What’s your survival plan? It’s a question that is loaded with assumptions about what it means to be strong, and how people can have control over their lives when they are seeking ways to cope. But “surivival” is subjective and often not a sane way of thinking. Just ask Jacquelyn Desha Cain, Life Coach and author of What Are You Chasing?
Looking at her life after healing, Jacquelyn Desha Cain learned we all have our own ways of coping with life’s challenges, but it is important to recognize when you are in survival mode. Jacquelyn found herself emotionally drained and exhausted most of the time, which lead her down a path of destruction (nearly losing her life). That was the turning point when she realized she could no longer just survive; she needed to thrive for the sake of life and her sanity.
In an interview with Jacquelyn Desha Cain, she shares the inspiration behind her books; as well as the turning point in her life that made her want to do more than survive. Her sanity (and life) counted on it.
You have been through a lot. Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are now.
I was born in Albany Ga. My mom and dad moved us to a very small town named Greenville, Florida when I was around 4 years old. Mom and dad divorced so mom moved me and my two sisters to Madison, Fl and that’s where I graduated high school in 1989. I am currently a Coach/Consultant for people who are looking to open their own childcare businesses. I started doing this after closing my own childcare home due to Covid after 15 years in the business.
You write a book called What Are You Chasing. What was the inspiration for writing the book and what do you want readers to take away from reading it?
I wrote the book after starting my She is Me Women’s Empowerment Group. I felt like I had to tell my story about chasing all the things I thought I needed to make me happy such as toxic relationships, self-medicating, and just dealing with not knowing who I really was in life. I gave scriptures that I used in my process to begin the journey of healing. To chase the things from the Lord like peace, self-love, self-confidence, self-reassurance, and true happiness from within.
You said you spent many years carrying a lot of toxic emotions – including coping using alcohol and drugs. What was the turning point that “snapped” for you to do something different and better for yourself?
The turning point for me was the night that my live-in boyfriend came home and placed grease on the stove and fell asleep. I had fallen asleep because of my regular routine every evening after work was to drink and get high so I could fall off into a deep sleep and finally have peace. The relationship was beyond toxic. My 16-year-old son woke me up at 3 am and we made it out of the house before we died. I was sleeping so hard that I didn’t smell the smoke that had filled the house. That was the moment that I knew I had to do something different.
How did healing from your trauma help create a space for helping women?
I found this 5-day challenge on Facebook that talked about an identity crisis. I completed the challenge and felt so much better about life. For the first time in my life I felt like I mattered and it felt good to have a community to share my pain with even though it was only for 5 days. I have always been that person that women would just open up to about their problems. The Bible taught me that we are overcome by our testimony so I started holding meetings where women could come together and just be real, share in a welcoming environment. I did my research by reading different inspirational books; mainly using the Bible. I speak a lot about how the spirit of rejection haunted me for a really long time. I am very transparent. I don’t live in shame. I think that’s really what draws them. We need real conversations for real change. I offer that for them.
Who is Jacquelyn now and what has healing given to you that makes your light shine?
Jackie now just turned 50. I see life so differently. Every day is not easy and I still have moments where I have to remind myself that I am worthy of all good things. Sometimes I think that is one of the hardest battles to allow myself to feel good. I had gotten so comfortable in the pain. I am free now to love me. I take time for me. I do what makes me happy. I love helping other women to get to their aha moments and I have no hidden agendas. It’s just my mission in life. That is how I let my light shine. Through the smiles of others.
What is next for you that your audience can look forward to?
I am currently rebuilding myself yet again to launch a line of inspirational calendars, eBooks, and journals for women to have something relatable to help them in their journey. I am taking it one day at a time making it a priority to celebrate every little step of my journey. I am grateful. I am humbled by the grace that God has placed on my life, and I don’t take it for granted.
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Professional Speaker, Media Journalist, and Author, Dr. Pamela Gurley is the founder and CEO of Clark and Hill Enterprise, LLC (www.clarkandhillenterprise.com) and IAmDrPGurley, LLC (www.iamdrpgurley.com); founder/creator of merchandise brand un@pologeticbyDrG, Author of "I Am Not a Stereotype: I Am H.E.R. Adjunct Graduate School Professor, Founder/Host of Herspiration Happy Hour podcast and Vlog Series Un@pologetic w/ Dr. G; Co-Host and Media Journalist for Urban.ish Digital, and Contributing Writer for Medium, empoWEr Magazine, & Hustle & Soul Magazine. Dr. Pam has been featured in Forbes and Hype Magazine; as well as, on Good Morning Washington (abcDC7), Good Day Atlanta (Fox5Atl), The Quiet Storm w/ Lenny Green, The Book of Sean (FoxSoul), Hot914 Radio, Urban.ish Radio, and many other media outlets. She is a retired United States Army Veteran and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Saint Leo University; a Master’s in Health Service Administration from Central Michigan University; and a Doctorate in Management with a concentration in Organizational Development and Change from Colorado Technical University.