Hi, my name is Debbie.
As a hairstylist for 40 years, I enjoyed the privilege of spending many hours in meaningful conversations with hundreds of people. Sometimes, I’m sure they’ve left my salon thinking, “Why did I tell her all of that?”
We shared secrets, dreams, life’s celebrations and heartbreaks. Sometimes they only needed their hair done, and I loved helping them feel good about themselves. At other times, they were suffering from a broken marriage, the death of a child, health issues, or other serious matters.
They needed someone to talk to, and they knew that I understood because I had many challenges too. We were overcoming our challenges together.
Acceptance Helps Overcome Challenges
My vision is to ease people’s suffering by sharing how I overcome challenges through acceptance and love.
Working as a self-employed hairstylist and teaching aerobics, I raised my two children alone.
They had multiple disabilities including lung disease and autism.
I also overcame divorce, poverty, and bulimia. In 2009, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, MS. Acceptance helps me overcome these challenges.
Reading people’s stories about how they accept their challenges helped me learn to accept mine and I didn’t feel so alone.
Accepting my challenges inspired me to take action to find solutions. This helped me feel like I could do something to help myself.
Unconditional Love Eases Challenges
At 21, I was married and pregnant. We were expecting a healthy baby. When she was born, I was shocked. She had deformed arms and missing fingers and toes. My automatic reaction was that I didn’t want the baby.
The next day, I held Heather for the first time. I looked into her little face and stroked her small arms.
All of a sudden, I felt incredible love for her. This love has carried me through all of my challenges.
Geneticists told me that I could have another baby and it wouldn’t have Miller syndrome like Heather. On April Fool’s Day, three years later, my son, Logan, was also born with the same disabilities.
I loved him immediately. Love helped me through 55 surgeries and my other challenges.
Self-Acceptance and Self-Love Transform
Their father and love of my life deserted us. I was devastated and so depressed that I developed bulimia. I got counseling and attended Overeaters Anonymous. One woman asked me, “When are you going to stop being so mean to yourself?”
Digging deep, I found the courage for self-honesty. I was afraid to look at myself.
I was always criticizing everything about myself. My expectations were unreachable.
One step at a time, I learned to accept myself as I was and to forgive myself for mistakes.
I discovered qualities in myself that other people saw, but I didn’t know I had, like being strong, confident, open and disciplined.
My compassion, love, and acceptance for myself and others grew.
I had lost my previous spiritual beliefs, but I found new beliefs in a power greater than myself. Slowly, I overcame bulimia.
Meditation Helps Gain Acceptance for Challenges
I love to meditate. When I first tried it, I set a timer for ten minutes. I felt like I was in timeout! After a while, meditating calmed me.
When I feel resistance, I sit still, close my eyes and focus on my breath. Doing this helps me feel peaceful and grounded.
When I open my eyes, my mind is clear and I feel more love. I also feel more connected to myself and my higher power. A bonus is that I don’t feel as many MS symptoms.
Regular meditation helps you gain acceptance.
Connection with Nature Creates Relief
I love nature. When I feel alone, all I need to do is look up at the sky or the trees. They are here with me every day, in every season. Seeing them reminds me that I am not alone.
By spending time in nature, I feel closer to everyone, including myself. I’ve read many self-help and spiritual growth books which have helped me learn about connection, acceptance, and love.
Sharing my journey helps me connect
My passion for showing how acceptance and love can help overcome challenges compelled me to write my story, Eight Fingers and Eight Toes: Accepting Life’s Challenges.
During the final edits of my book, doctors diagnosed me with MS. I was so scared. I am athletic and love using my body. Who would I be if I couldn’t be physically active? I had been teaching aerobics for 30 years.
Learning that I am more than how my body looks or what it can do has helped me focus on who I am and what is important to me. I’ve always felt strongly that my life’s purpose is to be happy.
I live close to nature at the foot of beautiful mountains with my husband, Lynn Jorde. Heather and Logan live only 10 minutes away.
The real victory in my life is that I have found joy in the face of my suffering. I experience joy many moments of every day. ~Debbie Jorde
On my website, I provide inspiring stories and useful tools for accepting and overcoming challenges.
I’m happy we connected. Remember, you are not alone. Together, we can overcome challenges.