Ginny Burton, 48, could have died a long time ago. She was a heroin and crack cocaine addict who was arrested back in 2005 and looked close to death at the time.
She has been sober for nine years.
This year the mother of three graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in political science. The last grade she had finished, prior to getting a GED and enrolling in college, was 6th grade. She attended 7th and 8th grade on and off, then dropped out completely during 9th grade.
Talk about Pain-2-Power. Take a look at the mugshot of Burton and at her graduation photograph and then try to tell me there is no rebirth in one lifetime.
Back in May, her post on Facebook went viral. “Stop selling yourself short,” she said, under the photos showing her dramatic resurrection. “You don’t know what tomorrow might bring, so you might consider starting today.”
Take a look at Burton’s photos and think about whatever addiction or self-imposed suffering you are hostage to in your life. Alcoholism, compulsive gambling, a horrible relationship, smoking, staying in a job you hate when you have real passion for something else in life, addiction to food. Then, think about starting today. One day. This day.
Ginny Burton was a crack addict by age 15. That’s 33 years ago. During her 20s, she was in and out of jail.
Her mother had made drugs accessible to her starting at age 7.
“There were seven of us kids and so our existence was really chaotic,” Burton told Fox News. “So I found, in time, that my relationship with drugs actually provided me an escape…My life just sort of unraveled in that way. And I was becoming the exact thing that I did not want to become, which was my mom.”
She married a man who was abusive.
She was abusing herself just as much.
Now, she’s out of that marriage, out of jail, sober and onto the next chapters of her life story—including having graduated college.
All that would be enough to merit being the Pain-2-Power Person of the Week, but there’s more. Obviously, Ginny Burton isn’t trying to hide what she went through. She isn’t hoping no one will find out about her past while she pursues the next chapters of her life story. She’s sharing the most painful chapters of her life story, in order to help others become powerful, too.
That’s how it works in life. Run from anything, and that thing owns you and will weaken you, until you turn to face it. That’s when you realize it was never more powerful than you; it was always a paper tiger.
There isn’t anything you are going through or have lived through that is greater than your greatest SELF, which is the same thing (as least to me) as saying that there is nothing greater than God.
Dare to be your greatest SELF.
You don’t know what tomorrow might bring, so you might consider starting today.
Dr. Keith Ablow
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PHOTO CREDIT KIRO 7 NEWS SEATTLE