The Things I will not Do

Today, I find myself looking over the last four years since I left my full-time job to dedicate my life to helping other survivors.

What a journey! Full of ups and downs, failures and successes, mistakes, fighting and facing my own prejudices and demons, craziness and meeting amazing human beings who have overcome, well much more than one could ever imagine. Then there is the exposure to - well, evil – I have no other word for it, and even that one seems too small an idea for the things I have seen, heard and witnessed.

I have learnt so much over these few years that has truly taught me to be more, well, me. I have learnt more compassion, not less passion just more empathy and more perseverance.

I have learnt that falling down is part of finding victory.

I have learnt that not everyone is who you think they are and you, may not even really, truly, be who you think you are.

I have been down and discouraged and then uplifted and emboldened, and then I have learnt there are some things I will not do – no matter how tough it gets.

I will not sell trauma to get funding – I will not traumatise others, spread pain and desensitisation for the sake of money.

I just cannot bring myself to do it – although so many have encouraged me to. I will only tell my story of victory and healing, and others if they choose to share, because that is what people need – hope and healing – even if they don’t realise it yet.

I know my value. I also know what I have to offer is priceless. So you can stop with that one it does not work on me anymore. I don't need accreditation from people who have not LIVED or SEEN the trauma I deal with every day. I might not have a degree, but what I do have can't be taught in any university and I have long stopped appologising for who I am and the road less travelled.

I will not change the essence of who I am to fit into someone else’s idea of what a warrior, an OptiMyser (I can't use activist anymore) or a healer looks like.

I will protect those who come to me for assistance because they need to be believed, protected, nurtured and loved.

Most of all… I WILL NOT QUIT.

I will not quit because today, AGAIN, when I was at my lowest God sent an angel to give me hope and remind me that ANYTHING is possible.


Yes, you can laugh at me or judge me for my faith but I will continue to walk the path I believe to be right and true, not because it is easy – because it is the right thing to do.

So, to remind myself, and maybe to remind all of you who have encouraged me to pack it in and go “get a job”:

My name is Celeste Louw, and I am a Warrior Woman.

You need someone to hate

Instead of face the truth

Of what people have become

Afraid of confrontation

Conforming in your non-conformance

You can hate me.

You need someone to blame

For the pain and the fear inside

That prevents you

from being true to yourself

To your beliefs

You need to appear brave


yet you have no righteous indignation

You cannot speak your mind

You can blame me

I am not afraid

of your judgement

I am not moved

by the opinion of the majority

I am not swayed

by the grey boundaries

of popularity pandering

I am not interested

in the pursuit

of temporary fulfilment

I was called to

Defend the weak

Comfort the weary

Empathise with the broken

Face the fury

I was called to

Carry my cross

Shoulder my burden

Put on my armour

My reward is not measured

by the hand of man

I am a warrior woman

I am a princess of the throne

I am the beloved of my Father

I am unafraid


Phoenix Rising Model Jennifer Azul, World class Digital Artist Jason Hahn Photographer Colby Files @moodart @MagazinePM @FashionCanada

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