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PRACTICAL APPLICATION-In unpleasant situations, many of us find ourselves backed against the wall with nowhere to hide. In these situations I’ve learned that two things are of critical importance:

1. That I understand my purpose.

2. That I attempt to replace the negative in my life with the positive.

In my quest to become “me,” I have adopted a few concepts and Godly principals that have encouraged me along the way. I believe they can help you, too. Here’s my Be-You-Tiful “Trinity.”

1) Replace the negative with the positive

As a child, I was in search of a refuge. I didn’t know it then, but I would later discover that submerging myself in various activities could relieve me of much pain. Although this may not seem like a spiritual solution, we can’t take for granted the simple positive things that God may put in our lives to help us through hurt and pain.

So until you overcome what you’re going through, do yourself a favor and continue living your life by engaging in your purpose. For me, at the age of eleven, that was cheerleading. Today, it is modeling, being a public speaker and an author.

What is your positive passion? Find it and use it as your refuge. Learn to replace life’s negativity with positive thought, action and worship.

2) Recognize that pain is inevitable.

Prepare yourself for life’s disappointments and frustrations. Expect obstacles and difficulties. We can never completely eliminate all risks, but with the understanding that they are coming, we can plan accordingly. When we understand this law of life, we can begin to let the healing process take place.

It was a challenge for me to recognize that the unpleasant things I had to face were just part of life. Everyone faces them. I had to be honest with myself about this in order to have the healing process run its full course. This meant I had to stop blaming other people for whatever happened to me.

Consider this: If another person’s name comes up every time you discuss your pain, then you haven’t accepted your responsibility in the healing process.

I’m not saying that it’s okay for one person to abuse, molest or hurt another, but I had to learn that what’s done is done and that I was in charge of my life and how I reacted to the abuse. If I buckled to it, let it make me bitter, then the abusers in my life won, and I surely didn’t want that!

Remember this: God may use pain to teach us, but it becomes our responsibility to learn from it and better ourselves. Sometimes pain will teach you what pride won’t let you learn.

3) Don’t be afraid to face your pain.

The biggest problems we face today often are not our afflictions, but our pride in dealing with those afflictions. We’re too proud to admit weakness, to acknowledge that we’ve been hurt. But healing from any form of abuse or hurt will only begin at the point we expose that hurt.

So don’t try to hide your pain. Mental and emotional pain is just like a physical condition, the longer you put off going to see a doctor, the worse it may get.

Remember: What you fail to confront today will be there waiting for you to face tomorrow.

Jada Collins is the commentator and spokeswoman for the largest traveling fashion show in the world, Ebony Fashion Fair. She reveals the ugly story behind her pretty face in her new book, Be-You-Tiful: The Three Fold Process to Becoming You. The book has received praise ranging from Pastor Paula White and Ebony magazine CEO Linda Johnson Rice to the New York Times Book Review. In the book, Collins argues that beauty is only skin deep and recounts her own story of childhood molestation, abandonment and fear.

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