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Heart of the House

Musings from the CEO’s Desk

Vulnerability is a Strength NOT a Weakness

As 2020 unfolds with endless possibilities, I reflect on all God has miraculously provided for Destiny Haven since our opening in February 2007. I don’t make new year resolutions – but I do believe it is important to learn from past lessons as we lean into the future. Stillness and reflection appear to open up an emotionally clutter-free space that allows feeling and thinking, questioning and even dreaming to occur. Of the many lessons I’ve learned this year, the stand-out has been how “self(ie)” focussed our culture is. So fully absorbed in our public profile, many concentrate too little on their inner world and ensuring that their lives reflect the beauty of selfless living. I have made many mistakes since Destiny Haven opened. I have made decisions that have been difficult and others where people have been inadvertently hurt. At times, I have closed my aching heart, thinking that it would be easier to not connect at all – when women leave prematurely or are asked to leave because they are unwilling to make positive choices to change – the fallout is often ongoing. However, closing my heart only serves to make life smaller and isolated. This year, I continue to choose to wake up every day and love those who may or may not love back, who may or may not stay in my life, who may or may not be loyal. This is vulnerability – not weakness, but courageous. To love fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate moments in time, to fully engage with others, knowing there are no guarantees – it takes courage to live authentically. Learning to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live more deeply with joy, gratitude, and grace.

Being vulnerable means being willing to present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, embracing self-acceptance that leads to a greater sense of belonging. It means choosing to be real and honest even if it hurts; choosing to let our true selves be seen; choosing daily to let go of who we think we are supposed to be and simply embracing who we are. To truly experience connection, embracing vulnerability is a risk that cannot be avoided.

“You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness. The irony is that we disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable. But our wholeness, even our wholeheartedness actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls” – Brene Brown.

One of my team wisely spoke tonight about 2020 vision – clarity both in the natural, and the spiritual. May we choose to walk more fully inside our own stories this year, knowing we are worthy – worthy of love, respect, and wholehearted living. May 2020 be an adventure of clear vision both in the natural and the spiritual realms.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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We all have Unimaginable Potential

It’s been another incredible year complete with many challenges and much joy. My prayer for us all as we enter our 14th year of operation is that we would continue to embrace with every fibre of our being ALL that God has for us as we step into the new year – a year full of unimaginable potential for growth and limitless expansion of our dreams. 2020 – as one of my team said this morning – total clarity of vision – God is good… we are excited and anticipating the many women whose lives will be changed this year as they come seeking healing.

We love you all and thank you so much for the journey that continues at Destiny Haven and your partnership with us.

Janine Epere,

CEO Destiny Haven

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We ALWAYS have the Power to Choose

“Throw back the shoulders, let the heart sing, let the eyes flash, let the mind be lifted up, look upward and say to yourself…Nothing is impossible!”
– Norman Vincent Peale

This quote reminds me that nothing is so difficult that I can’t find it within myself to choose to be at peace; to choose to make the most of every single day; to choose to influence others for good and to help them believe that change and impossible dreams are achievable. Last night we celebrated our year with the annual Christmas dinner to honour our volunteers and many supporters. I was reminded how far Destiny has come in our 13 years of operation. Passion, endurance and perseverance are requirements if you ever want to achieve a dream. But love for others and helping them begin to dream as well is the gift we can offer many who have never dared to believe. I’m thankful every day that I have the opportunity to help women learn to throw back their shoulders, learn to let their hearts sing, their eyes flash, and their minds and spirits be lifted up, to look upward and begin to believe for the impossible!

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Every Encounter With Others Leaves an Aroma

Every day we have multiple opportunities to show kindness to those around us. I’ve just returned from the ISAAC addictions conference in Kathmandu attended by people from many nations. It is always humbling to visit places where people have so little and yet they are so grateful for what they DO have. They smile often and they share freely. All those at the conference have dedicated their lives to helping others find freedom from addiction, as they themselves have been set free. I was reminded as I stepped off the plane in Australia of the incredible privilege we have to live in a country rich in resources and government help; where medical assistance is available to ALL without discrimination and yet, so many complain about inconsequential things. Kindness is not difficult and yet we live in a society so self-absorbed and “me” focused that we have often lost the ability to REALLY see people and take the time to encourage and invest in them when they need time and help. Imagine how different our world would be if we all treated others as we would like to be treated. Let’s choose to do all we can to make those around us feel special by the way we behave and speak to them. As Maya Angelou states, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Every encounter with others leaves an aroma. May we seek to carry sweetness in a world where there is so much bitterness.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Accepting What Is and Let Go of What Was

Sitting at the airport after flight delay of 7 hours, leaving a bag behind that had to be taxied to me and wondering if I will ever get on the plane. I pondered why all these years later, I live my life with a deep, continuing desire to invest in helping others reach their full potential. One of the most important things I was reminded of today is how much my life used to be governed by the voice of the inner critic! I spent so many years subconsciously belittling myself, telling myself I wasn’t enough and trying to fit in, to be less sensitive and needy, less flawed. Less ME! Maybe you can relate – feeling broken we strive to have others like us, to make a good impression, to be seen as loveable and worthy. It took me so long to realise my aching heart needed to be healed and I needed to choose to silence the voice inside that had been there since I was a child telling me I just didn’t measure up. It is because I spent time facing my past and making decisions to choose what I now think and what I believe. I now spend my life encouraging others to choose to believe they are more than enough, exactly as they are. It is liberating to live accepting that some may not get you, or be pleased by you and that is ok. To know we are loved by the God of the universe and to understand loving ourselves is critical to being able to truly, selflessly love others is life-changing. Yes, you are indeed worthy and your ideas and dreams are worthy. Your feelings are worthy and your needs are worthy but not needing validation from others frees you to love your truth even if it means you walk a road less travelled for a season or many. The real battle is always in our mind but we can choose to reshape our thoughts and live in the moment, choosing to believe truth. You may have been broken down by abuse, rejection or tragedy but YOU are not broken. So don’t let your mind get the best of you by continuing to listen to the inner critic. Choose to believe every single day is a gift and learn to meet your own needs, honouring your feelings and emotions while living with awareness of the beauty in others. Choose to encourage those you influence to silence that critic too!

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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