My name is Traci Ricks. And I have thee, not “the”, but thee most interesting, amazing life. I won’t go into what makes it so interesting and amazing to me, ‘cause that would take all day, and night. Just know that this experience has been a difficult, yet glorious journey. 
So, I’ll begin my story here, where I am right now, then I’ll go back and tell you how I got here.
Here for me is not just a wonderful physical place or location. It is not anywhere you can locate on a map—not unless heaven has been charted and no one bothered to tell the rest of us.  But I sit here, in the present, the moment, in the now, the best Traci I have ever been in my life, personally, spiritually, emotionally. Here is where healthy and balanced is. Here, is where understanding lies, where a true relationship with self and the God principle intersect, where the truth is.
I’m only here because of what I’ve been through. I’m only here because of grace, and mercy and salvation from who I believed myself to be not so long ago.
For the better part of my life, I moved about it, aimlessly, without vision, purpose or hope—and didn’t even know it. I had no connection with self or the creator that I now recognize at my center.  This is the thing, the greatest thing I’ve had to over come in my life: not knowing myself and not knowing God.  I was forced, as a matter of circumstance, into a confrontation with me.
In my darkest hour I somehow knew, instinctively to call out for help. I knew that I needed it. Help.
I remember the precise moment that my journey began. I was in a murky, desperate place. I had sunk so low. I was in pain, emotionally bankrupt, tired and in distress.  But somewhere, in the deepest part of me, I knew that this was a place I could not live in. It was uncomfortable and I knew, somehow, that I could be different, that things could be different.
So on this particular day I stretched across my bed with tear filled eyes and the heaviest heart I had ever carried, and I laid my burdens down. I surrendered to the very thing that I had never tried to connect with on any substantial level: the God source, MY God source. I uttered these words: change me. And in an instant, I was brand new. It happened just like that.  I was in darkness one moment, and in the very next moment, as if by magic, there was light, THEE light. The kind you can’t see but feel. The kind that burns at the very center of who you are. The kind that let’s you know you are not alone then illuminates the path as you walk it.
Once I surrendered myself, not only did I change, but everything around me changed. I began to receive messages, answers and revelations through various people and a series of circumstances that I can only describe as divine. It wasn’t always pretty. But with the changes came the tools and materials of reference I needed to make those changes work for me. They were all blessings the changes were. I lost things and people who at some point in my life were important to me. I lost states of mind and being that no longer served my ultimate purpose. And in so doing, I discovered my ultimate purpose.
I was found, had been saved. Everything began to make perfect sense. I came to not only understand myself, but know myself. God was with me, was there all along. I just couldn’t see it until I turned that light on.
I saw God. I saw that God is love. I came to know that I am a part of God. And that if I’m a part of God, that everything God is, I am. I realized that if God is love, then so too am I. That if God is a creator, then well, me too. I also realized that every other person on the planet is made from God, is God. And if that is true, if that is my belief then I must treat them accordingly—even if they themselves are unaware of the fact.
I came to know that I am a lightbearer.  I bring other people to the light by being the light. Always. That’s my job, one that I love. One from which I will never retire.
This knowing makes waking up and living that much easier.
I implore my sisters, the amazing women who do amazing things everyday in spite of circumstances they wish they didn’t have to endure, to live in truth, be truth, seek truth. It begins there. With the acknowledgement of certain truths. That is where it began for me. At the time my truth was: I needed to change. More truths followed. And they didn’t kill me. They made me better, stronger, balanced, whole. They made me proud of the woman I see when I look in the mirror.  Those truths inspired changes in me. Good, necessary, inevitable changes. I have no regrets.
Today I look at my life, and recognize how absolutely fortunate I am. I wouldn’t have arrived at this recognition were it not for the ugly things and the dark places that led me here, to the present, the now.  I receive everything that I ask for. I receive them at the moments they are meant to arrive in my life. The arrival of these things is not according to any timetable. They happen when they need to. They come precisely in the right moments. On time enough to keep me grounded, aware, and thankful.
I think it’s important for women to begin, at some point in their lives, a journey of self-discovery.  Traditionally, we have been conditioned to live and think and feel in particular ways, often to our own detriment.  Embarking on a personal, spiritual journey is the only way we will discover what living truly means for us.
Our being here, the physical manifestation of the female principle (of God) is special by design. We are the portals through which all life comes. And that’s a powerful thing. We, women, have to remember this about ourselves. We have to remind ourselves of this when the going gets rough, when the opposition attempts to convince us otherwise.  And if we did this together, as a unit, a collective mind, imagine how much more harmonious life would be.
It would change the relationships we have with other women, men, and ourselves as well. If we submit to our own power, the world will follow suit. I just know it.
This has been my testimony. Thank you for sharing your time with me and allowing me to share with you.  In light and love.
Written by Traci Ricks for The Amazing Woman Network