Life isn’t always fair. Some people are given tougher challenges to face in life. This was the hard reality I came across this weekend at The Katie Piper Foundation weekend retreat when I spoke to them about their identity.
It was such a pleasure running a workshop on ‘reclaiming your identity and rebuilding your confidence’. I was privileged to meet an incredibly welcoming group of people. A vibrant community that boosted one another with support, friendship and a commitment to a better future. The consequences of living with burns and scarring is very tough but with the support of the KP Foundation these men and women find ways to live life again to the fullest. Its not just the emotional support they benefit from but also the help they receive to feel more confident about their appearance. Helping them feel more empowered to deal with the change that has occurred in their lives.
It was such an eye opening experience that I thought I would share the key things I learnt that I believe can benefit us all:
Find YOUR thing that gives you confidence
What was very noticeable was the power that came from finding the thing that would make the biggest difference to your confidence and really focussing in on that. Whether that is having your eyebrows done, stretching every day, reaching out to get support, getting your hair done, investing in a beautiful moisturiser and moisturising daily, starting a new hobby, organising a get together with friends. Something that has been filling you with a feeling of ‘I need to sort this out’. Go get it sorted but make sure you first find out who can help you to do it, you are not alone.
People help people, don’t isolate.
Whether you have been through trauma or you are struggling with daily life, it is incredibly normal to feel isolated, stuck in your head and believing that you have to face it all by yourself. I learnt this weekend that if you reach out and ask for help, there is help there. You may have to do a little hunting but you will find what you are looking for, don’t be alone in your struggles.
Identity is intrinsic to us all
I had some preconceived ideas that going in to the workshop I’d be offering advice on what fabrics to wear against burnt or scars or outfitting ideas to cover up scars. In fact what became clear was that the challenges those facing in the room mainly came from the natural loss of identity through growing older. This feeling was heightened for many because of the scarring on their bodies but that feeling of ‘i don’t know who I am’ was the same as the many women I work with. Being disconnected to your identity can make you feel very lost and despondent of the future and rediscovering who you are, empowering.
Everyone can reclaim the future
The stories that I heard at the weekend, the heartfelt trials and tribulations that were shared with me proved that out of life; whether one that has had to deal with tragedy or just daily life challenges we all have the capability to reclaim our future. We may not believe it in the moment but human history tells us otherwise. We are more resilient than we realise, more powerful than we ever thought. It takes dedication and a commitment to knowing that a better future exists and going and seeking it out.
Start today, start learning about yourself, get curious, seek out that sense of belonging and know you are not alone in this.
If you have been affected by anything in this article then do get in contact with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For support with burns or scarring then please visit The Katie Piper Foundation HERE.