Beauty blogger Shari Poquiz, who goes by the handle The Misty Mom on social media, began her #YouGotThis: Rewrite Your Story talk by sharing that she was a Belle de Jour Power Planner user in college. Back then, her goal was to land a corporate job after graduation and climb the corporate ladder. She even told herself she wouldn’t get married, have kids, and settle down until she had fulfilled her career ambitions, possibly in her forties. This was what she had written down in her planner.
Instead, Shari got pregnant and was married at 23. At the time, she and her now ex-husband “were caught in the trappings of love,” Shari said. “We told ourselves and our families that we were in love and we would fight for it.”
What Shari shared during her #YouGotThis talk with courage and vulnerability was her journey of standing up for herself in her unhappy, unsalvageable marriage. She talked about her isolation and shame, the disparaging comments that people told her, and one fateful night that made her decide to get her day in court.
Sometime after her annulment was granted, Shari shared her story on her social media. “I had to think, how will I share this?” she said. “Why would I? Who would need to know?” What sealed her decision was a quote that had stayed with her: “Your story could be the key that unlocks someone else’s prison.”
Shari then shared what she called “a very cheesy acronym” for how she rewrote her story. Here’s what POWER means to her:
“I’m not the most devoted Catholic but I firmly believe in the grace and goodness of God, in the power of prayer,” said Shari. “How I was able to forgive, let go of my resentment, completely accept [the situation] to the point where I would choose to go through it all again and not change a thing—it’s truly all by the grace of God.”
Overcome your fears by acknowledging them.
“There was a time when I thought I had accepted things but really, deep down I was just afraid,” she said. “I just wasn’t aware of it because I didn’t write it down. I had to really enumerate and acknowledge what I was fearful of because it’s easy to remain powerless, weak, and scared if you don’t even know what it is you’re afraid of.”
Shari listed some of the fears she faced, including a fear of not being able to provide for her kids and worries about whether they could survive on their own. She also had a fear of feeling like “a failure for going through a failed marriage or an annulment.” She said, “I countered that by telling myself, ‘Girl, you’re crazy if you let your worth be defined by a failed marriage.’ That does not define who I am. That is just a chapter in my life and I have many more chapters I have yet to write.”
Work on yourself one day at a time.
“True healing takes time,” said Shari. “As much as you want to say you’re over it, time is the best medicine for some of the pains in our life. Sometimes we are not ready to let go of what we’re feeling. It’s okay, so be it. You don’t have to change how you feel, you just have to be honest with yourself about it. Feel your emotions, process what you went through, but don’t let them bury you and keep you there.”
Embrace the chaos.
This is Shari’s answer whenever she’s asked about how she juggles everything on her plate, including the hardships and struggles. “If taking it one day at a time doesn’t help, I just embrace it!” she said. For instance, she lets the house be messy if she doesn’t have time to clean or she lets herself order a food delivery if she doesn’t have time to cook. If her kids are running amok, she has deadlines, and things are going haywire, she just embraces the glorious mess. She’ll tell herself, “I’ve been to hell and back, this is no match for me. I’ll just let this happen for now because it will pass.”
Reframe and reclaim.
“Most of us can be trapped in the emotions and the stories we tell ourselves of what happened to us,” Shari said, adding that the facts can be very different from the story we have in our minds. “We begin to believe the words we tell ourselves and those words are often anchored on the insecurities we have, the fears, the trauma, sometimes we even take it one step further and assimilate these stories as our core truth. We confuse what happened to us with who we are.”
What that happens, Shari said, “Remember that the facts are there but actively try to remove the emotion and make an effort to assume the best possible intention.” For her, this means accepting that “the fact remains that it happened but you are not attaching your story or your worth to that situation.”
Shari ended her talk with a quote from Brené Brown: ‘When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending—to which she added, “which can be a beautiful new beginning.”
Our interview with Shari, titled “Take Back Your Power: Standing up for Yourself and Breaking Free from the Need to Conform,” was both moving and empowering—one that struck many of the people who attended the #YouGotThis summit. You can watch the full video here. (You can start at the 40:30 mark.)