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Reader Success Story: If You Met Her 10 Years Ago, You Would’ve Thought She Was On a Sad and Painful Path of Despair

By: Brian Kim - September 14, 2009

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I LOVE hearing about another reader success story and every once in a while, one comes along that really knocks your socks off.

You feel your spine shiver as you read it, you feel the goose bumps forming on your arms, and you feel the story penetrating deep inside of you, activating a hidden source of energy that you knew was always there, but had trouble accessing until now.

This is one of those stories.

And as you read it, you will no doubt feel similar effects to the ones I described and you will come out of it a changed person - resolving to do more with your life and not settle for anything less.

I want to thank Mary for taking the time to write this and for sharing it with the world. I really appreciate it and I know it will help more people than she and I will ever realize.

Below is her story verbatim.


Hi Brian, I've been wanting to tell you my story for quite some time, and now that you're asking for it - here's a bit of an overview for you and your readers. I just turned 25 about a week ago and I have to tell you, I have come a very long way. Exactly half my life ago I was diagnosed with the debilitating and life altering disease Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA is a crippling auto-immune disorder that causes severe pain, inflammation and sometimes deformity in all of the joints of the body. One morning, after battling a flu woke up unable to move without excruciating pain and could hardly walk. I was 12. After years of doctors telling my family that I would only get worse, taking massive amounts of harmful and experimental medications, spending more time at physical therapy than school, having reconstruction surgeries, thinking self-defeating thoughts, dwindling down to 80 pounds body weight and almost completely losing the compassionate and loving light that had shone through me up until this point, I finally came to a place where I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to change everything. Starting with my attitude. I decided to start being happy now. If you do what you've always done, you are always going to be exactly where you're at. I simply decided that even if getting better for myself wasn't enough, I had to get better because of all the people out there who need me and because of all of the things I know I can do to help the world. Thank goodness I understood that I had to put myself first. So I started to talk to everybody about what I could do to get better. I just talked to everyone about what was going on in my world, and asked about what was going on in theirs. I tried everything. One thing led to another, which led to a person, which led to a book, which led to a place and all in all I fully submerged myself into a new world. A world of healing. Today I'm 5'8", 130 lbs. and nobody knows that anything ever compromised my health until I tell them. Today I have an incredible network of friends and professionals-become-friends who through many modalities of holistic health and self improvement have led me to where I am today. In a state of continuous health, growing stronger, happier, healthier, wiser, wealthier, more joyful and abundant every day. I am so wise and educated it is easy for me to separate what will help me from what will hurt me. And I have been able to "defeat the consumerist mentality". Although I was able to get into a healthy, controlled state with my RA by the time I reached 21 - I felt I missed out on a lot of "growing up" during the end of middle school and high school when I was very sick. I lacked the tools necessary when it came to standing up for myself, I lacked confidence and motivation and had a lot of anger from all I had been through. I decided to start incorporating motivational type stuff into my holistic program and in doing so found you. I moved away from therapists telling me I'm an insomniac or have OCD or ADD and taking anti-depressants, painkillers and sleeping pills and began meditating, researching and reading more. I exposed myself to things I never had before. I found you searching "how to have more confidence" and believe reading the article about "going out by yourself once in a while" inspired me to do so and contributed to my amazing comfort level I have now around any person or group of people. I meet "strangers" all the time who are connected to my big network in the strangest ways and end up helping with a lot of my "problems".... or I have solutions to theirs. Any and all of your articles on getting started with exercise or saving money when I've been slacking gets me back in the gym or back on track with my finances. I have read and love all of your articles and could write a novel about how they've all helped me, but I think it was a combination of everything and the timing when I read each one that really all added up to being a perfect support system for me. When I wasn't doing well, it inspired me to make change. When I was on top of my game, it only made my "offense" that much stronger. I did your exercise involved with "how to find what you love to do" and in tears realized that I don't have a passion for any one subject. I have a passion for LIFE. For people. For children. For you and me and everything in between. And what I ultimately want to do is heal others. The subject I'm "focusing on at hand" is BALANCED LIVING. I have had a multitude of jobs, experiences and volunteer opportunities to explore and fulfill that passion. My passion flows through in everything I am and everything I do - people always make comments to me about my genuine heart and how much I really help others. One thing led to another and now I am finishing school as a Nutritionist and working on my college education towards becoming a Marriage Family Therapist. I have been taking care of myself immensely, enjoy working out, enjoy dating, enjoy writing down my goals, enjoy being free of most pain and sadness, enjoy meeting new people and enjoy that you always send the perfect MIT according to whatever I'm going through in my life. My friends and coworkers now and in the past have always been so grateful for articles I have forwarded, printed out for them or posted on Facebook. I loved your email about how you can change the world by sharing what helped us in the first place. We feel like it is impossible to change the world. It is. On our own. But together, we can help each other make the changes we really want to see. You said recently "Remember the WHY and the HOW will come." I'm always taking steps unsure of where they will lead. I just do it. I loved your article talking about how if you're failing, it's okay - it's means you're trying! I have been criticized so much in the past for trying so many jobs, alternative approaches, relationships and hobbies. Criticized when I "failed" although I didn't feel wrong about it at all. If it was something that worked for me, something that helped me, then I incorporated it into my life. The truth prevails and what is true for one person may not be true for another. I was just enjoying life now that I could. Why do I spend my time, energy and resources on what I do? Because it makes me feel good. I want to help people. I want everyone to experience love, security and vitality. I want to help the light in others to shine. I want to give everyone the right to a life of bliss and purpose... just as every flower has a right to bloom. I want it all. And it all comes to me. I have no problem making enough money or meeting the people I need to know. I always want more. I want more for everyone. More food, more fun, more peace in the family, more health, more sleep, more peace of mind, more money, more jobs, more education, more art, more music, more connection between us all. I am content with all I have, but wanting more is what fuels my fire and gets me out in the world. Trying to figure out what people need. Our purpose here is to share our lives with one another. We all have something to add. And thank you Brian for all that you have added to mine. You are simple, honest and your suggestions are easy to apply. My advice to anyone is JUST GET STARTED. Just as you said before, life is full of twists and turns so it is impossible to know what is around the corner until you GO AROUND THE CORNER. I started one step at a time, and now I'm free of medication, going on 10 mile walks (I love your article about the power of walking) and 15 mile bike rides, lifting weights when long ago all I could lift was water bottles, having a great day without having to read "How to Have a Great Day" over again. I remember when I thought applying the information in that article sounded great, but ain't gonna happen! Everything will happen for you if you want it. If you would have met me 10 years ago you would have thought I was on a sad and painful path of despair. I WAS. Not anymore. My current goals are "Finishing what I start" and now I've began the process of writing an auto-biography/self-help/natural healing book - and I will definitely be thanking you in it! Maybe even starting a blog of my own! Thanks for all you do. And thank you for reading this through. I look forward to everything! For me and for you, and for each and every one of your readers too.

I would like to mention that I did have the incredible support of my entire family during this all. My mom was my source of strength when I had none and inspired me to give holistic health a chance in the first place. My dad taught me to never sweat the small stuff - and that even the hard stuff is small stuff. My brothers, my nieces, my best friends, everyone in my life… really did all that they could to make all my hopes and dreams more of a possibility. And I thank them for that. From the bottom of my heart, Mary M.


I want to thank Mary again for taking the time to write this and for taking the time to insert all the links to the articles she was referring to in her story as well. I really appreciate it!

So many great points and lessons to glean from her story that I truly don’t know where to start. The power of the human spirit – to overcome all the odds is truly evident in her story. I can only imagine what she had to go through and I’m sure it doesn’t even register anywhere close to what she actually went through.

Hitting rock bottom – needless to say it doesn’t feel good BUT it has a way of stripping away EVERYTHING to show you a very clear path to take and in that instant, in that situation, it’s as if the power of the human spirit to change from SHEER WILL is CONCENTRATED at that EXACT MOMENT for you to grab – and it’s up to you to decide whether or not you will use it.

Mary chose to use it and to go down the clear path in front of her. In her own words: “I finally came to a place where I knew exactly what I had to do.”

What was the first thing she did?

She changed her attitude – she decided to be happy NOW. A very powerful first move to make because it will change your perception of everything, giving you even more fuel to move forward.

And notice where her desire to get better came from. I won’t state it again here because I want you go back up and read it. Purpose outside yourself gives you that everlasting desire.

Her journey toward getting better – there are SO many insights to learn from. I tried to write a brief summary of some great points to remember but I gave up because there were just too many. I would highly recommend going back and reading it and just let it sink within you.

And the transformation she has now compared to where she was before – night and day.

Night and day.

If any of you know anybody who is experiencing some issues similar to what Mary was experiencing in the past, please email them this article (there is an Email to a Friend link at the end of this article you can use and feel free to use the various social bookmarking icons as well) as I’m sure this will be of great value to them.

As you read through her story, you can feel the energy slowly rising like a crescendo and by the end of it, you can feel the passion she has for LIFE, the energy in her words, the excitement she has for the future, and as you read it, you can’t help but feel some of that energy transfer deep within you.

My hope (and I’m sure hers as well) is that you will use it better yourself and in turn, help those around you and by doing so, help change the world.

I leave you with the words that I deliberately left out from the title of this article so as to save it for the end:

“Everything will happen for you if you want it. If you would have met me 10 years ago you would have thought I was on a sad and painful path of despair. I WAS. Not anymore.” – Mary M.

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