Influencers Who Inspire Us (part 3)
Happy TribeLife Tuesday!
Today, I am privileged to share one of my favorite influencers with you: the generous Ellen Degeneres. There is a plethora of reasons why I chose her and I am so excited to share my heart and soul with you. I absolutely adore Ellen and do consider it a privilege to be able to use my platform to share about her, although I hesitated for a moment about sharing about her based on her lifestyle choice. Then I IMMEDIATELY felt a sense of grief for having that thought. God loves her as much as He loves me and that is enough, that is the truth. I don’t do life with her, I am not in her inner circle, so my approval or disapproval of her lifestyle is irrelevant and that, my friends, is the beauty of allowing yourself to be inspired anyone.
Let me tell you about Ellen. She was born in Louisiana and at the age of 13, after her parents’ divorce, she moved to East Texas with her mom. Maybe that’s why I love her so much: she is a fellow TEXAN! Now, dealing with the instability of being a teen, the stress of moving your life, and the pain of your parents divorcing would be hard to say the least. But, in the face of difficulties, Ellen did something stunning! Her mother who was struggling with deep depression needed help and so Ellen did the thing she does well—made her laugh. She says, “I think it was the first time I realized what kind of power humor has.” And that is Ellen: going to people in their time of need and doing what she can to help. This is one of her greatest gifts and she freely shares it with us.
Her mother went on to remarry and that relationship become sexually abusive. Ellen recalls being asleep in her room one night while her mother was out of town and her stepfather trying to break her door down to get to her. She in turn had to kick the window out to get away and slept in the county hospital, though she couldn’t say why she was really there. This was small town Texas and revealing this would be crippling to her mother, I’m sure. As I heard her telling this story, my heart broke for her. She would eventually try and tell her mother of the abuse, but to her dismay her mother would not believe her and stayed married to her husband. It wasn’t until many years later, after his story had changed multiple times, that she knew Ellen’s accusations were true. This girl is strong and bold and courageous and I respect her for it.
As we all know, Ellen went on to be a successful comedian, actress, talk show host, and more. Things were going swimmingly for her until she decided to announce that she was gay. And for the next three years, she was practically shunned. No one in the media industry would talk to her, much less hire her. It was a hard time she admits BUT she “had to live her truth.” She eventually stopped looking for someone to hire her and begin to create her own story, stating, “This is crazy! Why am I waiting for someone to give me a job? I’m a writer, I’ll just write an HBO special.”
Her tenacity and passion has gotten her to where she is today. She stopped waiting for others to make her dream happen and she begin creating it herself. Talk about an inspiration! She is passionate and tenacious, strong and courageous, and I’m sure there was a sprinkle or 2 of discipline in there as well. Those are all traits I want to posses in my life.
I’ll leave you with the attributes I admire most about Ellen. Click the link to learn more about this amazing woman!
Whether their lifestyle, religion, philosophy or look is the same or different than yours, I implore you to find the people who inspire you!
Thank you for reading!
See you next Tuesday!