This is a Story About Letting Go of the Past and Finding the Strength & Courage to Change Your Life! The Difference Between a Caterpillar and a Butterfly By Marala Scott

Marala Scott is a screenwriter and a multi-award winning author of the memoir, In Our House: Perception vs. Reality. In her book, Marala shares her personal story of a horrific childhood at the hands of her father and her journey to happiness and peace. Marala’s story is especially powerful because she was able to rise above her past and become a strong woman determined to break the cycle of violence. She is an advocate, inspiration, and role model for women and men who are suffering from abuse.

Oprah Winfrey acknowledged Marala as an “Ambassador of Hope” in 2009. Member of Congress, Mary Jo Kilroy, presented Marala a Special Congressional Recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community. United States Senator, Sherrod Brown, recognized Marala for advocacy to prevent child abuse and domestic violence. Ohio House of Representatives gave Marala special recognition for humanitarian concern for hosting the inaugural HEAL event. Marala Scott and Tre Parker received a proclamation from Mayor Counts of Powell, Ohio, recognizing and commending their work on Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. Mayor Michael B. Coleman, from Columbus, Ohio, awarded Marala with a Certificate of Recognition for her dedication to raising awareness of domestic violence and child abuse nationwide.

Here is Marala’s story…

I am at a wonderful point in my life where I see things now as I wish I had a long time ago. I truly love myself therefor; I am able to love life as it is. I chose to make a substantial contribution and investment into making my life what I want it to be, instead of letting it turn out however it does. I’ve empowered myself by not accepting what was as what will be my future. With every new day, I have an abundance of phenomenal opportunities to set goals and shape my own life. I want you to be able to see that you can accomplish the same, regardless of your life up until this point! We all have the tendency to spend time pointing out imperfections about ourselves and in our lives instead of embracing who we are and being excited about the wonderful and educational journey we are on called, life. We want perfection and we already have it; we just have to see it. Beauty is an evolution of self from the inside out. For me, it is a combination of my faith, compassion, experiences, morals, passion, drive, peace, confidence, happiness, and laughter topped off with a radiant smile. What can a smile do? A smile can instantly change the energy around you including your own.

The perception of my childhood (Discussed in the book In Our House: Perception vs. Reality, by Marala Scott and Tré Parker) was that it was ideal but the reality was horrific, dark, and destructive. The anger, rage, and violent abuse my father generously and routinely shared, combined with the unimaginable fate my mother met caused my life to be a hellish nightmare. I was more familiar with the negative emotions that were instilled in me than anything else. Pain and fear clouded the essence of who I was created to be, and I didn’t know who I wanted to be. The abuse was so vile that it obliterated my mother, and separated the family. For many years, my father reminded me with a constant stream of assurance that I was stupid, ugly, useless, and good for nothing. I was left with feelings of worthlessness, uncertainty, and pain, among others that are able to shatter any young mind. Every time I looked in the mirror, I could hear my father’s voice trying to seep deeper into my psyche and alter my own self-image.  

One day I smiled back at my reflection in the mirror and my spirit lit up. Beyond the initial reflection, I could see that my father had caused me pain, but he had not touched my spirit that belonged to God. For many years, I kept going back into my past and constantly revisiting, therefore reliving all of the pain and damage that I had suffered through. It wasn’t until I realized that we don’t walk backwards, so I had to stop living in the past and make positive and inspirational changes walking forward into my future. If I didn’t want to change my thought process and life then I would be stuck in this place of dysfunction for the rest of my life. I knew then what I needed to do. I received a full scholarship to run track in college. I found things that I loved about my appearance and embraced them all. I focused on helping others instead of focusing on myself. I discovered where my best skills were and combined them with my strongest passions. I revealed that I was good for a lot of things. I refused to see myself as my father saw me. Although my father was intelligent, powerful, and successful, he didn’t have the power to destroy me, too. I wasn’t going to give him permission any longer, and I wasn’t going to prove anything to him. I fought to become the person I am for no one other than myself. 

As time passed, my spirit evolved from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. The butterfly was the same caterpillar all along, but the beauty was on the inside and no one saw it until I was able to see it and let it out. No one could change the negative thoughts I had about myself until I got rid of those thoughts. The only way to remove my pain was to walk away from it and leave it in the past where it occurred. The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly was just waiting to come out–when I was ready. Now, I am at a place in my life where I put myself. It is where I decided I wanted to be. I am responsible for my own happiness, goals, morals, and everything relating to me. I love my life! I have beautiful, intelligent, fun-loving, and strong children. My amazing husband is perfect for me. He makes me smile at the mere thought of him. My faith is in God and I give Him all the glory for allowing me to see exactly who He created me to be. This life is God’s gift to you. Don’t let someone else run it or tear it down. It’s up to you to determine the path you want to take. You decide if you want to carry unnecessary luggage through life, and how heavy you want it to be. It’s your choice to live and die a caterpillar or emerge into the beautiful butterfly that you were created to be! Don’t try to control everything and everyone around you. Just control your own actions because that’s when you’ll see a difference.


Marala Scott

Here is a poem that I wrote.


In my journey through life, there are many things that I’ve learned, but one of the most important lessons is how and why to forgive. Because of my childhood, I had a lot of pain and with pain came the responsibility of carrying a heavy suitcase filled with mistrust, doubt, and anger. Overall, I had no faith in anyone but I could always count on the contents of my luggage. One thing I knew for sure was that what was inside my luggage would bail me out of every situation. If I met someone who seemed like he would make a great boyfriend with wonderful character, well I’d simply pull out mistrust. If I needed someone to count on, doubt was always there. But, my big protector was anger. Anger was a little greedy as it took up most of the suitcase. Everywhere I went I just had to take that burdensome piece of luggage with me. Regardless of where I was in life, it didn’t take long for me to remember to open my luggage and let the contents run my life.

One day, I turned around, realized that I was alone, and tired, but I had no one that would carry my heavy luggage. No one wanted the burden. Many people had their own luggage. So, I had to keep dragging it along throughout my life, and allowing the contents to keep holding me back because although I took it everywhere, it wasn’t wanted anywhere. With tearful eyes, I dropped to my knees, in faith, and prayed for God to help me with this problem. What was I to do?

There was one little word that flooded my heart and invaded my heavy spirit. That word was forgive. I huffed and refused. Why would I? That’s cowardly of me to let the people that hurt me the most off the hook. I can’t … I won’t. I’d been carrying the luggage so long anyways that I didn’t need anyone to help me. Sure, it would be nice but … forget it. The contents of my luggage protected me from everyone. So, I picked up the tattered handle and dragged my luggage around a little longer until I realized that it was wearing me down. My heart was heavy, and I was sad. I wasn’t moving at the pace I could have, if I didn’t have this big, heavy piece of burdensome luggage, and when I opened it, oh, look out! I prayed again, in faith, that God would answer me. He did, but the same little word came, yet again, forgive.

I was deeply troubled because I knew that if I did … forgive … it meant that everything I’d been through was for nothing. Everyone that hurt me and caused me great pain got off the hook. Just like that, they would be forgiven for everything they did to me. What about my pain and suffering? Surely, I wasn’t going to let anyone off the hook. So … you guessed it, a few more long years passed with me dragging my luggage. Although I was a bit unhappier because of mistrust, doubt, and anger, I felt safe with my luggage. The contents sure caused a lot of problems and losses. There came a point when I wasn’t confident it was worth keeping that luggage anymore so I prayed, again. This time, I opened my heart and asked God to help me, because it was too big a task for me to take on alone. He did, as He had before, and it was a process that I was finally willing to undertake. I had nothing to lose but mistrust, doubt, and a lot of anger.

I didn’t forget anything that happened to me as a child, but I realized how many years I wasted dragging that luggage. The forgiving wasn’t for anyone other than me. They’d probably forgotten what they did to me or perhaps they had asked to be forgiven at some point. Some of the people who hurt me, I never even saw again but I thought the burden of carrying that luggage was protecting me. It wasn’t. It was destroying me. Just me. I had wasted years, for nothing. Why was I so determined to be angry, when I had a whole wonderful life ahead of me to enjoy with the past long behind me with each waking day.

It wasn’t until I let the word forgive have true significance in my life that I began to truly live. I was able to let go of that luggage and take any flight I wanted without penalty of that heavy bag. The power mistrust, doubt, and anger have are destructive. The act of forgiving someone is an amazing release to your spirit. When I did, I realized the pain in my past allowed me to help others in my future. Forgive. Try it soon. Don’t waste your valuable life the way I did.

Love & Blessings,

Marala Scott

*You can learn more about Marala and her book at and

**Thank you for everything you do, Marala!


21 Responses to “This is a Story About Letting Go of the Past and Finding the Strength & Courage to Change Your Life! The Difference Between a Caterpillar and a Butterfly By Marala Scott”

  1. Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    where I could find a captcha pugin for my comment form?

    I’m using the same blokg platform as yours and I’m having problems
    finding one? Thanks a lot!

  2. […] Here is another article by Marala that Angela & I published on Plus-Size Models Unite. This is a Story About Letting Go of the Past and Finding the Strength & Courage to Change Your Life. The Difference Between a Caterpillar and a Butterfly by Marala Scott. […]

  3. Just started following your tweets on twitter, I am inspired by you . Made me think about what I just started doing in my life that allows me to forgive and move on. I threw away my old baggage a year ago and I can see my new plans for my life happening as we speak, its true if you forgive you can move on. Im biking for a better future for me and everyone around me, I just started my own inspirational book this morning. Thanks for giving me the contiuned strength to move ahead.

  4. I follow Ms. Scott on Twitter and her tweets are powerful and always seem timely in my life. I followed this link and am pleased to see you have this kind of inspiration on your blog. Marala Scott is a daily inspiration for me and a whole lot of other people. The forgive poem hits home and reminds us of how God wants us to live our life. I hope you show more from Marala Scott. Her book is an eye opener for everyone. It has layers of real life situations and when you read how she overcame them she had unbelievable courage and strength to turn into the phenomenon she is today.

  5. I’ve always admired those that were able to transpose negative experiences into an inspirational story or message. No different than Marala blossoming from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. The most powerful piece of this story is her ability to forgive and leave her “luggage” behind. Too often we hold onto unnecessary baggage, causing us to miss a rather important flight! She didn’t miss hers and this is why she is the amazing inspiration that she is for all of us today. This story is truly incredible and I am glad that it was featured.

    ~ Aaron

  6. This is your most beautiful model. Her spirit reigns through. Please show more from Marala Scott. Thank you for having a feature with such substance. She’s Oprah’s Ambassador of Hope for a reason.


  7. These articles are meaningful and educational all the way around. It is refreshing to see a website carry such beautiful women and beautiful inspirational stories to go with it. This feature on Marala Scott is impressive. To see her speak and share her inspiration live creates an environment unmeasurable and an audience in awe of her. To have come from such tragedies and turn it into inspiration giving God the glory is more than one would need to hear. Thank you Plus Size Models for featuring such a powerful, inspirational, compassionate and stunning woman. I’m sure we’d all like to see and hear more about Ms. Scott.

  8. Domestic violence came into our lives in a way that I never would imagined. My wife and I were third party victims of a disturbed soul’s rage. We were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. I watched my wife’s step dad shoot and kill the love of my life right before my eyes and attempt to kill me as well. It was only by the grace of God that I escaped as I frantically ran unhit by the next two shots. Domestic violence has become a part of me, my children, my family and friends. The amazing part of our story is that we never provoked it. We ourselves as a family had never had any domestic violence issues and so everyday we are ever so gently coming to grips with this powerful issue that spares few in its wrath. I personally have found great healing first and foremost through the love of God. Coping with the cold and senseless act of a tragic crime has been very difficult; however, God has given me comfort and healing through writing and sharing my story with the world. It is my most heartfelt desire that someone will find healing in my story. Always know that in Christ all things are possible and healing can come in your darkest hour.

  9. Marala,

    You are an amazing person and inspiration to so many. Thank you for having the courage to leave your luggage behind and share your story. You are the most beautiful butterfly in the world.

  10. This walk is to educate and raise awareness in the community about the issue of domestic violence and to join other advocates, treatment providers, survivors and community members in solidarity against domestic violence and its devastating impact on individuals, society and our healthcare system.

    We will gather in front of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street at 10:30 am for a rally before the one mile walk down to 100th Street on Amsterdam Ave. turning to Broadway and back up to the Cathedral where there will be speakers and refreshments.

  11. Your personal truth helps us all to find ours. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  12. I am simply blown away! This poem is AMAZING!
    ~Krystal Wilson~

  13. Rasaterrii Says:

    I just finished reading, This is a Story About Letting Go of the Past and Finding the Strength & Courage to Change Your Life!. Totally Amazing. I cried, reread paragraphs, I thought, I cried again. When you have reached a level of self forfillment, the moments of clear vision,detaching your self from binding angers and sorrow. you wanna shout and tell the world, of this new found love. your self. But others sometimes can not see the value in there own self and therefore peice by peice some will try chip away from your new LAYER OF SKIN. I beleive that we all go through a molting process,kind of like sheding skin. I we donot constantly shed what was before, we well never know what iis at the core.

  14. Give God The Glory Says:

    Linda, you should read the article.You’re right, you don’t know. God was given all the glory. “My faith is in God and I give Him all the glory”. Don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions about everyone without reading the facts. She is trying to inspire through her own faith. Read and you learn people don’t look down when giving God the glory. It is obvious you didn’t read the article but posted an angry opinion. Perhaps thats what you did. Give God the Glory as stated in this article.

  15. POWERFUL!!! Amazing is our God…He who can turn a tragedy into a triumphant testimony! God Bless you, Marala, as you share your story with others.

  16. Thank you for sharing your story which will give hope and strength to those who are struggling with moving on from a hurtful past to embracing life positively. I will definitely read your book. Keep up the good work – I know that you are touching many lives.

  17. Well…I don’t know. I am always glad to hear of someone from a very disadvantaged background overcoming it and making a success in life. However, once these people do this, they all seem to look back and proclaim: “It was me, all me, and only me.” When the fact is, many many many many things you had no control over also worked out in your favor.

    Just because somebody “decides” to do something in life, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. For every success story looking down from the top of the mountain proclaiming, “It was me, all me, and only me,” there are hundreds who tried their hearts out and just didn’t make it.

    Serendipity is not something you can command or control.

    • Linda maybe a person who has felt small all of their life needs to feel big. It takes a lot of strength in this world to keep moving in a positive direction. I for 1 find no fault in that. Every day I need positive affirmations to keep me striving for my goals. Are you so negative that you cannot allow a person who has moved beyond very negative circumstances to feel good about themselves and their strength?

  18. Wow. That poem is beautifully written. I love your spirit and positivity. You’re such a inspiration. Thank you for sharing this with us. Keep on! 🙂

  19. This is an absolutely amazing story and such an encouragement to everyone! I definitely agree with you that people have to learn to find the good things in their life and stop carrying baggage. There is so much more to love and people have to learn to leave the past behind and move on because the only one they can truly hurt is themselves. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful poem, your story and the Indicators of an Abuser because they are needed. I love you!

  20. NaIr ੴ mOrBeCk...ღ Says:

    You are a very special woman in the world and a pearl to God.

    Nair Morbeck

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