Lora Kirby: “Love Overcomes Vast Emptiness”

I always believed in loving others and I would look past their negative side because I knew there was also a positive side to them as well and I didn’t want others to judge them without fully knowing both sides. As a part of my series about “How To Learn To Finally Love Yourself” I had […]

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I always believed in loving others and I would look past their negative side because I knew there was also a positive side to them as well and I didn’t want others to judge them without fully knowing both sides.

As a part of my series about “How To Learn To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Lora Kirby. Lora is a 51-year-old woman living in Los Angeles and is the mother of two daughters in their 20’s. The three of them have always been extremely close but now that her daughters have moved away, she is dedicating her time towards her passion of helping other women who suffer from low self-esteem and self-worth. Although she has a very strong passion for post-abortive women, her message can be inspiring to others who have a lack of self-confidence and/or have been in toxic relationships leading to even lower self-esteem and co-dependency issues.

Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

After speaking out publicly for the first time last year about my abortion 30 years ago, I have decided that I would like to become a speaker to share my experience with women who are post-abortive or those who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies. Although I feel a deep connection to post-abortive women, my message will speak to any woman who suffers from lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. I believe these are emotions that are deeply connected to things that we may have experienced in life such as having an abortion or being in a toxic relationship. I truly believe that by helping women get to the root of their issues, they might not make life-changing choices they might later deeply regret or find themselves in unhealthy relationships for years. I want to provide hope to women who are hurting and are afraid to speak up because they don’t feel like they have a voice because they’ve already made a choice to have an abortion. These women need our love and our support more than ever and need to feel safe to come forward and share their story so that they can start the healing process. I also want to provide hope to women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy and they do not know where to turn for help or guidance. My message this past year has been “Love is Loving Yourself” and I truly believe this is a message that we all need to learn in order to move past emotions that we all carry around such an anger, resentment, regret, guilt, shame or just a lack of self-worth. Sometimes we don’t even know where these feelings come from and it’s a part of who we are, so it’s about figuring out where they come from. Sometimes they come from how you grew up, a sexual experience or rape, adoption, a history of domestic abuse within your family and many more. The truth is most people have more trauma in their life than they are willing to talk about and they carry that secret around in shame. My new message this year is “Love Overcomes Vast Emptiness” because I truly feel that once we realize we’re not alone in our suffering, we can all help each other heal one by one. We have to stop all the divide whether it’s about abortion, politics, race or religion and connect with others starting today. We can do this by first having compassion and love for ourselves so that we can give to others in a healthy loving way.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

After taking the healing journey myself over the past 7 years, I am just starting out on this new journey of speaking out and helping others. My journey has brought me to the place I am today where I am very confident in myself and my ability to help others. By sharing my story, I want women to be aware of how one single decision can shape their life. I want inform women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy that there are places and organizations that offer help and resources so that no matter what decision they make, it will be an informed decision instead of one out of fear and desperation. I also want the women who are still suffering in silence of their shame and guilt to know how important it is to start the healing process so that they can learn to forgive and love themselves again. I have booked a few podcasts and other interviews over the past year. My hope is that by continuing to speak out on more platforms such as this article which I am truly grateful for, I will make connections that are in alignment with my goal of helping more women and will eventfully help me find the right platform.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?

My personal story is that the decision of having an abortion was a secret that I only shared with my ex-husband that I was with for 22 years. Instead of having that bond our relationship and making us closer, it basically set us up for failure. Besides having my own shame and guilt for my decision, I had suffered from low self-worth and lack of self-esteem from the time I was a young girl. Although I had loving parents and never experienced dysfunction in my family, I was adopted so I think I always had a sense of feeling rejected which led to my self-esteem issues. I have since found my birth mother and two half-sisters which is another beautiful story all on its own, but in digging into the root cause that is probably where it all started for me. I won’t go into details out of respect for my ex and my daughters, but we basically had the typical unhealthy relationship starting from the very beginning that only got worse over the years. I have since forgiven him and know that along with myself he also came into our marriage with his own set of baggage that he hadn’t dealt with so he didn’t know how to navigate our situation, especially when we faced many trials such as a lot of health and financial issues. I also know that by not learning how to set boundaries contributed to our downfall and more disfunction within our family.

I always believed in loving others and I would look past their negative side because I knew there was also a positive side to them as well and I didn’t want others to judge them without fully knowing both sides. After so many years of hiding the truth from friends and family and just throwing myself into my daughters and being what I thought was the best mom, I started losing myself and my own identity. Although loving others is a beautiful thing, I have since realized that kind of love can create a very co-dependent family dynamic which can be repeated and past down for generations to generations. Luckily over the years I did try to find help and I found myself over the years finding outlets like the church, bible study and women empowerment groups where you share with other women which slowly help me to gain the confidence to start to speak up for myself. There was a point when I first was made aware of cheating that was my first breaking point, but it also was the start of my independence. After having a brief relationship, I took my ex back and moved back to California away from all the support I had found. For most women that can be a huge setback but for me it was the first time that I had the strength to walk away from the marriage all on my own. The divorce was a very difficult time because I did it for free which meant many visits to the courthouse and having to see my ex-husband. I slowly went from being the women that everyone would recognize as being a battered woman and worrying how my actions would affect my daughters, to the woman who knew I was doing the right thing for me and my daughters. It still took me a while to become the confident woman I am today after going through more heartbreak after a brief love affair which caused me to doubt my own self-worth again and to then finding the love of my life. I have done a lot more work on myself, especially over the past year and a half including self-improvement groups and sharing my story on live video. This combined with having the most loving, supportive, respectful man by my side makes me someone who can speak to other women and offer them many tools and guidance to help them along their own healing and empowerment journey.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

I can’t speak for all women but for myself personally it’s just something I’ve struggled with for a long as I can remember. As young girls and women we are always comparing ourselves and our bodies to other women. I grew up in a very small town and so everything was magnified which made it easy to compare yourself to everyone else, especially the popular girls. You would look at things like what their family had and what you didn’t have, what skills they had and what skills you lacked, how they had better clothes and looked better in them. I remember one time being in the nurse’s office and peeking in the records of the most popular girl and seeing that I weighed 10 pounds less than her and I couldn’t understand how that was possible because I didn’t see myself looking anything like her. I realize that it wasn’t about her and how much better she was or how much more expensive her clothes were, the issue was with my own lack of self-worth. The truth is that up until recently I could be wearing expensive clothes and still felt the same way about myself and my body as I did back then. The truth is that it takes a lot of inner work to be able to fully 100% accept yourself and your body. The thing that helps is also knowing that other women who you admire and maybe envy their body deal with the exact same issues, so I am not surprised at all by the statistics that you mentioned. I think what also contributes to that statistic is when media outlets like TV, magazines and videos have always portrayed the most desirable women as being thin. The consequences of this especially now with social media is that women are using filters and editing their photos to make themselves look better, so when they get caught without that on it can really affect them psychologically and emotionally. Those apps are fun but at the same time need women need to learn to just show up on camera and be their most true authentic self without their hair and make-up done and without any special editing or filters. The beautiful thing is I think more and more society is wanting to see that and so more and more women are showing up that way. This is good for myself because although putting on make-up, wearing nice clothes and having my hair done does makes me feel more confident, I have always been a wash my hair and go kind of girl. Luckily now all the work I’ve done on myself has helped me to feel confident when just being my true authentic self without the extra NEED for more.

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

I don’t think it’s cheesy at all and it’s probably because I am the cheesy hopeless romantic type myself. I have always believed in love and desired having true love with someone else, but I have since learned that the most beautiful love story you can have is with yourself. Besides all the other issues that went into my marriage, I realized that my lack of self-esteem would’ve led to being in relationships where I still would have felt less than my partner because I would have still felt like my value and worth was correlated to how they felt about me. It wasn’t until I learned how to start loving myself before I was able to find a partner and have a loving relationship that would also drive me to have passion of becoming a better version of myself. This past year and a half was the most growth that I have felt and it’s because of the message I received from my beautiful angel Lily with the message “Love is Loving Yourself”. I realize that I needed this message first myself in order to pursue my passion of helping other women. Throughout the process of trying to find my voice and my platform, I have been going through the same battles of self-esteem and confidence even though I am in a beautiful loving relationship. Once again, I started comparing myself to other women in the field of coaching and self-improvement and almost went down the same rabbit hole of the past. I realized that I needed to stop comparing myself to other women and how successful they were, and I needed to start acknowledging all that I have achieved and all that I will achieve in time. I also realized I had to give myself the same grace I gave myself after my decision of having an abortion. The truth is we are all our own journey and each one is different from everyone else. By having love for yourself first you will stop doubting yourself and then having love instead of envy for other women you can create beautiful bonds and maybe even wonderful collaborations.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

I don’t think anyone should stay in a mediocre relationship. I think any and all issues from both parties need to be addressed and confronted so that you could have a beautiful relationship or choose to part ways. When you decide to just stay in unhealthy or mediocre relationship, over the years you will just end up doing further damage to one another. If there are children involved, then you can pass that onto them by exposing them to things no child should have to witness, therefore causing them their own emotional and psychological issues. This toxic family cycle only leads to patterns of the same and these types of generational curses need be broken. You need to become your partners best friend and you need to be able to communicate with one another as well as be able to communicate with your children. My ex and I did not agree that we should be friends with our children, and I do know that there is a fine line and it’s all about balance of being their friend while being their parent. The same holds true for you and your partner and there needs to be mutual respect with no one being above the other, creating a beautifully balanced relationship that can thrive and you can push each other to become the best version of themselves. There should be no extreme jealousy and you should become each other’s cheerleader or wing person and not let other people talk badly about your partner.

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

I’ve had to reflect and ask myself the tough questions after realizing that I have come across some of the same issues with other relationships that I did with my ex. One of the things I have been told is that I am very stubborn and that sometimes I don’t listen. Although I may get my feelings hurt, I do know that there is truth to that. I am stubborn because I have kind of learned how to do things on my own which is not always a great thing. When I went through my abortion, I went through it all alone so I kind of forced myself to just be strong. Also, although I do listen, I have a tendency to interrupt because I always want to address something said in the moment, especially when I feel like someone misunderstood what I said. I guess I’ve always come from a place of thinking that my voice or my opinion didn’t matter so sometimes I try too hard to make sure others understand me. I have since realized that two people can have two very different points of view and you can lovingly agree to disagree. In the past I felt like when someone didn’t agree with me that meant my opinion was wrong but that’s not the case. No one’s opinion or point of view is wrong because that’s what makes them who they are. I am now finally ok with knowing who I am and knowing that my voice does matter just as much as someone else’s. Also, I know that especially in raising my daughters I overcompensated because of the guilt I had from having an abortion. This made it hard to find balance in our relationship and when my daughters wouldn’t act or behave in a way I thought they should, I would become too emotional. I had to learn the same thing as with my partner that it is ok and even though they are my daughters and we all went through the same things, they are entitled to see things from their own perspective and it doesn’t mean they love me any less or that my decisions were wrong, it just meant they had their own point of view and that their feelings mattered too. I do feel like in the past year even though they moved away, our relationship has become much stronger and I have been able to and inspire them by my actions by not trying to push so hard. I had so much shame and guilt for things I exposed them to because of my own insecurities and because of my past decision so I always felt like I needed to make it up, but I just didn’t know how to go about it in the best way. I feel like the changes I am making within myself and setting an example for my daughters is the best way to help them now.

So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

It is extremely important to learn how to be alone and to be ok with being alone. As I had mentioned there were too short relationships after my first split and my divorce, where I spent another two years after each one pining over that loss. I then I found myself in a beautiful friendship that was pivotal in helping me through my divorce, but it did cross the boundary lines of control. I knew as much as I cared for the person, I wasn’t in love with him, and I still desired to have freedom to find the love I knew that still existed and was waiting for me. Therefore, I started learning how to be by myself and how to love being by myself. I have always loved nature and being outside feeling and seeing things such as the sunlight, the breeze, the ocean, the sand, trees, and flowers so I would just get out to enjoy them. I would go for walks, go for a jog, do some yoga and meditation or sign up for something I’ve never done before. All of these things that I love helped me to slowly find my independence.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

Once you have a better understanding of yourself, you can be a better partner and/or friend. As I mentioned before you may still come across differences of opinion, but you can work through them by agreeing to disagree instead of taking things too personally. Also, once you have a better understanding of who you are, you will start to align yourself with others with who you might have more in common with which will lead to fewer disagreements. Even though in the past you might have found it hard to let go of relationships, you will do so more easily and quickly because you know which relationships bring out the best in you and vice versa.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

I know in the past when I was raised and how I raised my own daughters, a lot of subjects were taboo and not spoken about. In this day and age, I feel it is necessary to educate the young at an early age instead of worrying whether or not they can handle the information. By sheltering them or keeping them in the dark, you can do more harm than good in the long run. If you have great communication between parents and children and between teachers and students, we can and should be able to talk about any and all subjects that children have questions about. We can address them in a way that no one doubts what they are saying, and no one needs to live in fear of what may or may not happen because it hasn’t happened yet.

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

For years I suffered from not loving myself because of my intense shame and guilt. After my divorce when I finally starting to deal with my abortion trauma, I felt the need to give back and I starting volunteering at a pregnancy center. My hope was to be able to work with the women who came in and to hopefully encourage them continue with their pregnancy by sharing my story with them. In order to be able to work with clients I had to attend their abortion recover class called “Forgiven and Set Free”. That was truly the first step to learning to forgive myself, although it took me three and half more years to truly embrace loving myself.

Also, after my divorce, I was looking for unique diverse ways to connect with my femininity so that I could build my self-confidence. I then enrolled in classes that I never had even considered before such as pole dancing, aerial silks and Sheila Kelly’s S-Factor classes. I highly recommend them to any women no matter what level you are at because they truly were a great way to connect with your body and empower yourself. This year a beautiful documentary came out called “Strip Down, Rise Up” on Netflix. It follows a six-month journey of different woman all of ages and ethnic backgrounds who heal trauma and body image shame through sensual dance and daring pole artistry.

After attending the live video class last January, I knew that I needed to continue sharing my message so that I could build up my confidence when speaking, so I continued to participate in a private Facebook Live Challenge group and other challenges groups such as Tony’s Robbin’s Comeback Challenge and Be on TV Bootcamp. These were all great ways to continue to build my confidence and the extra support I received from others truly did help build some beautiful online connections. I even challenged myself to create my own challenge and see how far I could go past the end of a 7-day challenge and made it up to 57 days in a row doing live video. There was a point when I realized that the lack of support did start to affect me, but then I quickly turned it around because I realized I was doing it for myself and not for anyone else. I do feel truly proud of myself and I highly encourage others to challenge themselves to doing live videos if they haven’t already. I have been way more comfortable doing mine in private groups but going forward I do want to challenge myself to do more lives on my personal pages.

Feeling love for me was also about connecting with my angel baby and surrounding myself with things that helped me feel her love. I started bringing fresh lily flowers into my home and then I later bought some beautiful artificial ones that I could have year-round. With these flowers, I created a beautiful shrine area with things to remind me of her such as a letter I wrote to her, a candle to burn and my picture frame I created with her words to me. I also started surrounding myself with all forms of love that I could give to myself like wearing a necklace and a mask with the word “love” on it. I also started wearing perfumes named “Love” or ones made from lilies. I also sent the same perfumes and necklace to the women in my family to connect us all and share my/her love with them. One such truly special gift I sent with my daughters when they moved to Texas was a single lily flower that my boyfriend had found one day at Ikea. It is special because it was the only one he found on a shelf all by itself and I have never been able to find it on their website. After having it on his desk for a while to help him with creative inspiration, I kept on my desk and now my daughters have it with them to be their guiding light. I know to some this might seem a little crazy or out there, but it is what I choose to believe and feel because it brings me such a sense of peace and joy knowing all three of my girls are together just as they are in my heart and in my tattoo, which I have on my left wrist. It is of three birds and the word “Always” wrapped in the infinity symbol.

I love to dance and only used to only feel comfortable dancing in public with my partner. During the pandemic when places were all closed, he took me to Rodeo Drive to dance on the sidewalk. Although it was a place where I always felt I didn’t belong because of my lack of self-worth, I was proud of myself that I danced with him even though I was heavier at the time. He didn’t do it for attention and only to help me with my confidence, but the beautiful thing was that it brought many smiles and conversations from others who passed by. I have now come to a place when we are out that I have felt comfortable enough to start dancing on my own as he captures the moment with his camera.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

My recommendations maybe don’t fit into all these categories, but they are very personal to me and are in direct order and correlation to their presence in my life and my journey.

Dear Universe books / Sarah Prout Podcast — I came across Sarah Prout’s website the morning after having a dream about having a spirit guide who lives thousands of miles away. Although at the time I found her she was living in Las Vegas, she is from New Zealand and used to live in Australia. I felt an immediate connection to her story of being in an abusive marriage and was intrigued by her beautiful love story of how she connected with her twin flame love and is now married to him. Six months after during doing her Ancient Manifesting Ritual, I was blessed to be connected with my twin flame love and so I feel a deep gratitude toward her and one day would love to meet her and her beautiful family. When she came out with her book Dear Universe, I immediately bought a copy and won a copy which I used to share with passengers who felt drawn to the book and have since passed it on to my daughters. Right before they moved away, I encouraged them to do their own ritual with me as I did a second one and I have also witnessed many beautiful things that have come true for all of us.

I don’t believe it’s magical or far-fetched it’s just about focusing on what it is that you truly want and desire in your life and when you put the energy out there to God and the universe, sometimes it will be delivered. Many times as it was in my case, it will not be what you were asking for but it will be much better and far more than you expected.

Fire and Soul Podcast by Michelle Sorro — I remember sitting in my car waiting for my daughter at UCLA when I heard Michelle Sorro as a guest on Sarah Prout’s podcast. Just as with Sarah, I felt a deep connection to her and was excited when I found out that she lived in Santa Monica. I immediately started listening to more of her podcasts and started following her website. I knew that my desire to meet her in person would come true when I found out that she was offering a free class to introduce her Live Video Sales Mastery Class. I signed up to attend even though I didn’t know why it would be something beneficial for me because I wasn’t a coach, and I didn’t have a business. I took my youngest daughter with me who asked me the same question and felt super uncomfortable. Even though at first I was also a little nervous, I felt immediately at home. I knew after a young woman came in and spoke up so bravely and without shame about being the victim of rape, I knew why it was that I was drawn here. Although I didn’t think at the time I would be able to attend the actual class because of the cost, things lined up for me financially and I was able to sign up. It was the first and only time that she offered the class in person instead of online and it was a beautiful two-day event that changed my life for the better. It is where I first spoke up publicly in front of strangers about my abortion and I learned to use my story as my platform to speak out.

Although at the time I couldn’t get through speaking without breaking down, it was the start of the last stage of my healing process and as I have mentioned before I have grown so much more since then. I just truly appreciate everyone that was so loving and supportive, and I will never forget the relationships I formed that day. Since then, I have been able to witness so much growth in all of their work and business and I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn how to feel comfortable speaking on camera.

Consider the Lilies by Shari Rigby — I found out about this book last year in March and it came as a reminder from God that I was on the right track. Then when I learned more about the author/actress, I was so surprised to find out of yet another connection to her story. I bought her first book, Beautifully Flawed to learn more and then I watched the movie, October Baby, where I felt such a connection to her portrayal that could only be played by a woman whose had an abortion. It was the second movie I had watched that dealt about the subject of abortion. When I first saw Unplanned, I attended alone because I wasn’t at the stage in my life where I was so open about it and only had spoken with a few of the women from the clinic I volunteered and attended class at. I did start to follow Abby Johnson who many people know as being a pro-life activist.

I also started following Ashley Bratcher, the actress who portrayed her, and found she also had a connection to abortion that she didn’t know about until doing the movie. I started seeing such beautiful connection with women I felt drawn to because later she was a guest on an Instagram live with Shari Rigby. From that point I started connecting with more and more Christian women and the next one is my next book recommendation.

Dirt by Mary Marantz — As I mentioned before, I grew up in a very small town and my family didn’t have much which is where my self-worth issues stemmed from. Over the past year when trying to find what I could do with my newfound voice and freedom, I started again doubted my value and worth especially because I am very open and honest about my upbringing. That’s why being introduced to Mary and her book was perfect diving timing. She and her family come from a much harsher upbringing than my own and her story is so inspiring. She talks about her life before the trailer and after the trailer, which includes being a Yale graduate, but that is not her greatest accomplishment. I truly hope it is made into a movie one day because it is that good and a story that needs to be told.

This is Paris — I knew this might come across as something completely different but I am being 100% true and authentic with my recommendations. I have always had a strong opinion about people who judge, and I guess that is where this one comes from. I never really knew much about Paris Hilton before until this past year except for the things you hear in the media. Although I didn’t have strong opinion of her either way if I am being honest, I probably went along with the consensus.

My opinion wasn’t so much because of media but because of thinking that since she comes from a family with money, she probably was just spoiled which had more do with my own feeling of lack. I never watched her show myself, but my boyfriend told me that he did and said he always knew that there was much more to her than others gave her credit and even said he saw her as a genius. The more I have learned about her recently, I am seeing that for myself and the more I learn about what she went through in her teenage years and the home she was sent to, she definitely wasn’t spoiled by any means. Watching her documentary and seeing all the good she is doing to put an end to the abuse, I feel much more of a connection than I would have ever thought. Also, when I saw the moment her boyfriend at the time treated her in the documentary and how it affected her, I could feel her hurt and pain. I was happy to learn of her beautiful romance which I see as her twin flame. It came at a time in her life of perfect diving timing, and it is bringing out the best in her and vice versa.

Listening to the way she has brought change to her partner and gotten him to do things outside his comfort zone, reminds me of the change I have brought out in mine. For that reason and because others have come out to apologize for the way they treated her and others like Britney Spears in the media in the past, this should show all of us that we shouldn’t judge others because we don’t walk in each other’s shoes. Also, you should be inspired by someone who has the kind of money that could just choose to just stop working and live a lavish lifestyle, but instead she is a hard-working businesswoman who continues looking forward new business opportunities.

Although Paris and I may come very different lifestyles, we can both relate to being judged for just being our true authentic self. My self-worth issues that came up lately have revolved around feeling like some people will still judge for my humble beginnings and for sharing my struggles which I have been very open about. I no longer want to apologize for who I am and know that the people in my life that truly matter are the best ones who accept me fully.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…

My stance is called “Pro-Love” instead of pro-life or pro-choice. I feel when you create a debate like this it just creates a divide instead of focusing on the underlying issues. I feel that by providing resources such as therapy and educating women about all the different emotional factors that can result from having an abortion, they might choose other options such as adoption if they’re don’t feel like they can raise their child. Unlike in the past, adoptions are open now and you are able to decide along with their adoptive parents if you want to have open communication and contact. If the reasons are financial, to let women know about all the different organizations that can help provide for supplies such as formula and diapers for their baby.

And most importantly, if they do decide to have an abortion, not to just turn our back on them but to get them into healing classes right away that can help her with the emotions they might be experiencing such as regret and guilt. Even if they might not feel these emotions, it is still vital to get them into therapy right away because the truth is the woman who walks into an abortion clinic is not the same as the woman who walks out of the abortion clinic. I feel by changing the way we look at this issue and by educating woman about all the different options available or hidden risk factors, we can change the statistics which are currently 1 out of 4 women will have an abortion by the age of 45 and 50% of women who’ve had an abortion will have another one.

Even more important is that the age group with the most abortions are 20–24 years old. This tells us that it is crucial that we start providing more education to girls in their teens around the topic of sex and the important of self-love so that they can have heathy relationship. Subjects like abortion should no longer be taboo because we know it does exist and is more prominent than is shared. States and government need to acknowledge the need for money needed to provide education and other resources, started with these next two: New York, which represents the highest number of abortions and California, which has the highest number of abortion-providing facilities. These two states need to set the precedent because in order to reduce the number of abortions and the amount of emotional impacts such as mental health issues we need to start to address instead of just ignore. This is an issue just as important as sex-trafficking because many young women and girls are not even the ones choosing to have abortions. They are being forced into having one and then immediately returning to work without addressing the emotional and physical trauma they experience in addition to the sexual trauma.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

My favorite quote is actually a bible verse that I have tattooed on my right wrist. Although my hope is that your readers will have a belief in God or a higher power, they don’t have to in order to relate to the meaning behind the words. James 1:2–4 states, “Consider it pure joy, my brother and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it work so that you may be whole and complete, not lacking anything”. For me personally, I am grateful for everything that I have gone through in my life because it has made me strong and build my faith in not only God, but in myself. My hope and dream are for others who are still in the trial part of their lives and feeling hopeless, will start to feel a presence of a higher being such as a loved one who passed that can guide and direct them on their path. I would love to help the readers who feel inspired by my story, so they can connect with me on my Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lorakirby.

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