African women in general need to know that it's OK for them to be the way they are - to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.

--Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize winner

 Oh my God! As women, Ms. Maathai has touched our very souls. As noted earlier, she is the recipient of the Nobel Prize for her work in restoring and maintaining the environment in Africa. My life has been of giving, one of carrying, and one of bearing. If my mental illness is not a result of family genetics, it is definitely the result of depletion. Yet, just when I can take nothing else, I am inspired by Wangari, her work, and her strength.

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To be a woman is such a beautiful experience. I am in awe of all women, including myself. Unfortunately, there is little sanctuary for the African woman. Many of us have no covering, yet we are covered by God and the Holy Spirit inside. After all, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. We give life. We nurture life. We are life. It really is OK for us to be who we are, and who we are is inside as well as outside. Thank you, Wangari, for creating a space for me to be and know that it is OK.

Today, I am liberated!