My Truth, My Pain and My Healing...

I was a small town girl with big dreams.  I wanted to travel the world and pave my own way.  I didn't know where I was going or how I'd get there, but I had ambition and I was tenacious.  Something told me that I was destined for greatness.  I know that sounds cheesy and absurd, but I had faith and with it I knew that I had a purpose.  I believed that I could do anything or be anything that I wanted. Until one day when my world came crashing down around me as someone close to me humiliated and exposed me for the imperfect person that I was.  What started out as one bad decision had now snow balled into a life changing series of events that would shape my future.

I was young and still building my self esteem, and in an instant I went from this fearless young girl to a shamed and suffering soul.  This true extrovert had quickly learned to become an introvert.  This dreamer had stopped dreaming.  The darkness in me took over and I found comfort in hiding.  You see, no one can judge you, blame you or shame you when you are hiding.  It felt safe being unseen.

The truth is, what I experienced… I wish for no one.  The pain and the suffering… it was unbearable.  I tried to move on, and I thought I could fix things by being a perfectionist.  I was used to thinking that if I please, perform and perfect… than I will be praised and loved.  And no amount of pleasing or perfecting could fix this pain -- or make me feel loved, like I mattered or that I was enough.

It took me a while to come to terms with what happened, but I soon realized that when someone lies about you or sabotages your relationships, when they tell you that you will never be anything or do anything that matters, when they humiliate you, when they make you feel powerless with their words or strength… you are only left with two options: 1) you can disengage or 2) you can fight back.

I spent a long time disengaged, not fully present or caring, and then finally… a light flickered in me.  This little light, in all of my darkness… it saved me.  It brought with it this courage that I didn't know I was capable of having.  It brought this overwhelming sense of compassion and a need for connection that allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and start to be daring again.  It gave me hope… and a fearless fighter was born.

My fight has been a mighty soul searching one.  A mission to use my gifts and to find my voice.  A mission to find my purpose.  A mission that heals my heart and celebrates women.  These are just some of the things that I've learned along the way…

•    I learned… that I'm unstoppable, adventurous and bold. •    I learned... that I'm far from perfect and I am OK with that, because there is beauty in imperfection. •    I learned... that I will never be successful unless I am happy. •    I learned... that it's OK to take risks and to fail in order to grow and learn. •    I learned… that my gut instinct or women's intuition is always right. •    I learned… that if I'm afraid of taking a leap of faith, it is probably worth doing. •    I learned... that I need to take better care of myself, because no one else can do that for me. •    I learned... that without my girlfriends, I would be nothing. •    I learned… that in my own eyes I am more than a bride, a wife and a mother.  I am a woman. •    I learned… that my fight is for the truth, for women's rights and for humanity. •    I learned... that I need to start a gratitude journal, so I can be reminded of all that is good. •    I learned… that I matter and I am enough.

I have also learned… that I finally have a new mission and purpose.  I need to work with women who are just like me.  Women who are unstoppable and who's self-worth is tied to more than just the titles that she is given, the many hats (or roles) she wears, or her outer appearance.  Women who on the inside (at their very core) are spirited, nostalgic and fearless and want to embrace it.  Women who have faced many obstacles, and yet in the face of adversity… they rise to the occasion and live to tell an incredible story.  Women who believe they matter, and especially those who might need a little reminder that they are enough just as they are… imperfect and unstoppable.

If you are longing to celebrate your accomplishments and passionate about the spirited family and life that you have built, I look forward to working with you and welcoming you into my sisterhood of fearless women!

Hugs and Kisses, Sarah

 

Sarah Lehberger

Easton, CT

Sarah Lehberger is a photographer based on the shoreline of Connecticut, just 90 mins from New York City, in the small town of Easton. She specializes in photography that celebrates working Moms and their families. She is also a Co-Founder of She Will Thrive, providing business coaching, retreats and workshops to women entrepreneurs, creatives and small business owners.

Sarah's career started in the news and entertainment industry. A storyteller at heart, she began photographing weddings in 2003 while also working full time at Getty Images, NY in their editorial department. Sarah enjoyed the fast-paced and glamorous events she would collaborate on, yet deep down she was craving more purpose driven work. In 2005 she decided to leave the corporate world to launch her full time wedding business, which received numerous awards and features throughout the industry.

In 2013 Sarah rebranded her business so she could continue her mission to celebrate women, with a new focus on mothers. She feels strongly about empowering women and creatives to succeed, and has been a speaker at conferences such as ShootDotEdit's Unlimited Happiness Tour, Inspire Photo Retreats, as well as a past coach and mentor for Team X Academy.