An Opportunity For Women To Unite In One Voice.
I had never been attracted to the whole idea of assisting to one of those events where a lot of people reunite in one place to listen to someone talk about a personal experience that changed his or her whole life, making her completely different to the way he/she originally was.
But this time it was different: I had a personal reason to go, since one of my most cherished and beloved friends of mine would be giving her testimony about how she had survived a car crash that almost cost her the capacity to freely move around and walk. She suffered major injuries that left her in a primary state of unconsciousness, followed by the tough reality of learning she had partially lost mobility of her left arm and leg (her bones were pulverized because of the violent double impact to her left side of the body). However, believe it or not, Marielos López- is one of the most positive persons I've ever get to know. She has a capacity of igniting you with joy and energy (God-gifted, I presume), proving you that limitations are within your own mind: after 5 years of hard work, multiple surgical interventions and a lot of patience, she has regained the majority of her usual daily activities. As she quotes: "After the trial, comes the blessing".
I always thought Marielos experience should be shared among people, as an example of personal overcoming these titanic obstacles, and exceeding expectations. The opportunity came when she was invited to be part of the annual event called "Mujeres 360o" (Women 360 degrees) by "Iniciativa T" (Initiative T), an organization focused in creating educational and positive projects that will actively involve several strata of the actual guatemalan society. The event was hosted by one of the most lively, interesting and passionate-in-her-work women that our T.V. national broadcast has ever known, Tuti Furlán. She is the founder of Iniciativa T as well, but also has an ample and impressively accomplished career as an actress, setting aside also the amazing fact, she is a professional, possessing a psychology college diploma.
So there we were, a lot of women, who we hardly had ever seen our faces before in our lives , sitting in our chairs, waiting for the event to start. After a prolonged trip to the hotel due to the city's rush hour, the majority of us tired mostly because of the hard working day, no one was in the mood to start a conversation. Instinctively, each of us was engaged in preserving her "personal space" avoiding any chance of locking eyes with our next-chair neighbor, that might get to compromise our own private and internal dialogue. However, things started to change the moment Tuti took the stage: the first thing she did was... make us laugh! Incredibly, that lowered the tension and unfamiliarity of the attendants. Then the real deal started right away: the first one was Marielos, but she was acompanied by 4 other admirable guatemalan women. One by one they shared their own story, teaching us expectators, what I already had deduced from Marielos experience, that yearning to improve and change, is the first step to accomplish any goal in your life. From gender-based violence, depression, lost of hope, physical trials and personal loses, these women set the bar to a higher level for all of us, so we can't justify ourselves women as weak beings, but to the contrary, as strong ones that can surpass and suceed in anything, anywhere, if we only set our minds to do so.
But the most outstanding fact for me was the reaction caused by all of this, to us, the women of the crowd that attentively had listened and followed to each one of the emotional testimonies, sharing laughs, indignation, pain and tears throughout all the evening. In the end, kindness and complicity had made it through, and let us sharing smiles and experiences, a lot of admiration toward those who had the courage to stand up in front of all (we) the people, and pronounce themselves (and encouraged me too, to pronounce myself by starting to write here, as I believe I have also something to say). There was no personal space left between us, but the resonating beat of One Voice, composed by each one of our hearts, that for at least one night of the year, we all got to feel and share, empowering our souls and spirits to an unexpected and unimaginable level.
Check out Iniciativa T's site: http://www.iniciativat.com/.