‘Redheads are witches!’ From my first breath, I was different. I had to find love within myself.’: Bullying survivor shares journey to self-love

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Trigger Warning: This story contains mention of bullying, miscarriage, and abuse that may be triggering to some.

“Hi, my name is Jacqueline Pirtle. I am the owner of the lifestyle company FreakyHealer. I have 24 years of experience as a holistic practitioner, bestselling author, podcast host, and speaker—helping people to live happier, more consciously, and more meaningful lives. I am also a happy wife, a thrilled mom to humans and kitties, and a connoisseur of luscious red wine and dark chocolate. All my books and podcast episodes support my work and the transformation of my clients as great tools for them to study, follow, and use—to achieve an enlightened state in their lives. The whole of me and all of my practices are based on the belief you can always align with a well-feeling version of yourself in order to show up happy, healthy, and fully present in your life. No matter the circumstances.

I was born Swiss and grew up in Switzerland—the land of cheese, chocolate, mountains, and watches. Not to be mistaken for Sweden, because I know nothing about growing up there. Many people mistake Switzerland for Sweden, that’s why I thought to get the awkwardness out the way as soon as possible. I’m a natural redhead. I was born this way and started my first split second and breath as being different because of it—but obviously, I didn’t realize, the tiny newborn I was, while the grown-ups in the birthing room were most likely ooh-ing and ahh-ing. My main focus was clearly on being born, breathing this weird new stuff in, and already having my desires glued on nourishment.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

My home was made up of a mom, dad, two brothers, plus the once-in-a-while pet. Sounds pretty normal, until you put the fact of my red hair into the spotlight. Back then, this was a huge reason for bullying. I think it was certainly the time we were in, but also part of being in Europe. The whole story redheads were witches and needed to be burned was still in the air as a really vivid story being told everywhere. This gave many the excuse to bully me. The gentler bullies said I was as bright as a nightstand lamp—at least this, I could change to, ‘I am a bright light!’ whereas the burning was harder to find the good in.

There was also the experience of sexual abuse, which definitely left a deep mark. Still, to this day, I have a once-in-a-while piece that comes up for me to acknowledge, accept, respect, appreciate, thank, and love because truthfully, that happened to be my young life and is part of me. I believe everything and everyone is always there for me—never done to me—to experience, heal, and expand into the calibrated being of who I have become. I think of all my stories as important puzzle pieces that make me. To clarify, I condemn any abuse, bullying, hostility, and violence against anyone and everything. I am a creature of peace and love, and as such, I am a believer in finding peace and love in myself and with myself first, only after with everything and everyone life has in store for me. The result being my calling for abusers and bullies to be held accountable comes from a place of common sense, and not my anger.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

I like to think of things like carrying a backpack filled with our personal stories. You can carry it with pride, understanding, and graciousness, which is what I decided to do, or you can carry it as a heavy and dark weight—not optimal for living a full life. Plus, think about it, it’s a backpack! You carry it on your back as a backbone, knowing you always have everything you need with you—all that’s needed for healing and everything ready for a celebration. Your old stories are never in front of you and are never paving the road ahead of you. They are in your backpack, and if you leave them there, they become part of your magnificent you.

I was always a really sensitive child, very emotional and teary-eyed, sensing everything and everyone very deeply and vividly. Not to mention all the input, visuals, and senses I constantly had flowing through me like some sort of magic eight ball. Just ask it, shake it, and voila, you have your answers. Often I was perceived as weird, strange, and difficult because ‘She’s crying again!’ I mostly kept myself on the outskirts of situations, happenings, and gatherings—being alone or only with one or the other friend was my thing, even in school. Many times I was perceived as sad, unhappy, or not fit for life, but my surroundings did not understand all the life happening inside of me. It was a party full of light, laughter, happiness, and positivity. This is where my holistic practitioner work, healing energy work, and deep connection with my soul really started. Yes, at that young age!

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

I always express deep gratitude to have gotten this wonderful gift of being me and my ‘always knowing,’ helping many people while skipping through my physical journey as my bright light, a light that was actually already noted back in time when bullies joked about my red hair. Even back then, what looked like hurtful bullying was indeed a noticing of my bright light. The bullies, unaware as they were, just did not understand that, and the sexual abuse was about someone helping themselves on the physical-life level, using my body on my physical-life level. Yet on my soul level, this overstepping act never even touched or hurt my light. In fact, the opposite happened! It strengthened my capability of realizing I am more than my physicality. I am a whole being: a body, mind, soul, and consciousness.

Powerful clarity set in for me, that my soul:

Is the biggest, best, and most powerful part of me, since the bullying and abuse could not hurt me in my soul essence. Not even leaving a scratch!

Always has the answer, the explanation, and my healing for everything.

Is where my happiness, well-feeling, and well-being are created.

Is brilliant, and what I need to seek a strong connection with first; everything else, after.

Is always connected with consciousness, the universe, and the eternal—a mass of information supported by all other bright lights, ready to serve and help me.

My higher wisdom shows up as a strong urge that is always in my face and won’t cut me any slack if I am not listening. Hence, it keeps hammering until I listen or appears as a physical symptom to guide me back into my light’s direction. This is why pain—emotional and physical—is clearly a gift, but many times misunderstood to be, well, a pain. I see any physical symptoms and emotional rollercoaster rides as a guidance of your inner light. Once you follow, it brings up loads of information about yourself, unblocks old gunk ready to be cleansed, and shifts you to being of higher energy—a clear expansion and calibration into a truer version of you. What an accomplishment!

My professional path always had to do with learning about a holistic lifestyle, natural healing, natural treatments, and natural medicine for the whole being—the physical body, mind, soul, and consciousness. I hold various international degrees in that field and am always educating myself further into the subject of all metaphysical, energetical, quantum teachings, conscious-driven methods, holistic healing and living, and positive psychology. Having a strong connection to all there is and an open mind to what’s coming in for me is key. Thankfully, this is something I started practicing early on, and without even knowing. I love to think being that way was my already set-in-stone sneaky intent when I decided to come into this physical world.

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I have experience in pretty much every energy healing method available: energetic touch, hypnosis, energetic-memory healing, past-life healing, psychic and medium practices, talking therapy, homeopathy, kinesiology—you name it. Constantly being connected and zapping the information from consciousness and the millions of lights that are here to assist me in my physical life makes this possible, but as someone once told me, just because you can do it does not mean you have to do it, and even though you can do it all, all is not always good for you! Over time, I started to pick what is right for me, what feels good to me, what makes me happy, and what does not leave me strained.

Working with people online in sessions and distance-energy-work is perfect for me, at least for now, which fits the present COVID situation very well. Clients can still get help while we are all being safe. Producing my podcast, The Daily Freak, is also a highlight for me. It lets me share my sacred and constantly incoming information with the world—giving people a little slice of healing and transformational thoughts with every episode. And my books… those are special to my heart!

My first book, 365 Days of Happiness: Because happiness is a piece of cake, a day-by-day guide to being happy, was created through listening to my inner being saying, ‘Study and practice happiness daily all year, then write about it!’ So I did! At first, my freely and easily flowing words made for a great daily blog, until my inner light informed me it will be a book. My reaction was, ‘A book? Really?’ The thought was both thrilling and horrifying, since I had no idea how to do so, let alone how to publish one. Nevertheless, I went for it, and self-published it with the support of my husband and family. My bestseller was born in March of 2018, taking the world with a bright light as a daily passage guide to being happy no matter the circumstances. Just thinking about this process still makes me happy, and receiving positive feedback from readers often helps that bliss continue.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

My next book was a parenting book, created in my mind on many walks, then put on paper while spending most of my summer in our backyard—writing and hanging out with my angel baby I miscarried and visiting animals, many of them also babies. Just think of the synchronicity of writing a parenting book with such baby support! I knew Parenting Through the Eyes of Lollipops; A Guide to Conscious Parenting was the book I was called to publish next. The intention for this book is to be a voice for children, while supporting parents to parent mindfully, consciously, and in the healthiest way for both themselves and their children. This go-to primer for parenting—as it has been called—is based on the belief everyone is a whole being, outfitted with a soul, here to follow their own unique path of light and expand and calibrate as planned when coming to BE and live on earth. This book is a celebration of parents and parenthood, of children and childhood—ready to touch every heart in the process of living life. Every life! It was self-published in September of 2019.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

Even though I thought it was time to take a break from writing, my biggest part of me had a different expectation—to write my next book, What it Means to BE a Woman; And yes, Women do Poop! I was told we have it all wrong, me too, and this book is a must for the world as a direct instruction from consciousness. So I took over my backyard again and started writing, many times wrapped in a warm jacket, since fall and winter were happening at the time. I really do write best outside! This empowering guide shares more about my story and traumas than my other books, since it is about being a woman. However, my words are never about the reader being part of my problems; rather, about being a witness of my solutions, because this is how healing and growing take place. This guide is about bringing it all up and out. Then, without judging or digging deeper into the abyss, it guides the focus to BE and live the solution and how one wants to experience life. Readers, mostly women, say it feels like a wonderful and healing conversation as women—one in which you are seen, heard, and supported to BE and live your own woman. It fills my heart to have provided such a life-shifting tool, self-published in April 2020.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

Life IS Beautiful; Here’s to New Beginnings is my latest book and hit a perfect time as it was self-published in September 2020 while COVID and lots of unrest—in the United States and all over the world—was in full bloom. It is a journal-style chapter book that invites readers to deeply feel into their inner beings and lives, and then to write about their findings—by teaching six simple steps to living a beautiful life, and walking you through a physical life awakening and connection to your soul being, life phase by life phase, age by age. This process of journaling brings potency to reading a book and also a healing shift for the reader. One of the highlights fans love is the re-remembering and re-feeling of your first breath, a very gracious and empowering moment. It is a spiritual book that opens your heart, your senses, and your eyes and ears to understand and know who you really are—because, on a soul level, you always know. This connection is what this book brings forth, for you to live a beautiful life no matter the circumstances, and definitely not minding the stories that have been told about you, who you are, or who you are supposed to be. BE ready to align with your light with this one!

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

Yes, I have more books in the works. I am told this is what my healthy focus is for now—what my light wants and what following my light means. 2021 is reserved for me to keep writing and producing my podcast, so people are helped and inspired, and my work as a thought leader and philosophical thought leader can bring light to the world. I am very grateful to have the ability, my gift, and also my trust, to keep following my soul voice. It’s an honor to help and serve so many people all over the world. It makes me happy. I thank everyone and everything who supports me, even those who don’t, since they play an important role to fill my backpack and strengthen me in who I am. It is a constant co-creation with everyone and everything, making this life-ride incredibly amazing.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

Most importantly, I thank my husband for always supporting me in my crazy ideas. Truth be told, he was the first one to tell me to write a book, way before I had the inspiration for 365 Days of Happiness, to which I answered he was crazy. So there you have it, even he saw who I really was back then and am today! I also deeply and lovingly thank my two kids, who are adults now, and my angel baby who is always with me in essence. You invited me to be fun and playful, and you opened my heart wider than it ever has been, not to mention initiating the most powerful love ever. My deepest gratitude also to all of our pets, the ones in heaven and the ones on earth, you have given me your light which made my light brighter than bright. I am truly blessed and grateful with no end or limits, infinitely and eternally.

I hope my story inspires you and helps everyone in your surroundings—since we all share our energy and shift with everything and everyone at all times. I wish it gives you trust to connect to who you really are—your inner being—and that you claim your power of living your life by freely following your light. I truly believe the only way to live happily is by being and living according to your soul wishes and walking your wonderful soul path. As such, you can do anything, no matter what!”

Courtesy of Jacqueline Pirtle

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jacqueline Pirtle, AKA FreakyHealer, of Washington DC. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Find her books here. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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