Jenny Sanford On Empowerment!
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This week, The Heart Beet reports straight from the heart of a former First Lady! Mary Kent interviews Mrs. Jenny Sanford, revealing why we all should learn to Stay True.
The saying does stay true! Behind every successful man, there does always stand a powerful women. Yet, these days, it seems there are more men around who can't seem to honor their powerful women operating in the background. Though, as always, with such dishonor an opportunity of divine perfection always arrives to empower these selves beyond reason and to rise above and do what must be done to honor the self. Mrs. Jenny Sanford is one of those women who has done such a glorious thing! And, might I add that not only has she done it, she has accomplished this difficult task with ease, elegance, and divine grace, while standing boldly in the light of the public domain. In my 35 years on the planet, I have been through a few challenging relationship issues, though thank God not in the public eye. Each one brought forth a higher learning that I needed to reach within myself on my own path to empowerment. I can now see my most learned experiences came from the painful ones that I endured in order to love myself, to empower me, and to learn a teaching, as Jenny Sanford has done, in Staying True. I truly believe that painful relationships can make you bitter or make you better. It's a simple choice that we all have in empowering ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically. I can only hope that people will learn to feel that within themselves there lies all the power they need to work through issues whether solo or with another that they are currently challenged by. It is through the powerfully, loving, Christed energy within that Jesus so beautifully exampled to us, that when tapped into through prayer, meditation, hearing the Word, acquiring faith, and putting it all into practice can and will help achieve whatever we are faced with at the moment. It is this key that we must remember on our journey to empowerment.
I have felt very inspired by Jenny Sanford's experience towards empowerment! So, I went straight to her heart and asked a few questions about her own journey. Here's what she had to share with us:
MK: What does the word empowerment mean to you and how have you yourself been empowered?
Jenny: Empowerment to me comes from having a sense of self combined with strong faith.
MK: What's your daily routine of empowerment?
Jenny: I begin my day with a devotion or a positive reading and some quiet time and I reflect often on the values that matter to me. This helps to keep me focused on being the best I can be and on setting priorities that empower me to accomplish the big and small tasks on hand each day.
MK: You are such an inspiration to us all and have had such an impressive career. Please, can you tell us, what gives you now and what gave you the energy to do and be all those things: mother to four, wife, former First Lady, campaign manager, investment banker? There must be a secret to your ability to mommy multi-task, while at the same time being an excellent number cruncher!
Jenny: I am not sure I would have chosen to juggle four small children while managing campaigns but I did so to support my husband and knew that they would be short-lived. Life is a balance and juggle each day and during the busier times you have to learn to let stuff go and focus on the really important things. I did my best to never lose sight of my children and their needs, but sometimes it was incredibly difficult.
MK: In your book, the Prologue opens with such a powerful phrase, "I see now that June 24, 2009 was a day that changed forever the trajectory of my life, but it did not change me." Would you elaborate a little on how you were NOT changed that day.
Jenny: The events that unfolded that day did indeed change the path of my life, but they in no way made me anyone other than the Jenny I have always been.
MK: I loved how in your book, you viewed your driving alone from the Charleston airport to Coosaw as a test. That somehow you were tested. I feel we as women get into these relationship situations for higher learning, advancement, and growth. Could you say that your ex-husband was in fact your teacher?
Jenny: In many ways, Mark Sanford has taught me a great deal over the years, whether intentional or not. I have learned many positive things from him and some less positive things in the recent years. I have always found the tests in life just serve to make us stronger if we learn from them.
MK: I totally agree! I know that you are woman of faith and you come from a family of faith. How powerful it was to see your father kneeling before the cross every night. How has your faith grown stronger in your new life?
Jenny: It was a powerful thing to be raised in a family of strong faith. Certainly visibly seeing my father kneel reverently made an impact. I continue to build my faith daily and to grow in my relationship with Christ.
MK: Yes, you have inspired me to do the same! In your book, you explain something so very powerful that I think all women could stand to hear you say again. "No one has the key to your heart. YOU have the key to your heart." To me, this statement is the most powerful learning you tried to explain to Mark and really it is something we can only learn on our own. Why do you think people get so very lost in another person's heart?
Jenny: I am not really sure why some people get "lost" in another person's heart or psyche. Perhaps, it is more a reflection of what is missing in their own lives in terms of faith or a sense of self.
MK: Are you more intuitive now than before or more trusting of yourself? From your book, I felt that you were from the very beginning. You spoke of so many instances where you saw things that may have been warning signs.
Jenny: There's no question that as we age we all become more jaded in a way and less trusting, but I don't want to go through life unable to fully trust or love again. So, I remain able to trust.
MK: You have been a testimony to us all that one can move forward in grace, forgiveness, strength, while standing tall, while Staying True. What was your greatest challenge in embodying this learning?
Jenny: Perhaps the greatest challenge I faced was to have to deal with such a horrible emotional situation in the glare of the national spotlight. I hope not to ever have to repeat such an experience.
MK: What advice would you give another woman who has gone through something similar to you?
Jenny: I tell other women there is no one right solution. For some reconciliation is the better path and for others divorce works. In all cases, it is important to think carefully and prayerfully as you act and don't do anything that makes you anything less than your best.
MK: If you could go back into your role as First Lady of South Carolina, is there any place you felt you were misunderstood?
Jenny: Believe me when I say the press today lives to paint you so you are misunderstood. I am sure there were many times I have been misrepresented, but I don't like to ever reflect on that.
MK: I know you did so very much for MUSC's Children Hospital. Do you plan on becoming more active in the Charleston community?
Jenny: I currently serve on the Hollings Cancer Center Board and will continue to stay involved in the community in the coming years, but will always focus on my family first.
MK: Where do you now see yourself going now with your message of inner strength and heightened spirituality?
Jenny: I am not sure what comes next for me. Divorce is a process and the boys and I adjusting well, but I am remaining focused on them as we adjust to whatever happens when Mark gets out of office in January and we have more change to digest. After I am sure things are stable here, I will focus on my future path.
Jenny Sanford, you are one Lady the world will never forget! Thank you for standing as an example to women around the world. I am honored to share your message on The Heart Beet. You have touched my heart and I am sure more than you will ever know.
Always stay true! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. Check out Jenny Sanford's interview on CBS. Lots of words of wisdom to share.
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