Article Written and Interview by: Debbie Stokes
If I asked you who you are, what would you tell me?
What would you say makes you unique?
Would you be able to say the things you like and dislike about yourself, and stand proud in that truth?
Well, embracing who you are means you are okay with your faults, your blemishes, and your flaws. Knowing that fact allows you a certain freedom to love yourself even if no one else does. Your strength is magnified when you know… that you know… that you know… you are worth it. Embracing who you are means not letting others get in your head to make you feel inferior. When you embrace who you are, you feel empowered. Your confidence becomes your strength, and your strength becomes your power. When you are in the stage of knowing and believeing who you are, you become undeniably invincible. Once you recognize whose and who you are, you become energy to others.
It should always be your focus as women to, first, grow from within to exude your inner beauty and power. You know, that magnetic vibe of self-love and self-light. Next, let your magnificence radiant and vibrate through your Godly vessel to people whose path you cross. When they look at you, they should see sunshine, even when it’s dark. As you glow and grow, other people should get ignited in your presence from your words, your attitude, your actions, and your intentions. For it is not our place to tear down or destroy other people, but rather, our purpose should be to lift, encourage, and build up our fellow woman and human being. As a mater of fact, we should know as we pour out earthly blessings to others, we shall recieve heavenly blessings. So, be kind to people every chance you get, and learn to make a difference in someone else’s life. In 2020, let’s make it our business to embrace each other with love, purpose, and a whole-heart, so we can truly strengthen one another.
With that said, I have interviewed a woman below who has been through many trials. She is still standing and wants you to know… you don’t have to stay where you were broken. Read as she tells her story about how she learned to embrace who she was to gain self-love, and how she was able to use her power to strengthen others.
Dr. Kenesia Mouton is a wife and mother of five, and a woman after God’s own heart. She began doing women’s ministry in 2004 when Today’s Spiritual Woman was birthed. She is co-founder of Manifested Manna Uncontaminated with her husband, Pastor Jeffrey P. Mouton. In addition, Dr. K. is a certified teacher at The Redeemer’s Theological Seminary and holds a doctorate degree from Pnuema Theological Seminary in theological studies and christian counseling. She is also a motivational speaker, published author, entrepreneur, editor, and event coordinator, just to name a few of her many accomplishments.
3WV: Everyone has a story. You were raped and molested as a child on different occasions. You also lacked a bonding relationship with your mother. How did all these issues impact your life?
Dr. K: Well, the rapes created a great sense of insecurities because with the one that took place at the age of 14 yrs old (the first one), there were 6 boys that set me up to attack me. Afterwards, the one I originally liked (story behind this) actually said if I told anyone what happened they would say I allowed them to run a train on me, and no one would believe me. Then, he had the ordacity to say he would call me later, as if I was desperate enough to still want to talk to him. This began a cycle of being violated by men in my life, leading all the way up to me having to put a son up for adoption who was conceived from a rape by an ex-boyfriend. But, that was watered down by law officials because we already had one child together, and it was my word against his. So, my lack of self-love, respect, and drive became worse.
Once I returned home after the first rape—spoiled, distraught, and feeling violated, I walked into the house a different young lady. I had been introduced to something that would control my life for the next few years. My body was introduced to an appetite I had no idea how to control nor did I know the magnitude of its hunger. I felt like my mother should have realized her little girl was no longer a little girl—that something had changed in me, but she didn’t. That made me so angry with her. How could she not tell? How could she not know? As a young girl, all I ever wanted was hugs and kisses, and to just be good enough and not compared to my other friends. It seemed as if I never did enough nor was I accepted for me. I tried living up to my mother’s expectations and I sucked at it; so we bumped heads a lot, which made it much easier for me to not confide in her when I was violated. I became very angry. I cursed, drank a lot, was very promiscuous, was violent, and became a good liar.
3WV: How were you able to turn your life around and become the woman you are today?
Dr. K: With all I went through, it helped me to seek my own identity, find out what I really wanted, and what made me thrive and feel complete. I stopped living up to other people’s expectations and just started living. I learned to forgive myself and others for real, and to love for real, which caused me to be very close to my own children. I raised them in a positive atmosphere, full of love and compassion. I could no longer harbor the hatred that built up within me, and that caused me to be detached and unresponsive to the hurt I caused to others.
When I allowed myself to let God into my heart, I could no longer be the same. It took some time, but it was what I needed to be here where I am today. I started to look at things from a different perspective, realizing that hurt people hurt people. Coming to understand my mother only knew to give me what she had, and that was the best she knew.
3WV: If a woman was reading this right now and she was struggling with the relationship she has with her mother, what would you tell her?
Dr. K: For any woman dealing with a rocky or non-existence relationship with your mother, I would strongly suggest you not hold her to expectations she may not be able to fulfill. How she responds to you may be because of the relationship she had with her mother. This could explain her methods or habits. Now, it doesn’t provide an excuse, but a method of understanding the disconnection. Focus on being a better you and not allowing whatever is lacking in the relationship to dictate to your personality. You can only change you. I know its easier said than done when it comes to a mother and daughter’s relationship because every girl wants her mother. But, you should not live with the burden of someone else’s burdens. Be truthful with her about how you feel (respectively). After you have given all you have to reconcile, and if it is not received, then you can walk away with confidence knowing your mother’s issues are not yours, and you are free to live your best life.
3WV: What advice can you give to women who have been raped or molested about fighting through their pain?
Dr. K: Molestation, rape or any type of violation to your person is a very hard battle to overcome, but it is possible. You can have a full life after violation. The best way to get past the pain is to face it.
- Be real with your feelings and find someone that you can talk to, confidentially.
- Be active and committed to your own recovery.
- Most importantly, FORGIVE YOURSELF and then forgive your violators.
3WV: How did your dark skin have a barring on your confidence and self-worth? What would you say to dark skin women who feel insecure about their darkness?
Dr. K: Because of my dark skin, I was called all types of names, laughed at, and ridiculed. I hated being dark and my mother was light complexion. I was dark skinned with long, thick, black hair that caused many to question if it was mine. I was always told I was a pretty little DARK girl, not just a pretty girl. This began to sound like a dirty word to me every time I heard it. I tried bleaching my skin with agents around the house and wound up with burn marks that were unnoticeable. I felt my skin was taboo. I am so grateful to now own and embrace the skin I am in. I began to realize dark skin was beautiful and it was nothing wrong with it. It took many years and experiences in life to come to that conclusion. I began to really get to know who I was, started loving me; and then, I began to accept me. Once I accepted my skin color, I began to start loving it. I came to understand that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. My pursuit to feel better about myself caused me to realize I was made in the image of my Heavenly Father who has no flaws; and therefore, I was beautiful because I was made in His image and likeness. I realized my skin tone was not a mistake. I say to my dark skinned sisters out there, embrace the you that you are. Your beauty is not defined by color, but character. Build up the positive things about you and minimize the negative things you have accumulated.
3WV: How important is it to love yourself first? Can you give some ways to show self-love?
Dr. K: It is extremely important to love yourself first. I believe the first relationship you must work on is the one with self (outside the one with God).
- Take out time to get to know you.
- Learn what you like and dislike.
- Date yourself—go out to the movies or a nice restaurant.
- Take care of your health.
- Stay away from negativity of all sorts.
- Surround yourself with positive influences.
- Do not live your life according to other people’s perceptions of you.
- Eat proper, exercise, and spend mental time alone.
- Take yourself on trips, whether by car or plane, just go! Explore and be adventurous.
You cannot love others wholly if you do not love yourself. You cannot give what you don’t have.
3WV: In what ways do you think the relationship between you and your mom impacted every other women relationship in your life? How has it changed?
Dr. K: Not having the strong bond with my mother at the time, did affect my ability to believe that any other woman would accept me or be a consistent factor in my life. I had an already made up mind that I could not get along with other women, therefore, I didn’t need them in my life. I had a lot of close male friends, which brought on other negative accusations. I lacked the ability to embrace women, and therefore, I was rejecting myself. It wasn’t until the Lord showed me I was rejecting who I was, and how immoral that was, did I seek the desire to change. I realized as I changed my relationships with other women, I changed for the better. Now my mom and I have the most awesome relationship. And it was all without forcing a change on her, but with the ability to pray and respect boundaries in our mother and daughter relationship. She wanted the change for herself and I was just apart of the process. She even went on to say I had become the woman she always wanted to be. What an honor!
3WV: Do you think the male relationships in your life (father, uncle, grandfather, male cousins) had an impact on the life you led? If so, was it positive or negative?
Dr. K: The males in my life definitely impacted my ability to have and maintain healthy relationships. All the males in my life were unfaithful to their wives from my grandfathers to my father, to my uncles, and male cousins. The most influential one was my father. I grew up in a household with my father there, but he was extremely adulterous. He and my mother fought a lot and I stayed nervous from it. He was very negative verbally. He bought me anything I wanted, but he would also criticize me harshly. On the positive side, he showed me how a man was supposed to support his household. He worked hard and made sure my mother and I had the best of the best. He played with me on a regular basis with all the toys he would buy me. He allowed me to get away with things my mother would be totally against. He had his good side, as well as, his flaws and short comings. But, I have watched the males in my family cause much pain and disappointment to their significant others, as well as, others around. I was led to believe that every man would cheat and there’s nothing a woman can do about it. I thought I deserved a deeper love than what was demonstrated but would never experienced it because I saw the inside of an unhealthy marriages so much that I would not know a healthy one.
3WV: What would you say to women who feel defeated and broken because of things that happened in their lives? How do you show women how to release themselves from the bondage that pain created and the prisons their minds built?
Dr. K: I would tell them it wasn’t their fault. As stated before hurt people hurt people.
One way of releasing oneself from the mental prison walls is to realize you hold the key. Admitting where you are and understanding you do not have to stay is half the battle. I explain how easy it is to build a monument out of a moment’s experience and that the way she sees her situation will determine her execution strategy or the lack thereof. I teach them how to use what hurt them to heal them. I show them how to use the stumbling blocks of life to build instead allowing them to dictate their failures. I have teaching tools and curriculums that show women how to become fully and individually responsible in the process of being committed to their healing and deliverance. And it starts with how they see and feel about themselves.
3WV: How did you go from pain to power? How do you teach women about embracing who they are and using that power to strengthen one another?
Dr. K: I finally stopped blaming everyone else for my status and began to realize that “it” happened to me, but it doesn’t have to continue to be the force that dictates to me. I came to the conclusion one day if it didn’t kill me, then I was here for a reason, and it wasn’t just to be the doormat of life for other people’s issues. During an attempt of suicide I cried out to God and told Him if He didn’t do something, “I would,” and He did. He showed me what He could do if I let go of my excuses and move out of the way.
As for teaching other women, once I found the love I have for myself and saw the change it made in my life, I wanted my sisters to experience that same self-love and gain the same strength. As it became apparent, I wasn’t the only one who suffered from the same type of Self-Sabotaging Syndrome that I had; it was obvious, I had been changed in order to impact the lives of others. So, imparting true love into the lives of others became my passion. I teach women it is impossible to give out from an empty hollow place or to get good from a poisonous concoction. In other words, you cannot give what you don’t have for yourself nor will your produce love. Most importantly, we as women need one another in order to flourish, and as long as we reject ourselves, we will not be able to receive one another. Women are carriers of life, therefore, what we birth is contingent upon what we have nurtured (both spiritually and naturally). So, if we are fooled into rejecting one another, what we are actually doing is rejecting what we need from one another. We get caught in a womb to womb battle, rather than focusing on our true adversary, the enemy to life itself.
3WV: Did you ever forgive your violators? What was that like?
Dr. K: Yes, I did forgive my violators, as I learned hurt people hurt people. I also learned most people are not aware that if they don’t deal with their internal issues, the issues will begin to deal with them causing the strings of life to be pulled by their invisible “Puppet Master.” Forgiving them was truly a major release for me. I found myself praying for their future daughters and sons, so they would not be burdened with the sins of their fathers; and that they would never experience what was done to me. I knew I had truly forgiven them because I was no longer concerned about me.
3WV: How important is forgiveness in order for a person to move on with their life?
Dr. K: Forgiveness is extremely instrumental in a person’s very essence of living and growing forward in life. To not do so, basically, paralyzes you and creates prison bars you build without realizing you have done so. While thinking the unforgiveness is holding the violator captive, it actually creates a holding tank for you. And everything that was meant to come forth from you is held up in an internal traffic jam behind the clutter of emotional ruin. Your creativity can be hindered, your health can be touched, and life can be put on pause; or worse, you never get to experience the you that you were created to be. That bitterness and anger will come out in EVERYTHING you do, touch, commit to, and in your relationships.
3WV: When a woman discovers who she is, what are some ways she can embrace herself to reach her full power?
Dr. K: Once a woman figures out who she is, she is able to embrace where she is to get to where she needs to go. These are some ways she can embrace herself:
- She must forgive herself
- Be unapologetic about her truth;
- Express her true feelings without compromising for the sake of others
- Go after her dreams full speed
- Don’t mope over prior mistakes or time passed
- Create a healthy support team
- Never allow anyone to determine her worth ever again
3WV: Why do you think women compete against each other rather than lift each other?
Dr. K: What I have seen to be the biggest issue with women is they compete a lot and that competition can produce some serious unhealthy results. Once we as women realize our individual potential, the value we possess, and the magnitude of our worth, we will be able to appreciate one another without trying to downplay one another with insults and mean acts. We have to realize we all have something to bring to the table. The real question is—what are we competing for? Why is it so hard to get along? I personally feel it started in the Garden of Eden with Eve and the serpent. Once God cursed the serpent and pronounced enmity between his seed and the seed of woman, I truly believe the enemy strategically set out to turn the seed of woman against one another; simply because he understood the concept of a woman’s ability to influence, and the power we possess to bring change to whatever is in our possession—that means even man. Therefore, if the enemy can make us fight each other, we’ll be distracted from coming together and defeating his works. We are powerful as one and we need one another in order to be better. And because we are the backbone of our men, if we use self-hate, we are unable to accomplish our assignmet—keeping our men held to the standard God gave them. Now on the other side of the negativity, the greatest thing to witness and experience is when confident, strong women get together and form an alliance that is unbreakable by working together to regain our households and communities. Once you find that true sisterhood it’s like no other and it is not easily destroyed.
3WV: What have you learned about yourself as you stepped into the new “YOU?”
Dr. K: That I am awesome in my own right and no one else can be or do me. I’m an original design and I cannot compete with another woman because she’s the only one that can be her, and I would not be able to do justice to what she would bring forth. Also, I do better at producing what’s on the inside of me.
3WV: Can you give some last words of encouragement or advice that can help a woman be confident and proud in her life, while at the same time, strong enough to help lift other women in their lives with a pure heart?
Dr. K: Learn to love intentionally. Be the best you that you can be and be true to your abilities and shortcomings. Never set expectations on others they are not made aware of—this will decrease a lot of disappointments and heartbreaks. Be okay with celebrating others and being celebrated. One of the best forms of freedom is when you can allow others to be themselves and you are okay with being you. Learn to not allow other people’s pain to become your misery. The more you love you, it will help in making better decisions about the company you keep and the places you go. I’ve learned those with predatorial mindsets can sense insecurities and will hunt you. We as women also need to take care of ourselves in every aspect of our lives: emotionally, physically, intellectually, environmentally, and financially. The stronger we become individually, we can strengthen another. I realize what I have been through was not just for me, but also, for the many women I have met along my journey that I was able to relate to and walk them through the healing process—going from brokeness to wholeness, bitterness to sweetness, timidness to boldness, and so many other things.
3WV: How can people contact you, if they wanted to reach you?
Dr. K: My contact information is as follows:
Emails: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone numbers: (682)241-9294 or (972)920-6314
Her Books are below:
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