When I was a child, I remember getting together with my extended family most weekends. My beloved grandmother was the pillar of our family and she held us all (around 80 of us) close to her warm heart. Life seemed so easy and sharing our little problems with family, who loved and cared for us unconditionally, was all I knew. We never went through a problem alone.
As we all grew, we began to keep things to ourselves and sharing was not always easy. Our friends became our family and we shared our secrets and worries with them. There was always someone to hold your hand through the pain.
I have been fortunate to have had great friends through every stage of my life. I never felt alone. As a child, small troubles seemed so big, but as an adult who has experienced heartache, I have learnt that life can throw loads of curve balls at the same time, and we just have to be strong and deal with them.
In 2004 I lost my uncle, grandmother and father all within six weeks of each other. I fell pregnant five months after my father passed away, and I believe I never really healed the loss. Soon after birth, my son was diagnosed with liver disease and life just got harder and harder.
Friends were great, but they couldn't help on something they didn't fully understand. I relied on my husband and learnt to cope with my grief. I dealt with this sadness by suppressing it deep down in my heart.
As years went on, friends and family often saw me as strong as I am always "fighting" to keep my son healthy and alive. I think any parent in my position would do the same thing.
Through all the ups and downs, I still managed to set up a business, write a book, set up a charity support group for liver families and moved from UK to USA with my little family. Why would anyone (including myself) think I couldn't cope? With this outwardly strength, friends and family thought I could handle it all, and felt their help was not needed.
This last week opened up the wounds I have been holding to for years. I must have kept most of it deep down! I just spent a week on a retreat with a group of warmhearted women all looking to excel in their business and personal life. These powerful, successful women inspired me in so many ways, and I felt I was ready for the the next stage in my own life. As Dalai Lama said "The world will be saved by the western woman." I truly believe I am part of this group.
As the week went on, I soon learnt that our souls and hearts need connection and support. The feeling of my childhood came back to me; my safe place. I also recalled all the pain and the hardship I have been through since my father passed away.
I needed to heal this pain, and never in a million years would I have thought that a group of strangers would be the ones who helped me. I acknowledged my pain and my heartache. I was held in a loving, supportive circle of beautiful sisters who gave me the space, love and the kindness I needed.
These women have become my sisters and I can not imagine life without them. Through their support I can finally let go of the hurt I have been carrying around for many years.
I have a choice in who I share my heart with and for the first time ever, I don't feel guilty for walking away from things and people that do not serve me anymore.
I am blessed to be surrounded by loving sisters, near and far. My old friends and now my new friends will celebrate all my wins and hold me close when I feel sad. This is the best gift anyone could give someone. Sisterhood is so powerful and I have the best sisters ever!
On 21st March, I will be celebrating Global Sisterhood Day. The feeling of unconditional love, I experienced from my grandmother, has come back ten fold! For me my recent encounter with sisterhood has given me my old spark back!
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place