I recently saw a hashtag that said #hersucessisnotmyfailure and immediately yelled, “Yes!” This resonated with me all the way to my core. I’m a woman who champions my friends. I want nothing more than for them to be successful, happy, loved, safe, and healthy. I WANT all the good fortune to come their way because I know it doesn’t mean that there will then be less for me. There is enough good to go around.

I know women who’ve struggled, who’ve made horrible decisions, who have experienced hurt more than any human being should ever be permitted to hurt. These women have also built companies, raised wonderful human beings, shown kindness to others in their darkest of times, and taught me about strength. I love them. I love their brokenness, their fragility. I love the strength they show in getting back up and continuing forward. I love what they teach me about beauty, love, frailty, and kindness.

Some of these women, I want to BE. Some of them, I want to bring them into my home, cradle their brokenness and feed them delicious soup with a side of so much love, they can’t help but feel whole again. Others, I want to embrace and say a heart-felt “thank you” for the things they have taught me.

Boss, friend, POWER woman
You are Power Woman in all forms. You started your own company, ran it so that it became a success and taught me more about diligence, hard work, and empathy than anyone. I will forever be indebted to you for believing in me, helping me grow not only as an employee but as a woman and a human. You’re smart, driven, gorgeous, and funny. Thank you for taking me under your wing, teaching me, and letting me grow in my time, in my way, and never failing to be the cheerleader behind me telling me, “You can DO this!”

Loving Friend, Recovering Addict
You are a walking embodiment of perseverance. Life has not been easy for you, I’ve seen the struggle. But you don’t stop, you don’t give up. And giving up would be easy! Oh my gosh, SO much easier than what you have done. You broke the bottle so you could heal, even tho that broken bottle cut you in a million little ways. You said goodbye to the pain numbing effects of alcohol/pills and are facing the hard. I am so in awe of your strength, your ability to keep going, and make a good life for your children, it often leaves me breathless. I applaud you, your determination, and your desire to go forward, even though forward is oh so hard.

My survivor friend 
Girl, no one should have to endure a childhood like yours. The evil you witnessed first-hand shatters me. Yet, YOU are the eternal optimist. Your hard days will always “get better.” Your setbacks will be looked at as “learnings.” Your heartbreaks will be the steps you use to climb up out of despair. I adore you, your smile, your laugh and your desire to see the good. I can’t imagine living the hell you have lived through—and yet, you go on. Like a warrior, you go on. But you don’t just walk, you gallop through life, without anger, without judgement and without bitterness. You ARE strength and beauty in every sense of those words.

The friend of a 1000 laughs 
You can bring out the giggles in me like no one else. I love your laugh, your honesty, and your compassion. Life has not been easy for you, either but you haven’t let that stop you from moving forward. You cared for the sick, helped the unable, changed careers when work was not brining you joy anymore, and you giggled through it all. Seeing your face now in my mind, fills me with happiness. I look forward to our next visit, to the laughs and the joy.

The Mother 
You taught me what it means to love wholeheartedly. You taught me how to be strong believe in myself, and go for what I want, even when what I want seems out of reach or very hard. You taught me about the power of internal beauty and always made sure I knew what was inside was more important than what was outside (but having a good hair day is always a nice thing). Thank you for love, laughter, and confidence.

Finally, to ALL women. I see you. I see your struggles, insecurities, anger, joy, pain, and I extend myself to you. I will always be here with a gentle ear to listen, an open heart to love, and a desire to help. This is a post to tell each of you who read this that there is someone who understands, someone who cares, and someone who is willing to be there for you. You don’t have to know me, but know my intent: I want to help women find their joy. I want to help them boost themselves up, heal after breaking, laugh more, and feel safe. I will be that for you. I believe the love we give today comes back tenfold tomorrow. I believe in the power of kindness. I believe in the power of women helping women.

I believe in you.

I believe in us.

Heather LeRoss

Heather LeRoss is the mom to two smelly but sweet boys and step-mom to another boy (he’s less smelly). She spends her days spinning in circles of crazy wearing a tiara, gripping a glass of champagne. Heather is a lover of fine boxed wine and chocolate. She hopes to someday be known as “Heather” again and not, “those boys’ mom.” Follow the funny and heart feels on Tipsy Tiaras and on Facebook.