Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
Author: Ria Story, Author
From Ashes To Beauty
Ria Story, author of From Ashes To Beauty, enjoys staying fit and healthy. (2017, p.101) She has been State Mountain biking Champion for Georgia and Alabama, she runs marathons, and taught group fitness. Previously Ria worked in the healthcare industry as Director of Regulatory Affairs for a community hospital. Nowadays she is a leadership development coach for Achieve Abundant Life along with her husband Mack Story. This is her second book. (A.C.H.I.E.V.E. 2014) That book offered seven keys to create success: Attitude, Choices, Humility, integrity, Energy, Vision, and Excellence.
Sadly, Ria was sexually molested in her youth and ran away from her family to escape that abuse. (2017, back cover) However, this terrible experience has made her into the strong devoted leader, wife, and step mother she is today. Ria opens this book with a quote from Victor Frankel. (p,3) “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms…to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” And Victor was so right, attitude is everything.
Ria says, “The interesting thing about time is that while we can spend it however we choose; we only get to spend it once.” (2017, p.4-5) Therefore, spending time on things that we are passionate about and love is a wonderful use of time. Conversely, we do not want to waste time on thigs that do not move us forward and encourage personal development and growth. To which Ria adds, “…don’t forget the power of making a difference in someone’s life by doing something small.” As we all know, small things add up!
Chapter 4 is titled A Lost Soul. (2017, p.35) There is a poignant quote heading this chapter by Gilbert K. Chesterton that goes like this. “To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” These short statements drive home the backbone of Ria’s story. Naturally she was hurt mentally and physically by this abuse. She felt lost and without hope and love. She had to learn to love, forgive, have faith and hope in order to move forward in her life. Moving forward also took a lot of courage.
I think this book was probably totally cathartic for Ria and for anyone who has suffered the same circumstances this would be a good read on how to become whole again. Experiences such as this take a terrible toll on one’s self image and self esteem. Perhaps learning to love yourself is the hardest part of all. I think the lessons discussed regarding Ria’s situation and how she dealt with it can help each person reading this book to come to terms with their personal calamity and feel safe seeking help in moving through it.