Here’s the video you wanted to see. Watch Ridgely break down at the end of Chapter 1—very intimate and revealing. Click on the video now!

Watch Ridgely break down in Chapter 1–very revealing.

“Since I couldn’t read it myself, here’s the begining of the book. Take a look…” Ridgely

Chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4 of The Great Ones
(click on link above – pdf opens in new window)

Please leave YOUR personal comment below—we want to hear from YOU!
Share a thought, an insight, a feeling for all of us. Thanks!


  1. I feel everyday that I am living so far below the level I should be living, not just could be.

    I also had some very terrifying experiences as a child that have left scars and I often wonder how those scars might be the impediments that either contribute or are the root cause standing in the way of my living a greater life.

    The sense of living a greater life actually haunts me as I have not figured out how to move from where I am to where I am continually feeling I should be.

    With that said I sometimes wish the feeling would leave since I feel lost trying to figure out how to chart the course to that nebulous greater life.

    I know that all great athletes, musicians even actors have great mentors and I believe that perhaps a mentor is what I need to guide me towards the greater life I feel I should be living.

    Thank you very much for your reading. I look forward to experiencing more from “” site.

  2. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.



  3. Dear Ridgely, I relate and resonate with your message. It seems it’s part of our adventure on this earth to embrace both – the good and the bad. I like you and like many many many of us have been tested in periods of fear and loneliness where life trows much more that we can handle. I was fortunate enough to find the support I needed to overcome this challenges. As an outcome I became more humble and grateful. Now I understand we are never alone and life is all connected. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thank you for sharing your personal story. The last healing piece of my own childhood story of sexual molestation by a female caretaker came in the form of writing what would become a best-selling book: Overcomers, Inc.–True Stories of Hope, Courage and Inspiration.

    There are a few things I learned on this journey:
    1. I can choose to welcome, love and embrace EVERY experience as an opportunity to grow and learn about my capacity as a soulful being.
    2. I have a life experience/message that can empower others if I’m willing to share and be vulnerable (like you are).
    3. I am responsible to transform any experience into something beneficial for myself and others.
    4. I am not a victim, nor am I a survivor or thriver. Labels only serve to keep me constrained and defined by the experience. I must decide to be free.
    5. I give myself permission to be truly free to determine my own path of healing.

    Blessings to all!

  5. Dear Ridgely, I relate and resonate with your message. It seems it’s part of our adventure on this earth to embrace both – the good and the bad. I, like you and like many many many of us have been tested in periods of fear and loneliness where life throws much more that we can handle. I was fortunate enough to find the support I needed to overcome those challenges. As an outcome I became more humble and grateful. Now I understand we are never alone and Life is all connected. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Lynda Schroeder

    Thank you for sharing. Bless all mentors. I desparately need one now and am praying for one…so that I can become one too. Lynda

  7. Kenneth K

    Dear Ridgely I lived through a very difficult and many life challenging experiences. Through illness, injuries, abuse and dysfunctional family characteristics I was a mess. Then tragedy struck a major change began. A deep lie against me sent me into a life of victimization. I turned to drugs to hide the pain. Five years I used crack to ease my physical and mental pain and anguish. Then an overdose and then a second I began to look st myself and thought is it possible to get back to some kind of normalcy to regain a life that I can function in. The path has not been one paved of material riches, it has been paved with emotional riches and understanding of who I am and why I am here. I appreciate this video and your message of hope. We have a path and we all share that life is a gift or a tragedy. It is for us to determine as we walk our individual path and to recognize the help when it is sent. To resist or embrace. It is our choice. Thank you again my earthly brother. Peace Love Joy Health Happiness

  8. Dear Ridgely,
    Thank you for sharing your life story! You are brave! I too was beaten and am still coming to terms with it. I appreciate your comment that it took a very long time to turn your life around. I feel that too. And I have long held the vision that I too would write my story one day. I’m in the process of doing that now. Hearing your story was very powerful. Again, thanks for sharing it with the world! And thanks for all the healing work you’ve done to get to where you are now.

  9. Ridgely,

    Thank you for sharing this seemingly small; yet, significant portion of your life story. It has many similarities to my own story. Also, it reminds me of the adult sounding boards (the word “mentor” was not in my vocabulary in the ’60s)I had as a young girl. Each one taught me different lessons. However, some of those lessons took me many years to understand. I will now share one of my stories with you.

    I had a French teacher in middle school. I asked him, “Why do I need to learn French? I will never go there.
    He said, “You never know where life will lead you. You may travel the world. So, learning a foreign language will be a great benefit”.
    I went through the motions but I could not see past my circumstance of being one step short of living in the ghetto. One year after I graduated high school, I (as you might guess) was blessed with opportunities to travel the world, and I took advantage of those opportunities. I hope to see or speak to my French teacher to let him know that the seeds he planted in me so many years ago–grew tall.
    Now, I use every moment I have to impress upon young people how important and powerful a dream can be.

    Thank you Ridgely for sharing and for allowing me to share with you.

  10. Jim Drey


    Unlike you, I was never subjected to physical abuse. Mine was mental.

    You are correct-it takes a very long time to piece “things” together in order to make sense of it all; that is, IF we are fortunate enough to have appropriate guidance either through a very strong friendship (mentor)or via professional counseling.

    I didn’t understand/couldn’t comprehend back then, and now at age 61, I am able to look back (only for a very short time), understand that I was a “people-pleaser”, which enabled me with my Mother, but more than likely, alienated my relationship with Dad (I couldn’t please him), since he was already the consummate professional! Neither my sister or brother really tried to understand me, much less try to help me. Both were older than me. They just made fun of me, consistently told me that I would never accomplish anything, that I was “no good”. I lost all self-esteem as a result….

    Of course, I have had a huge number of successes and failures. Overall, my life has been very good–fabulous wife, fabulous children. I live well, I understand people and their foibles.

    You see, I didn’t learn that I was, and am, ADHD until nine years ago. Since then, I have dedicated myself to assisting others with ADHD/ADD/LD.

    I train PARENTS, via a fourteen hour course all about all aspects of ADHD. (Before I began, I checked out all of the information that this non-profit offers, it’s reputation and it was solid and has become more so).

    Ridgely, more than likely, you also lost your self-esteem with your own growing up. I understand.

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Ridgely,

    Your story is very touching and poignant! It’s great to hear stories of people who have grown to be giving, loving people despite their terrible childhood circumstances.

    Your story on mentorship is especially close to my heart as I promote the American Dream…..the notion that anyone…and I mean anyone can achieve their Dream. It takes hard work, dedication, and, most of all, perseverance! I have a media program called “Our American Dream” show which is broadcast and video streamed all across the country and the internet.

    On the show, I have guests who tell their story of achieving their Dreams. In spite of all the hurdles, obstacles, and hardships, they never gave up! Sometimes, it was the exra effort or push they made that was the differnece between success and failing. As Winston Churchill said, “Success in not final, Failure is not fatal….it’s the Courage to continue that counts!”

    I am Blessed to speak all over the country to audiences young and old as I do my best to inspire and empower my fellow Americans to never give up their Dreams. My speaking has enabled me to be a mentor and coach to people who need some assistance along their path to success.

    Like you, Ridgely, I am publishing a book also. Mine is titled “Yes! The American Dream is Alive and Well”.

    My goal is to keep on inspiring Americans to purue their Dreams, even in thses economic times, because opportunities abound in a country that still rewards it’s citizens based on hard work and merit.

    Like you, I want to make a difference in the lives of people who need our help and mentoring.

    God Bless, My Brother,

    Walt Cameron

  12. The story echoes the experience of 100’s of people I’ve interviewed, not all dealing with abuse, but all finding empowerment through connection with a mentor. My story is similar about key transitions in my life where a mentor played a significant role and made a difference in a choice point for my life direction.

    I’m certainly not critical of the video, but I do think the “marketing” component of stating that “the author had a meltdown,” is both inaccurate and demeaning. The expression of remembered emotion based on a real life experience is not a “meltdown.” If anything it’s a breakthrough or a celebration of emotional freedom to bring up a deeply held feeling. Shedding tears in remembrance of long-ago experience is a bonus that tells you you’re alive, a feeling person, a human, and connected to the power within.

  13. Thanks for sharing yet. Nope, fortunately my ups and downs are not that drastic; though i am trying to break through to the next wealth level — million dollar mark, and being much nearer to be financially free; should be buying your book when i next drop by the book store (i reside in a small town in Malaysia on weekdays, so no book store until i pop over to the bigger towns). Thanks, n cheers

  14. Dear Ridge, I know what you are sharing, I have shared my life in my book, Breathing Free, 16 short stories – all based on the challenges life dealt me and the emotional, tense, yet successful walk. I appreciate your openness and the lack of concern over ‘what will people think?’ That is the one ‘issue’ that keeps circling around my life. Here’s the point of this – I have been waiting for the flag, the key, something that says it’s time to step out of the old and into the new — Thank you for being there for me, and for sharing the reality of ‘Going through the valley of the shadow of death’ — you do know what makes a shadow, yes? :-)) Love to you and your life.

  15. Your story makes me realise yet again how lucky I was to grow up in such a strong happy environment. I was punished when I was a child for doing naughty things, but that was fair and it wasn’t abusive – more a wake up call. I feel sad that so many are abused by the ones who should love and be most protective of their children. The damage they inflict scars they leave are unforgiveable – Mentors are such saviours and wonderful teachers – thank you Ridgely and others like you for sharing your story and for helping so many learn to deal with their shadows of the past.

  16. Well, Ridge, one of the early challenges in my life, was being the daughter of a single mom, back in the day when it was a ‘sin’ so I was the sin. Lived in a small town, and the women were mean and hurtful – I was molested and told I would never have a family – no one would love me. I went to a tent meeting when I was 4 years old – and listened to what the man talking shared. I asked God into my life, or accepted that God was my Daddy — speed forward – I met my husband when I was a senior in high school, and although I had been accepted at Julliard I decided that I wanted a husband and family – I wanted love more than attention. We have been married 45 going on 46 this November, we have 3 sons, one in Texas, one in Amsterdam, and one in Nashville, pursuing their dreams and desires. Life always blooms – and I remain grateful for the blooming of life in me!

  17. Hi Ridgely,

    Thanks so much for you. The universe, as usual, showed up in its perfect time and place. I’ve been writing a book, not unlike yours, with my partner. It’s about stories that we all have which create how we show up in the world. I would love to share it with you.

    Len Blank

  18. HI it is a great story, THanks so much for sharing it. About time
    someone does write something that he or she will benifit from. It is a very strong and intimate story , I hope I get the time to read it and learn so when I publish my own story I’ll know that there’s nothing to
    be afraid of when you’re not perfect. Thanks –


  19. ‘Very inspiring!….Blessings of Love and peace to you. Life does hand out many interesting and sometimes not so interesting or memories of our human experiences. But writing or singing the stories in a positive way to deal with them. I have seen many friends or people, children, and the sort, over the years go through some of the same. I have had to mentor to them, and guide them to a safe place, so they can see the light ahead, so they can reach their dreams and realize they are winner’s no matter what.
    Thanks for sharing.


  20. A very good and heartfelt beginning of a book that I will definitely check out. I am an old soul and I think that I was born that way. I watched and observed, dealt with what I had to and forgave and understood others as to why they did what they did, very early in life. I have stayed true to my beliefs throughout my life. I let kindness guide me and despite the difficulties that were set before me, I went on with life. In my forties when it all came tumbling down and I lost everything except my daughter, I was faced with death, judgement, shame, ridicule, poverty and literally and physically taking on a town and building a home. I thanked God at that time for every difficulty I had had as a child for it enabled me to continue. Today I am a mentor of sorts to many people. At 54, I have lived through much of the hard times that life brings. I still believe that kindness is the answer to many of our situations and that forgiveness is the only way to get through anything. At this time I am working on a big project that I believe will enable others to live though their circumstances and move forward towards their possibilities. I have not lived all of this for nothing and that is what a mentor is… accepting and learning from their own life and willingly passing it on so others can reap the the benefits.

    I wish you well with your new book.. you seem to be a very nice man…

    Take care,


  21. I thank you and I ackowledge your grace and courage in being so very forthright in the details of your life. Your approach to us, your audience, is very personal, open and sharing. Thank you so much. The courage you act with, is a life line for those who have had difficulty telling our stories. So thank you again, it creates encouragement to step out of our fears, for all of us.

    I find that life is a challenge to stay balanced, which is similar to the Kenny Rogers song – “the Gambler”. Do you remember the line from the song – “know when to hold em, and know when to fold em?” Well, the angel site I referenced is one that I finally gave up working on. They are my paintings. I did let the angels come to my canvas. Someone else is taking care of that website for me now, while I work on my sites through David Wood’s training about making our planet green and helping people start a better life for themselves.

    Believe me, I am dirt dog stubborn when I set my mind, but by finally giving up the struggle of building that site, I opened the path to a much greater opportunity to say my peace. Because of that closing and new opening, I found David Wood’s remarkable offering and am very grateful that I quit the other. One door closes and another one opens.

    I resonate with your story because as a child I did face some negative obstacles. As I grew up I was still living unconsciously. That factor led me into a very negative and terrifying relationship. In fact, the relationship often centered around the great Black Boot Fear! I often find that Black Boots are very shiny and polished. They have hard steel toes inside them. They also hurt – a lot – when they are coming at you.
    My ex was a prison guard by trade (and for pleasure), and he owned quite a shiny pair.

    I am really not very courageous. Probably because I have always been very small in stature. Like the old adage says, “Ninety pounds soaking wet if she weighs a dime.” Because I am not very courageous, I only held out for four years of trial by Black Boots. I must confess I came to fear them greatly. I did learn how to smile through scrubbing floors with toothbrushes. I did learn how to block the worst of the shots. I did learn how to suck food through a straw when my jaw wasn’t working too well. And Lordy, I certainly did learn a lot about Black Boot fear.

    I learned about running away too. In fact I ran away 5 times. It did no good. His police friends always found me and he brought me back.

    One day while reading a story to a child, I got the lesson! I honestly credit this story with saving my life. Did you ever hear the story about “The Little Train That Could?” Total inspiration there – God Bless that author.

    I finally figured it out. He was a junk yard bully and the only way out was to directly face him down. It took me about 6 months to work up the courage to do that and say to his face, “I am leaving”.

    You know, I still get nervous when someone comes around wearing nice shiny Black Boots! But I am still here, I am still alive and ….
    I thrive.

    Well, Ridgely, you asked us to share a story. So there it is.

    I thank you so much for sharing yours and giving me the opportunity to share a bit of mine.

    • Christine

      And you say you are not courageous! How extraordinarily brave you are Daisy Lee, with warmest wishes and admiration, Christine

  22. Dear Ridgely,
    From the small excerpt of your book, both in the video and online, I gained something. You know, I do not think of myself as a failure, I have done my best along my way with the tools I was given – I think of myself as a success! Sometimes it seems as if other people see me as a failure, and I find that difficult to deal with. Today I was asked whether I had any children – I replied, as usual, yes I do, I have two children, my son died at the age of 15 and I have one surviving child. Immediately I was asked how my son died. I replied ‘from a heroin overdose’. This is truth. The response I received was ‘oh that’s so sad, at 15! how terrible’. I replied ‘everyone has a story to tell’. My story is sad, I know that, and, at times, it would feel good to be able to tell it differently – perhaps turn it into a fairy tale! I would like to be able to write my story with complete honesty to both myself and all those who played a part. It is my choice to tell the truth – I would like to be able to write my life story with the courage that you have – not for sympathy, not for pity, but as a testament to the parts that I myself and everyone who I was given on this earth plane played in my life and the ultimate gift of love and learning I was given from them all.
    Thank you

  23. I too grew up with verbal, emotional and verbal abuse and I am just now finding my way in life. My spirituality pulls me up by the boot strings when the going gets tough and it has led me through 5 years of healing the abuse that has torn me apart inside. I can now look back an realize that the heavy hand of my father was also the heavy hand of his father and the rest of his patriarchal line. I can also look back and seek to correct those changes now, if only that could have been done 30 yrs ago when I bore my son. He too had to live a life of abuse due to me because that’s I was brought up.

    I spend time talking to my son now about life, changes and choices and we both agree that the harsh physical disciplinary times are now over and we have a better life to look forward to.

    I still keep plugging away at the self healing, I can honestly say it is life long work. And I keep the pace with my spirituality every day for it raises me above the bar and keeps me honest with myself, my intentions and healing for my congregation which I can council with and open heart and wiser ways.

    Thank you for sharing your story Ridgely. I look forward to reading your entire book.

    Blessed Be and Goddess Bless!

  24. Christine

    My family disintegrated from the age of 8 culminating in my mother leaving home with one of my two sisters. I was staying with a friend on the night she left so I discovered that she had gone upon my return. It was in the winter so it was dark, the house was in darkness but was not empty. My dad was sitting alone in the darkness, silent. Selfishly, my immediate thoughts were about myself and how I was devastated by my discovery, I had been left.

    My dad was in pieces but managed to put his arms around me and tell me that it had nothing to do with me and that what ever had occurred between him and her was between them and that she was my mother and would always love me just as he did. What a dad!

    Anyway, throughout my teens I had a number of issues and deep inside always blamed my mum for leaving my dad and abandoning me. I kept in touch with my mum but only because I felt obliged to as my elder sister insisted that I should. I never enjoyed the visits and as I became older the visits became less and less although I didn’t lose touch completely. In truth, I yearned for her love and affection.

    Later in life, and having had a child of my own, I realised how desperate I was, each time I saw her, to embrace her and kiss her and let her know how much I missed and loved her. One day, upon saying goodbye after a visit, I decided to just do what was in my heart, I felt compelled to take the risk of rejection. At some point I seemed to realise that I was denying myself the very thing that would heal my wounds – I opened my arms and leant in towards her, brought her gently into my embrace – her response came without hesitation and was warm and all encompassing – my insides were whole again.

    When I ponder on this ‘happening’, I acknowledge that people do the best they can with the skills they have at the time. My heart and mind have been forever opened.

    I have since learned that one of the presuppositions of NLP is ‘people do the best they can with the choices (they perceive are) available to them.'(John Grinder and Richard Bandler) I am now a student of NLP and embrace its principles.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your book as I suspect there is some powerful learning inside – thank you, Christine xxx ps you might consider selling your complete book via CD or DVD, there seems something wonderous about having a story read to you as an adult!

  25. Karen Scotland-Kirosingh

    I enjoy reading and hope to finish your story.

    I am from an incest background(father/daughter), but received my healing,5 years ago through counselling sessions and have started to achieve many things for myself, having been told that anything I put my hands to nothing good would ever come of it. That was from my mother.

    A year after my healing, I wrote a book of my life story, printed the only copy from my PC and still have not retailed it. My new life will be the follow-up book.

    I am still wrestling with one particular problem. No matter what I do and no matter how close I come to success, I always seem to be defeated by the financial side and my father even told me to give up trying the get-rich-quick schemes I am involved in. What I am trying to achieve has been 16 years since I started it and getting rich for my plans success is part of it, but not the quick riches.

    As I can see the success coming which will benefit many underpriviledged greatly, I will keep fishing for wealth to achieve my plans. I am almost there. My mind often wanders about the negative thoughts planted in me about finances, but I also realise that if I keep knocking doors, each one will eventually open for me to success.

    I am curious to know what lessons the old man was trying to teach.

  26. Migen L. Osorio

    The story of Ridgely leads me back to the nineteen years, that is, time that I spent visiting my favorite teacher, Mrs. Nieves B. Epistola of the English Department of the University of the Philippines, time that was spent after graduation from college. Mrs. E, as she was fondly called by the students who adored her, was full of wisdom. And she kept on giving us gifts, not just her time, but tangible gifts like books, and not just plain books but books which were of interest to us.
    I am familiar with student and teacher relationships. And she kept on encouraging me to grow intellectually and as a person too. She spoke of truths, truths untarnished and eternal. I could not have enough of her ideas. I was the perpetual student and she the esteemed teacher. Like her, I became a teacher in English but in a provincial state college. And I then knew the reward a teacher gets, the reward that one feels when one realizes that he/she has touched individual lives. I look back to the times spent with Mrs. E. They could not have been more than magical. They were refreshing, enlightening, enriching.
    The old man in the life of Ridgely I equate with Mrs. E. Ridgely stumbled on a truth, that is, that life’s lessons are learned by someone from someone willing to take time with us. And that someone in the young life of Ridgely was that old man who graciously took time out to teach Ridgely a lesson, that is, one fails only when one quits.
    I have met many obstacles in my life but they did not remain obstacles. They were challenges to be overcome and that were overcome.
    Yes, to succeed one must keep on fishing like the old man and there will come a time when one will catch that proverbial fish.
    In other words, keep on moving on and you will reach your destination.
    Very truly yours,

    (Miss) MIGEN L. OSORIO

  27. Achinyang Adie

    This is a great inspiring story. No matter how difficult the challenges every human faces, an outlet for escape, growth and flourishing is always hidden somewhere. The task is to be calm enough, to have a presence of mind, to be able to spot such routes. Stories like this empowers peoople to gain ultimate freedom.

  28. Hi Ridgley,

    Thank you for this video. I started crying, and it never happened to me before. I too, experienced things like that, plus names calling. My father, rest his soul, had huge hands, so he didn’t need to use a belt. He did it to my brother too, and to my mother. Thank God you had such a friend. At the end, we need to forgive and let go. I no longer holding a grudge because I understand that he couldn’t help it. I wish and hope for you that you release it. I truly wish you the best. May God bless you for your candidness.

  29. Joe Prchal

    Hello Ridgely,

    I am sittng here in the middle of the night wondering where life is going to take me. I went to a doctor’s office this morning with my oldest daughter where she had two biopsies done to determine what a large lump in her breast and swollen lymph nodes might be caused by. The doctor was very concerned.

    I came across your video trying to keep my mind focused elsewhere, not to think the worst. You see I came from a pretty good childhood, but I know I did not provide the best for my own. Three marriages and a workaholic. Not very stable for them. I am not feeling guilty or sorry for myself but rather just being and sharing as you have so graciousy done.

    Thank you and all the best.


  30. Thank you for sharing yourself…naked.

    My story is in the past; today I choose to let it stay there where it belongs, to the extent I’m able to.

    I would much rather the present define me, than a pain filled past. Forgiveness may not change our experiences, but it surely can change how we feel about them.

    Peace, Love and Joy to you!

  31. Ridgely,
    Your reading of your own story was wonderful! I was so drawn in and it made me feel like a child being read to by a parent/grandparent.

    I was very blessed to have had a great childhood. My parents are still alive and they raised 4 children on very little money but a tremendous amount of love. When I hear your story it reinforces my thankfulness!

    What a wonderful sweet man you have grown up to be! I can’t wait to read the book!
    Many blessings!

    • Dearest Ridgley,

      Thank you for your very moving story. I too had an abusive father and have had many of sleepless nights wondering why me. My dear mother died young, I’ve always thought of a broken heart. I believe sadness came bring on disease. Ironically I am taking care of him in his senior years, ah GOD has a sense of humor or maybe is wants me to work through the pain and forgive. Blessings and thanks again for sharing.

  32. Demetrio

    I… am one of those people that were raised in an environment where you had limited choices.

    That’s the way I was raised to believe.

    I had a very, very strict father.

    When he first came to this country at the age of 18 from Mexico…it was to pick cotton, he did this for 5 years.

    He then worked the following 9 years in a nursery.

    He lived a hard life while growing up… lost his mother at the age of 9.
    He also experienced allot of prejudice during his life.

    So…I grew up being told that people were prejudice, you had to work hard for your money… money and jobs was hard to come by.

    I was even told money was the root of all evil.

    I was told that I had to settle for what ever work or opportunity would come up… anything.

    That only rich people had the money to get the education… to get those high paying jobs.

    The way that I was raised… had a negative impact on me, years later… in an important, huge decision, I later had to make in my life.

    I started welding for an excavation outfit, in Visalia California… I was there for about 5 years welding mild steel.

    A friend of mine who knew I was a welder… told me that they were hiring welders locally…. at a milk processing plant…and that they were paying real well.

    So I went… I didn’t know they were looking for Stainless Steel welders though… OR… that it was actually… an outside contractor… working at this plant.

    My experience was in welding Mild Steel… but…I got lucky and they gave me an opportunity to do a Stainless Steel welding test… I passed the test!!

    I was so happy…so on top of the world.

    That was the first taste of confidence in my self… being… that I was capable.

    They offered me a temporary position with the understanding that if they liked my work… they would hire me permanently… I had to make a decision.

    This is were… the negative impact… that I was talking about earlier… surfaced.


    Because… I had to leave another place of employment… that was ALREADY providing income for the family I was raising… it went against how I was raised… you don’t take risks by leaving a for sure, already existing job

    ALL, that echoed in my head… was…what I was told/taught while growing up.

    I was close with my parents…and they felt that I was putting my family in a bad position by leaving a job that was already providing an income.

    What kept going through my head was… what if something does happen… and I do loose the income that I now support my family with?

    Especially…because of it only being a temporary position.

    What if my dad is rite?

    I would be making a big mistake… and in his eyes …I would be a failure.

    I knew…. what opportunities this type of welding would bring me though… working with Stainless Steel meant big bucks…and I proved I could do it…and this would be a perfect opportunity for me.

    I had to make a decision.

    I felt scared, nervous… but in my mind… I knew it would work…
    I would even say…it’s got to work…I know it will work.

    I had a strong desire to succeed.

    This was my first real tough decision…it was huge.


    I went for it…

    I ended up working 7 years for this company… they loved my work and was making some very good money with them.

    My dad ended up being proud of me…even though, deep down… I knew he felt I just got lucky…but the fact that… it did work out… made everything OK.

    The company I was working for… was the contractor that did all the Stainless work for about 13 different food processors through out the U.S.

    Two of the biggest food processing plants in the west coast, are in California… that’s were… most of my work was done, during the 7 years that I worked for this contractor.

    I was then later hinted by these two big processing plants the idea off going out on my own.

    I couldn’t believe it… they wanted ME to provide their welding needs?

    This was huge for me… WOW!!!

    As I pondered on this…the negative feelings surfaced again…but what if I fail… so I dropped the idea.

    I dropped the idea because… this was huge for me at the time… to make such a decision.

    I already had a good paying job.

    And I had a family of my own… that I was responsible for, in providing for them.

    But!! My desire to succeed… was so powerful.

    I was so excited, that… I still went ahead and talked with my dad… about what these two huge companies were hinting for me to do.

    Big mistake telling my dad… but I wanted his Ok…It meant allot to me.

    This is when I found out…how my dad felt.

    He felt that I was lucky in the first place… to have gotten this job of 7 years.

    That I shouldn’t have quit the job, before this one… in the first place… I had taken a big risk.

    He reminded me of how hard it is to find a good job… especially because of me being Hispanic.

    And he would tell me… I know first hand how prejudice people are…and how they make promises they don’t keep.

    He would also tell me that… more money… all it would do is make me a materialistic person…make me forget God… and THAT was evil…To stay were I’m at… and be satisfied.

    Even my friends thought I was dreaming.

    Some of my friends actually had strong comments…as to the outcome of this venture.

    They would ask me…. Do you actually think… you’re going to make this work?

    You see… allot of the friends I had… were raised in the same environment that I was.

    So…….. Again…I found myself in a very uncomfortable situation…. What do I do?

    It didn’t feel good… not at all.

    Again… I felt scared, and nervous.

    What if I fail?

    Was I really… just lucky before?

    The people that are offering this opportunity…are they serious… am I being set up… can they actually be prejudice like my dad says?

    I knew I had a burning desire to succeed and make this work.

    I also knew by know that… I had never experienced anything… like my dad did in his life.

    I love my Dad … But that was his experience

    So I trusted my heart and feelings…. And I went for it.

    My first company vehicle was a 68 El Camino.

    My first gang box (were I put all my power tools) was made of ¾ inch ply wood.

    Two and a half years later I had 18 permanent employees…and during the summer months when there was more work… I would have up to 24 employees.

    My wife ran the office… and I was out in the field.

    It was a great feeling to have accomplished a business that cleared me and my wife $ 400,000 a year bring home…it was a great income at the time.

    My Father and Mother were very proud of me for such an accomplishment … I even purchased a home for them.

    I can’t describe how powerful and wonderful of a feeling that was to be able to do that for them.

    My friends were happy for me.

    Believe or not… they still believe I was just lucky.

    That’s perfectly fine…no problem.

    Needless to say… I had no regrets.

    I’m glad I followed my heart… instead of going off of my Dads or friends personal experiences.

    I’m not afraid any more… to follow what my heart desires.

    I believe in myself now more than ever.

    If deep down in your heart you have an indescribable desire to do what you love…and you believe in yourself…and especially… if you can already do, what it is you love… GO FOR IT!!

    Don’t let ANYONE….. ANYONE tell you… that you can’t have what you so much desire deep in your heart.

    What ever it was they experienced… that was there experience… not yours.

    Who knows……………………………………………. you may even end up buying them a home.

    Demetrio Romero

  33. I am a recovered drug and alcohol addict at age 24. I’ve been sober over a year now and I am so grateful to be happily alive.

    I grew up with an abusive father. He never struck me but he did strike my mother and then she struck out towards me on an emotional level later on.

    We can go through all of these things and come out of it on the other side as spiritually full beings.

    I’m in college and doing pretty well!

    I also work full time because I didn’t come from money and it is not always easy juggling both but I do it with the help of prayer, meditation, physical exercise, yoga, friends/family, and service to my brother and my sister (you).

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    I hope I get to read your book during one of my breaks.

    God Bless!

  34. Hello Ridgely: Yes indeed, we all have a story. Mine is quite similar to yours, except in this case Mom was the one that always motivated us to go to school and continue an education. Here is a short version of my story: I am one of 12 children. I grew up seeing how Mom was been physically and mentally abused by my Dad. (rest in peace) He used to drink. We grew up poor and counting the tortillas we were supposed to have per serving as it was too many of us. Luckly my Mother had the support of my older brothers and sisters to move out of the little house where we used to live. The little house consisted of one bedroom and a small kitchen, the house was made out of mud bricks,bathroom was outdoors no drainage. It was in a small village named (Rancho La Arizona)in the outskirts of the main City close by named Nogales, Sonora. (in Mexico) I was 6 years old then. We moved to the City and it was then when my career as a salesperson began. Thanks to that experience I consider myself a very good and sensitive Realtor, taking into account the clients needs before mine. I have come a long way since I arrived to the United States in 1975. Thanks to my Mother’s sacrifice to raise all 10 of us, and as I mentioned earlier the support of my older sibblings was a great factor that all of us are now living in the States. 6 years ago I went through a divorce and the first year into my divorce was the most successful year of my career. I see each day as a unique gift granted to me by my awesome God and I try to make the best of it. Yes, going through a divorce was hard and it is the past. I must continue living to the best of my ability and taking into account the “Present” it is exactly that a (huge present) I am receiving from up above, to make of it something good, something that will not only benefit me but those whom I am able to serve and help.
    By sharing a bit of my life’s lessons and experiences.

  35. Ridgley-my son was born cyonotic (dark blue) due to no oxygen circulating in his blood. This was caused by a condition known as pulmonary atresia. He was in the intensive care unit for 3 weeks and on oxygen for 6 months. During that period I did a lot of thinking about what was important in life and in particular in MY life.
    I decided I would start studying the likes of (Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Eckart Tolle, Carolyn Miss and others). I also started studying Kaballah. I have now written about 15 verse and am working on a book that merges spiritualism with entrepeneurship. It will hopefully be done soon. After that I would like to write the screeen play. Thank-you for sharing your story.

    Mike Kaplan

  36. sherry jadean chobot

    From as early as I can remember, my father, maintained and aloof interaction with me, He always pointed out any self perceived failures i might have made. Any dreams of my future he would quickly and with a degrading hostility state your a dreamer, you can never achieve that . work in a factory and you’ll have security, he was not a man of many words but when he did speak most times it was a insult or demand, this man grew up with a father who was drunk everyday, abusive and his eldest brother beat him, i dont think this gives him the right to use me as a venting board, but i tried to understand why he behaved this way, many violent episodes occurred once he grabbed a can of gasoline and dumped it sayng he would burn down the house i at 15 already an adult from birth stated than you will have to burn me with it cause im not moving, this scared both my siblings and i didn’t budge, well he calmed down other epsodes like this where i was the focus of failure, being the eldest every mishap was due to me somehow, the only moment in my life that i remember a familial circle was on the tragic day my brother shane was killed , car ran him over, to long to tell entire story but when we all came to the house we formed a circle and the dog and the cats too came and we wept holding each other up and the animals wept howled meowed they knew, this tragic loss for a moment brought us together however post tramatic stress for all of us has distanced and killed the humanity within my father, my mother has never recovered i miss him terrible and my sister just distances her self refusing to become a sister to me, im in a home alone , or im the target of any unfinished biz wether its mine or theres, verbal tirades that lead to in your face body gestures and sometimes actual punching . Me not violent to my sister, but me. daily ive had to bear this abuse from am to pm my musculature is proof in astate of fight or flight and sleep is a mistress, fear, responsibility guilt, but i know at night when i hear my mothers shallow breathing and i hear him hacking, i go and listen , i would be very sad still the abuse kills but my love for people reamains unwitnessed and unnourished, I alone love you i alone tempt you I alone break, tears of the moment are the price for a life time of laughter with persistance mentors a support team i am presently without, thank you

  37. The nostalgic healing of writing is not only for ones own pain, but also that in sharing with others who believe that they alone are going through a painful journey that no one will understand. There is tremendous amount of many broken / shattered life’s that have been shared within this blog, some having overcome many obstacles already. For each person to know that internalizing / personalizing that pain can be a dangerous / unhealthy thing to do, you have brought it to the forefront in reading the opening pages of ‘Your Story’. Thank you so much Ridgely for sharing a glimpse of your book, as it brought tears to my eyes as well.

    Through being sexually molested as a child, becoming a very rebellious teen and leaving home at age 16, I challenged each and every thing that occurred within my life – though being raised by Godly parents, I held respect of my elders as well as those in authoritative positions. Had to, or I would have had to of answered to the wrath of my parents, growing up in a small community where they were well known. My siblings and I got away with nothing, without it leaking back to mom and dad sooner or later.

    Filled with anger that I did not recognize I had within [I was such a people pleaser back then, masking my pain with laughter], I wanted to make peace with my parents and did the marriage routine at the age of 18, believing that this would make everything A-OK. How wrong I was on thinking marriage would be a quick fix!

    I found myself within a relationship that I wanted out of, the morning after we signed the marriage license, but the little band of gold that was placed on my finger the day before was a reminder that I vowed – ‘Til death do we part.’ I took the vows to heart, as they were stated before God, only 4 years later I knew I had to get out [doctors suggestion / warning], and was on the run with our two children. Trying to escape the violence of a man [and friends] that threatened my life if I even thought of divorcing him, was a process of planning and going when the getting was good.

    In putting distance between us [1,000’s of miles], I had the ultimate encounter with our Heavenly Creator, who has guided and directed me through many of life’s pitfalls. After a car accident [just before I fled with the children who I had placed in safe keeping until I could carry through with my plan] and incurring a head injury that the doctors said I would never recover from, I attended College and received my certificate in Business Administration. Not bad for someone who couldn’t even figure out / put together a jigsaw puzzle with 50 or so pieces in the box. Although I give myself a pat on the back for my accomplishments, all glory is due unto the Creator of our universe.

    Through time and marriage to my husband of today, we have experienced things that have destroyed other people’s marriages … which included the suicide of my eldest daughter a decade ago, and the passing of his father just a year previous. With several years in the courts concerning the 2 daughters my [our] daughter left behind, we are just now at closure of the grief that was added onto the loss of my baby girl – though she was in her mid 20’s. I definitely agree with you stating that when going through hell – keep on moving …. and get out before the devil knows you were even there.

    Yup, life is definitely not for the weak of heart, nor for those who wear their heart upon their sleeve. One must guard both their mind and heart from the attacks of the world and seek only that which is of purity and goodness, shining their light into the darkness of the world, to light the way for others to come in and gather around the campfire with good company and warmth, while receiving the healing that the universe has for them and is poured out in abundance ~ when they are open to receiving.

    What I discovered through the trials and tribulations of my earlier years was this. It is not our earthly parents that we need to seek approval of first, but it is that relationship with our Savior and God that comes first and foremost, while being true to ourselves. It took me 27 years to discover that truth, and it was then that my healing journey began / took place. I discovered that even though my parents both passed on within a short time of each other, after the death of my youngest sister, I already had their unconditional love / forgiveness for the crap I put them through. Though it has been 3 decades since they have been gone, there is barely a day goes by that I wish I could pick up the phone and call them to suggest a visit with them at the old homestead.

    I know of many that shake their fist at God or deny He exist, but have come to understand that this is OK also, as He is very use to His children acting up / lashing out and has very broad shoulders to deal with our temper tantrums. Discovering that He / She / Afro American / Caucasian / Aboriginal / Hispanic / Hebrew as Jesus was born [however you view our Heavenly parent to be,] does not budge an inch from where He sits or stands, and is there waiting when we finally go to His knee in exhaustion, it is so rewarding to know that we can be gathered up in the arms of our Creator and cradled in ultimate love, where our tears are wiped away and we can be comforted in ways that we have never experienced before in our life.

    I don’t want to cut in on your thunder Ridgely, as I will purchase your book soon [four chapters is just a plain out tease taster], but being in the midst of reading ‘The Shack’ by Wm. Paul Young, I am truly challenged to write my story, which reads in a similar light to the true story and events of what occurred in the shack, when the man who the book is about received an invitation to meet with God.

    May the richest of blessings be with you and your loved ones Ridgely, and all those in search of genuine relationship with our Creator, The Awesome Trinity / Three In One, Alpha & Omega.

    Note: website given is under construction and should be up and running within the next couple of months / January 2011, which ever occurs first. First e-book should be available shortly there after.

  38. Angelique McInnes

    Greetings Ridgely,

    Thank you for sharing a part of you and on video too.

    I lead a blessed life with so much to be grateful for. I have achieved all my childhood dreams. Now I get to watch and guide our children create their own dreams. My purpose at the moment is to work with others to help them realise their goals and dreams. I consider myself as a sculptor of people’s lives and as a consequence their money. Yet there is many lessons I have yet to learn and I am sure from your book you can teach me much.

    I wish you God speed, love health and happiness.

  39. Really enjoyed watching and listening to you read the first passage from the book Ridgely. Definitely hit home. Much more powerful hearing you, the author, read it vs. reading it myself. With that vision and emotion in mind, I look forward to reading the rest of the book.

    Thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring others with it! We all have pasts that shape our future, it’s all about how we choose to let it affect us and the future we choose to create. Nobody had a perfect life, no matter how perfect it may appear on the outside. The grass truly is always greener on the other side.

    I look forward to reading the rest of the story!

  40. Thank you! Very touching, very well done.
    My childhood was a good one but it was when I married that things began to fall apart. Years after our divorce, our grown son committed suicide. Through my writing (puzzles find a pattern at the end of my pen) I have healed. I am blessed. I cherish my own worth and my family, even though they wanted to blame me for my son’s action. He had gone to live with his father, not me. There is healing after great sorrow. I can attest to that. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m anxious to hear more.

  41. Oh My goodness
    this book is the most interesting one I have read in my life. I cried.
    I’m 16 years old and I’ve never loved a book more in my life!!!

    • Charis – Thank you for your comment. Please remember to use the lessons from the book in your own life and become an inspiration to others! Ridgely

  42. I am in the early stages of writing a book about a difficult time in my life. As I work through the various stories I often feel the tears come. Thank you for having the courage to write your story, to purge the deamons, and to inspire others who may feel very alone in their suffering.

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