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Beyond Beauty – a Refugee’s Journey in Pursuit of Happiness – Cover Reveal

 As I look back at the years that have gone by, I am grateful for everything that I have accomplished and everyone who has supported me along the way. I know that a lot of people rely on me for strength, support and guidance, and it makes me happy to help others. When they look at the surface, some people seem to believe that I am immune to the pain and stress that most people experience, but that is not the case. I do my best to put on a smile and to be strong so that I can inspire and encourage the people who need it the most. Despite my seemingly invincible appearance, I am only human on the inside, and I struggle with my inner demons each day.

No matter how hard I try to stay positive and to focus on what needs to be done, I am just like everyone else. Smiling, keeping an upbeat tone of voice and holding the pain back takes a toll as time begins to pass. My recent move to the United States has changed my entire world because it has forced me to leave many people behind. I have spent countless hours trying to manage my emotions and to remain on the right path, but everyone has a breaking point. Even though I have been here for more than a year, I have been feeling down almost every day, and I don’t know what to do about it. Even though the pain and emotional discomfort can seem overwhelming, I refuse to surrender.

I don’t always reveal this part of myself because most people find it hard to understand what I am experiencing, and they only see all of the things with which life has blessed me when they look at my situation. I always take the time to appreciate the positive things in my life, but we all have needs that must be met. Feelings of loneliness and isolation fill my heart when I think of all the people I have left behind, including co-workers, family, friends and my charity contacts.

All of my children have left home to start lives of their own, leaving me with an empty nest for the first time in 35 years. Without much left, I turn to my supporters for help in these troubled times. Even though I know I can make it past this roadblock, I can’t do it alone, and I need people to send encouraging messages via Facebook and email, but you can even drop me a line.

Since so many people look to me as a symbol of hope and perseverance, you will also help everyone who counts on me when you reach out. Life always comes with ups and downs, and we can never guess when the unthinkable will happen. During difficult periods, the unconditional love of my husband and supporters from around the world helps me stay strong. When we are at our worst, we must turn to the people around us for motivation, and working as a team will empower us to defeat any challenge that presents itself. I often need to remind myself to look around me and see how BLESSED am I.

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