I met an amazing woman recently. She would probably object to being labeled as such. However, what I am drawn to about her is her utter level of honesty - even in group settings, even one-on-one among friends. She is who she is, and she owns her past as just that - her past. She is a survivor of many things, including rape and drugs. Though this helped to create who she is, she is not defined by it. She shares in a manner of unabashed openness. The same things that some may be put off by or uncomfortable with, actually draws me in.
My past is not like hers, but her response to what is and what was is something that I am continually growing in. I reveal me (my ups and downs) and I trust - but still cautiously. Her choice to live despite, to thrive despite, to love despite is an encouragement to me - and also a challenge I choose to take on.