Go contribute to our Custom Jewelry Benefit Sale going on now from my personal website--the collection includes some of my own pieces as well as beautiful donations from people who have committed themselves to the cause of building healthy, loving relationships in the world! You-me-us: together we can grow SOUL and permanently help heal the women's lives from being broken to beautiful!
SOUL stands for Supporters Of Unfettered Love. I am so passionate about SOUL; it is a dream that integrates my entire life story. SOUL came to me as the chains that had fettered me for nearly 9 years of my adult life -gradually came undone.
I did not know how far I had drifted from having life until the chains of feeling soulless, helpless, and loveless pulled me to to the ground. I had exhausted all that I had learned to "help myself" with. My mind began to shut down. My emotions started to disappear, I didn't laugh or cry. I gave up. I was just a body going through the motions.
My child and young adult years in the church did not prevent the abuse. Being a minister's daughter didn't help me. The fact that my brothers and father were kind men did not help me. Walking a "right" path did not help me. My honors college degrees did not help me. My lifestyle as a "strong and independent American woman" did not help me. Even as a professional marriage and family therapist myself and surrounded by a family of counselors, the dark issues in my relationship went unidentified or unacknowledged. The least suspected person (so I thought and many others have shared) to wind up in a destructive relationship was me and somehow, when I went looking for romantic love in my own life, I ended up making my poorest choices yet. How could this happen?
And then I began to see the twisted version of love that I was a part of. I see now the fettered, or binding, "love" that I settled for. Three years of intense introspection, family love, mental aid and soul-renewal revealed that the behaviors I thought were a part of normal "marriage problems" or dating "speed bumps" were really part of a complicated and controlling web of relationship abuse. A web so confusing that I got lost in it, bound to it. And all the while, it was spun so quietly that no one heard it and so invisible that no one saw it.
If it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. Stereotypes must be thrown aside for abuse to be understood: no one is out of its reach. Treatment does not stop with a shelter or safe place for women who have experienced what is known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). The damaging psychological affects can go on for years and entire lives. Without inward healing, individuals become zombies, as I became. And soulless individuals make way for societies that crumble. Prevention and intervention are not enough to counteract largely disguised abuse; mental health must be viewed as priority to uncover the invisible aftermath of an abusive relationship.
YOU make healing opportunity possible and a priority with your SOULbag purchase! What you carry sparks conversations about what matters: matters of the heart and soul; matters of the condition of our spirits; matters of our deepest thoughts and our greatest needs. Your purchase multiplies healing opportunity. In 2012, because of my own healing, I was privileged to work directly with over 215 women. Your purchase creates a rippling affect that empowers me to continue to empower others who will go on to empower others and then more... and will change the tide of abuse. One for hundreds. And then one for thousands. And then one for millions. One for many more!
I believe in true love, intimacy. That's why I have hope. I gave up on it for so many years and lived in misery for too long. I want the real deal for you, for me, and those you love. Join me as a Supporter Of Unfettered Love, fighting violence against the human spirit and advocating and providing through the SOULbag a healing love that has no fetters, chains or bounds and frees us to be who we are meant to be!
Hugs, lots of them,
Kelli Forsythe, Founder of SOUL
Without inward healing, individuals
I love SYMBOLISM:
The making of the SOULbags from repurposed and "defected" industrial netting into carrying items that are bright and beautiful illustrate my healing story of transformation from a worn and broken spirit with no purpose for existence into someone with purpose, passion and renewed hope. The logo further illustrates the recovery process by representing a broken heart turned into a bird in flight.