I Forgot Myself

It’s 2007. I feel insignificant like God has forgotten me.

I’m 23, depressed, obese, bankrupt, and completely lost after eBay shut down my business when I couldn’t ship all my orders in time. I crumble completely. I’ve ruined another thing.

For two weeks, I stay in bed, drowning in negative emotions…

I’ve worked SO HARD, and yet I’m a failure.

I finally call my husband and say: “I don’t want to live.”

Kristen Butler Image

This was my rock bottom.

I grew up poor in Pennsylvania. Mom was on welfare, raising four children, so I often stayed with my grandparents. Grandma was loving, calm, and spiritually connected. She loved reading me bible verses and personal development quotes, building my self-worth.

Then school started.

Peers ridiculed the stains and holes adorning my 
second-hand clothes… and for not being smart, skinny, or popular enough.

At lunch, the cafeteria lady announced loud enough for classmates to hear: “Your lunch is free.”

One day, I told my third-grade teacher, “I’m going to write a book one day.” I’ll never forget her derisive look and 
dismissive laugh.

“Kristen, you’re a poor reader and writer. You’ll never write a book.”

Gradually, everyone’s opinions undermined my self-belief.

But I had dreams and a strategy…

My Papa (Grandfather) preached, “You must step outside of your comfort zone to be successful.”

Papa was the most successful person I knew… he had Corvettes, a nice home, and beautiful things. (Top salesman for a steel company and a former Marine Colonel of 30 years).

My young impressionable mind absorbed Papa’s message as “Success is only achieved through discomfort, pain and sacrifice.”

So I mimicked Papa… In high school, I woke at 5 a.m. and obsessed over my goals. I also dieted, exercised twice daily, and overloaded my schedule. I hated how I felt, but that’s what I thought success took – pain, sacrifice, and discomfort.

Kristen Butler Background Image
Kristen Butler Image

My efforts yielded results.

My weight dropped. Classmates befriended me. 
The teachers liked me more. Then, in college, I made the 
dean’s list.

But burnout revealed itself in hormone imbalances and obesity. And most devastating, panic attacks forced me to drop out
of college.

Once again, I had failed. And like so many people who have experienced burnout, I took the wrong lessons from it, concluding that I wasn’t far enough outside of my comfort zone—that I needed to work harder.

So I became an eBay Powerseller—and I worked myself into the ground, ignoring the signs of fatigue and overwhelm, until suddenly, eBay shut down my business because I couldn’t keep up with all the orders.

Just barely back on my feet, I fell on my face again. 
And this time, harder than ever before. 
This time, my failure felt different—it felt personal.

I thought that perhaps God had forgotten me or was 
punishing me.

I didn’t want to live anymore.

After calling my husband from bed, I saw a
therapist for the first time in my life.

"You're like Marilyn, the character from The Munsters TV show. You’re positive and normal. You need to be yourself more.”

Her observation zapped me.

All this time, I betrayed my intuition and mimicked Papa’s way of being and other people’s approval. My epiphany was I’d be better off being myself and doing what felt good.

Kristen Butler Image
Kristen Butler Image

From that point on,

I began living INSIDE my comfort zone.

I acclimated to new ways of being and habits that felt better. What felt best was cleansing and nourishing my body with plants while learning to move in ways that made me feel strong.

People said, “That seems unhealthy,” but I stuck with it because it felt good. My skin regained its glow. I felt energized. I released half of myself in weight, and my hormones rebalanced.

Kristen Butler Background Image

Later, I started a Facebook page to share quotes like my Grandma read to me in childhood. It was called Power of Positivity, and I attended to it daily, because it felt good.

As it grew in reach, I grew a team around it, because it felt good.

I wrote a book because it felt good.

And in 2019, my husband and I built our dream home, because it felt good.

Today, “Power of Positivity” is 50+ million strong on social media with over one billion website views. I did write a book, and I’m grateful to say it is a bonafide bestseller and is now published by Hay House. Another is on the way.

And finally, I see perfection in my childhood…

Poverty, as a contrast for my dreams…

Papa to get me into action…

And Grandma to introduce me to the power of positivity, planting the loving seeds for my self-worth.

God didn’t forget me.

He crafted me.

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