So many things happen in life that can tear someone down mentally, emotionally, or physically. But you have to remember, you are who you are because you must believe in yourself, your way of doing things, and be confident in your adaptation of living life.

We are all like snowflakes, not one single person is the same as another. Even our children vary from us. We are total and complete individuals created by a greater power beyond our own knowledge and strength; a power more prevailing than any we could fathom. But what we must continue to remind ourselves is that we are strong independent people that must live our lives in our own ways.

Following others just to feel complete or confident about yourself is not a healthy way to live life. Be true to who you are and follow the path you were pre-destined to travel down. There will be so many things that happen to you in your lifetime…good, bad or ugly … but you have to be a strong enough and confident enough person to endure them, and don’t let them bring you down. Don’t allow the heavy things in life apply such a burden to your shoulders that it turns you in to a miserable person.

Have no doubt that it may take some time to work through them all, some soul searching, some self-reflection … but just because one (or numerous) people (or events) do something that harms you, bruises your ego, or damages your reputation in anyway … doesn’t give them the upper hand.

I have had my fair share of trials and tribulations that I have overcome in my life. Like I have always said … if that situation, person, or event harms me so deeply that it actually takes my smile away permanently then they (or it) has won! And I have stood true to myself that no one, or nothing, will be so powerful that it will ever take my smile away from me.

I want to stand strong, show my children that you must believe in yourself, have pride in yourself, and know that you can overcome anything that life has dealt you. I have learned, that even though I need my friends and my family; they make me a better person, they make me the person I want to stay true to. The only way I can stay true to myself is by being comfortable in my own skin.

And by doing that, I have to spend a lot of time alone with myself. Or at least try to carve out some “me time.” I have to stay in touch with who I am, not what my group wants me to be, or what I think my group needs me to be; but to be me.

I am confident that if I know who I am, fight for my goals, live up to my aspirations in life, and I am in touch with the core of my very own soul … no one (or nothing) can take me down. So with all the hills and valleys that I have encountered in my life through friendships, relationships, family, jobs, and so many other things … I have stayed true to myself; and I know for a fact that is how I have managed to overcome, persevere, and survive some of the events that have made me fall to my knees in tears.

It’s OK to be weak, it’s OK to be vulnerable, and it’s okay to reach out to those near you; but just remember, at the end of the day, you have to be a strong enough person to be able to pull your own self up by your boot straps and move on. In the end, it is all up to you.

So allow those around you to live their lives their way, but you stay true to who you are and live your life on your own path – and know that the path you have chosen is a positive path, will not hurt anyone that may cross your path, and at the end of the day you are comfortable with the choices you made for yourself or those around you.

Never let them (or it) take your smile away. … What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. … I promise, I am living proof.

Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a local columnist based in Corsicana. She may be reached by e-mail at Following Samantha’s blog at and on Twitter at @SamanthaDaviss1.