A Hat for Every Occasion

 In Weekly Forum Discussion, Writer in Residence

Every person wears many hats. The hats can change depending on the year or the day. Some hats you inherit, some you earn, other hats you may not want like my divorced woman hat.

We change into our various hats throughout the day. Some hats we dance around in, other hats we hide behind. Hats can sometimes overlap.

I love my mother, daughter, grandmother hats. I am very proud of my kindness and helpful hats.

The invisible hat I wear everyday is more like a quilt. Each square represents a piece of who I am. There are holes that are stitched, worn sections, patches, color wear and batting sticking out in places.

This quilt hat I wear is me, unique and colorful.

In the past when I put the hat on and looked in the mirror it was difficult. The only squares that jumped out at me were the negative ones. Now I look in the mirror and smile. I am a good person. I have made mistakes, but each one taught me something. I learned I am strong. All the terrible things that happened I made it through. I was okay. You will be okay too.

I never thought I would be able to say I would be okay. I know it now. Today I rock my hat. You can’t see the quilt sections. Those are only for me to see. Instead you will see a woman who lets love shine through. I want to help others out of the darkness. I have so much to give.

The Holiday season reminds us about giving. Try not to focus on the gifts. Giving love, kindness, laughter, bring joy to others. Let your light shine in the darkness. Smile often, a simple smile can brighten someone’s day. Notice people, look them in the eyes. Let them know there is still hope, love and kindness in the world.

I am strong, not in physical strength, but mental strength. I know everything I have endured. I look back now and I am quite proud of myself. I made it through and I am okay. I hope others see the strong woman I am. There were times I didn’t think I was going to make it out alive. I couldn’t see a future. I felt stuck in a dark well. I didn’t know which way to go. I was running in circles and couldn’t catch my breath. My body was weak and ready to collapse.

I found my inner light, because of the kindness of others. They gave me hope and reminded me how strong I am. I am strong. I got my second wind and I am on the move.

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Guardian Angels

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