peel back another layer of the onion.  Things that only sort of made sense suddenly are clear because I'm no longer looking at them through the film of the other layers.  Well, it happened again as I met with one of the founders of OAASIS this week to discuss speaking for them.  And then it happened again.

There is this amazing campaign going on right now called Always Keep Fighting.  It started when a very famous and very brave soul shared his struggles with depression openly for the world to watch.  He partnered up with another organization and decided to use his fame to spread awareness.

What stared out as awareness for suicidal thoughts, depression, and self harm suddenly spiraled into awareness for the broken.  I spend the better part of last night pouring through story after story of countless brave and beautiful souls who, many for the first time ever, were sharing snapshots of the struggles in their lives.  I read about a 9/11 first responder, soldiers, teenagers, mothers, grandmothers, people struggling with chronic and fatal illnesses, survivors, and so many struggling with self harm.  I knew I was going to share my story, because it's become my biggest tool in helping lead others through the darkness, but I never knew that I was going to share parts of my story that I had never shared before...and for the first time understand an event that happened in full HD clarity.

I sat in front of the computer screen, feeling I had just let loose a wounded little girl who was cowering in the corner, and all I wanted to do was tell her that it gets better.  That little girl was me.  There is still so much healing to be done.

If you don't know Jared Padalecki, he's worth learning about.  He's most famous for his tenure as Sam Winchester in the hit TV show Supernatural, where he plays the emotional and much more level headed...well, sometimes level headed brother of Dean Winchester.  For the last ten years, adoring fans worldwide have watched him live, die, come back, fight monsters, and battle his own demons.  When he stepped forward to talk about the depression he'd experienced, even in the midst of fame and fortune, he did it with intention to send a ripple of hope out into the world.  He has done just that.
I don't know how long it will take me to read all of the stories posted on his facebook page, but I'm willing to bet I'll spend the better part of forever attempting to do it.  To see the lives that have been changed, and the people who have come together to purchase the Always Keep Fighting shirt in an effort to raise money for organizations that help people who are broken has been truly amazing, and you can see how humbled Jared is when he talks about the depth of what is happening.

For all of his hard work, this week's Wonder Woman isn't a woman at all.  He's a man named Jared Padalecki, and he's started a social revolution.  If you haven't seen the Always Keep Fighting shirts around, you will soon.  So far there have been 2 campaigns, and photos of people in their shirts are coming in from all around the world.  Thank you Jared for lighting the match.  It's just a spark, but it's enough.

The first two shirt campaigns are over, but I can only imagine what they will come up with next so that we will always remember to stay strong, bond together, and always keep fighting.

If you or someone you know has a story of overcoming hardships in their lives and using their story to inspire and help others, please email to be considered for Wonder Woman Wednesday.

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