Conversations Magazine Special Issue

Conversations Magazine Special Issue
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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Author Donjala Smith-Thomas: Letting Go of the Pain through Words

by Cyrus Webb

It's not easy to move past events in our life that have been traumatic and left a scar of any kind, but with her book NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU SWEAT author Donjala Smith-Thomas shows that it can be done.

First she is able to honestly and openly share the mistakes she made in life and relationships, and then we are able to see how she has been able to move forward, not to allow the mistakes of the past to define her. This book is not just her testimony but also an opportunity for the reader to add their own journey to its pages. This forms a connection with Donjala and a way for others not feel alone in their experiences.

If you are looking for an example of what is possible and how you can move forward past your pain, then this inspiring book is for you.

I had a chance to talk with Donjala on Conversations LIVE the radio show about the book and her journey. Here is a part of our conversation.

Donjala, thanks for the time. What has it been like for you to see the way people have responded to the book? 
It has been an amazing experience just to see how many lives I have touched. You never know who's hurting and who's bottling up their feelings and emotions within.

I am glad I read the book. It really gives us some great motivation for ourselves but also insight into your own life and life lessons. Did you know going into writing the book knowing you were going to share so much about yourself? 
When I first started writing I didn't really think I would be so transparent and honest until I really got into it. Tears were rolling down my face. I knew that in order to help someone and inspire someone, you must be honest with yourself. It makes no sense to put out something that's not really true, because it won't help anyone. The more you can help and inspire someone you can also heal yourself.

One of the things that you're able to share is what you were able to see in your own home for over a decade when it came to the treatment of your mother. How did that impact you, Donjala? What was it like for you to reflect on that abuse and the impact it had on you?
Well, I must say this first. My book was not intended to bash my mother or my father. It was just the fact of what actually happened to me. Initially growing up, I never wanted to be like my mother, because I saw that she didn't love herself. And as I grew up, I ended up almost becoming like her and following the same footsteps. But I had to realize that I had to step back a minute and reflect on what my past was in order to not follow the same footsteps. I knew there was something missing. It was self love. You have to love yourself first, because if you truly don't love yourself, you're going to go out there and try to find love with someone else who might not love you.

How has that helped you to realize the importance of you and taking that time for yourself? 
When it comes to self love I struggled with it for years. It's very important to take time with yourself and not just doing things as far as work and hanging out. I mean really getting to know who you are. This could be through practicing meditation or writing. Just getting near a peaceful place to actually think about yourself and listen to yourself. Look in the mirror. Mirror talks are necessary and amazing. You have to really get to know yourself, because people are out here walking around and living life not knowing who they actually are. How can you love someone else when you don't love yourself? 

Last thing I want to talk with you about is forgiveness. How important has forgiveness been for you? 
Forgiveness is very important. It's not for the person that treated you wrong. It's for yourself. At the end of the day, if you're holding on to who's hurt you, they still have control over you. You have to let that hurt go. Let it go. Forgive, not saying forget it, but just forgive and release that negative energy and just to be a peacefully.

Stay connected with Donjala at www.thomasdiaries.com.

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