I have a confession to make – I’m no ordinary girl.
My childhood was far from ordinary too. It was almost unfathomable yet it was very much real. I grew up in a Fundamentalist, Polygamist, Patriarchal, Doomsday Cult. Think Puritanism on steroids backed by Old Testament justification and drenched in end-of -the-world doom and gloom then top it off with severe bullying and sexual assault.
Yikes, it’s no wonder I wanted out! The trappings of polygamy and the fear-based dogma messed with my self-esteem and led to feelings of unworthiness and suffering in silence, to the point where I could no longer see the value of life. I finally made the choice between life and death by running away from home, before my dad could pawn me off onto one of his friends.
That childhood upbringing eventually brought me home to my own truth.
My experiences with growing up in a cult, combined with lack of education, and the rawness of assault, left me feeling broken. Disbelieving everything I had once been taught to believe about who I was predestined to be took time, lots of self-help books and plenty of introspecting. Through sheer tenacity, a lot of mistakes, and a few mentors along the way. I eventually created a life that many people only dream of.
It was a life beyond my childhood imagination, and very much real. I had it all, that is, everything that should have made me happy. But something still wasn’t quite right.
Then the 2008 economic crash threw me into my mid-life holy bleep – what I now lovingly call my midlife rebirth. It broke down everything I thought I knew and launched my transformation into who I’m really here to be. It brought up all the ugliness from my childhood and forced me to begin processing my most painful stories.
And yes, through processing my pain stories I have become happier than I’ve ever been, and found power within me that I never even knew was possible.
In my processing my story I discovered my greater purpose. My purpose is to inspire others who have been downtrodden to own the power of their story, speak their truth in a better way, and take a leadership role wherever and whenever they can.
One thing I’ve discovered over the years is that those who are here to make a big impact in the world, also have a big, painful, extraordinary stories to work through and teach from. Owning that, and being that, takes courage. If we are to create a better world, one that works for the greatest good and not just the lucky few, takes courage, tenacity and fortitude.
Victoria Reynolds is an internationally known Inspirational Author, Award-Winning Speaker, Personal Business Consultant and Entertainment Project Manager. She has appeared as an expert on Investigation Discovery, NBC News, Fox TV, The Shriver Report and MORE Magazine as well as dozens of media appearances.
She has spoken on stages around the world and won numerous awards for her presentations. Victoria’s credentials include Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest award offered through the Toastmasters International Leadership and Communication Program, along with certification in Spiritual Psychology. She was named National Association of Professional Women VIP Woman of the Year and is a member of the Continental Who’s Who.
Victoria is a human rights advocate with a passion for helping women and people of diversity have their voices heard. She insists that her greatest achievement to date is learning how to love all of life despite its many imperfections. She lives and plays in beautiful Redondo Beach, California, with her husband, two children and three cats.