Happy Sunday. I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend.
Today on the blog we have a very special guest: Solara Jaafar. I found Solara on Instagram & after stalking her page & reading her captions I immediately DM’d her.
Solara’s story is one that needs to be shared. It’s gut-wrenching but SO inspiring. What really caught my attention is how Solara calls herself a burn survivor not a burn victim. I found that so aspirational & knew she had to come on the blog to share her story.
With that, I’ll let Solara take it from here to tell her incredible story & how she is living life to the fullest today.
Overcoming Adversity with Burn Survivor Solara Jaafar
♡ ♡ ♡
♡ Introduce yourself to The Skinny Confidential audience & tell us your whole story.
Solara Jaafar: Hey everyone, I am a 26-year-old wife, a mother of 2 boys, and a burn survivor.
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to a Sri Lankan mother and Sudanese father who met in Lebanon, fell in love, and had my brother and I. My parents had a Christmas party that ended in terror on the night of Christmas. That night the house exploded due to a kerosene explosion. I was only two years old, and my brother was nine months. Of those that were in the house, I was the only survivor. I sometimes have survivor’s guilt.
After the explosion, I was in a coma for six months. After awakening from the coma, I couldn’t see for a few months due to the intensity of the lights, I couldn’t hear due to the impact of the explosion, I had to re-learn how to talk, and I couldn’t walk due to the burned skin being fused together on the back of my right leg.
♡ I love how in your Instagram bio you say that you’re a survivor, not a victim. Can you speak on that?
SJ: I am not victim to the explosion. I survived it, I overcame it, I prospered and reclaimed my life!
♡ What are some resources you turned to when you experienced major adversity?
SJ: I turn to God and also lean on family for support. I think of my children and husband during those times. I also have a tattoo on my right arm that says “she conquered her demons and wore her scars like wings.” That tattoo is a reminder that I have, and can, overcome anything and will wear the adversity beautifully afterwards.
♡ What are some tools you use every single day to practice gratitude?
SJ: Self-affirmation, meditating, and yoga. I also love to give back and perform good deeds. I volunteer at the food kitchen, and I donate often.
When I was younger, my son and I had to stay at a domestic abuse shelter. Although those women did not know me, they protected me and picked me up when I was at one of my lowest points. I’m thankful for them.
Every summer, I would attend a burn camp that firefighters and locals sponsored. It allowed me to be with others who went through similar experiences. I’m thankful for them.
I am thankful for the doctors who performed all of the procedures and surgeries on me so that I can do things like walk again and live a normal life. I am grateful for every single person along the way, and I will never forget where I came from. And so, I give back and that is my way of practicing gratitude.
♡ You wrote a post about how the doctors told your mother to kill you or let you die. That story had a big impact when I read it. Can you share that story with the audience?
I still cry when my mother tells that story, I actually cried writing it on Instagram. When I was in a coma, the doctor told my mother that she should allow me to die. He told her that I would never live a life worth living because I would be disabled and covered in scars and that she would later regret her decision.
My mother did not give in and she is the reason why I am alive today. I always wanted to go back to Lebanon and find the doctor… I want him to see what I have become and the woman I am today.
♡ You recently had a baby! Congrats! What are some lessons you want to teach your child?
SJ: So many lessons! I want to teach my children to be kind. It never hurts to be kind. Be the person that lifts others up and not tear them down. I want to teach them the importance of having perseverance and grit. Do not ever give up. I want to teach them humility. Always be humble and express gratitude. I have so many things I want to teach them!
♡ I love how you say you’ll never be ashamed of your scars. Talk to us about how you’ve persevered & have such inner strength.
SJ: At one point in time, I hated my scars. I hated that I got bullied. I hated the stares, the whispers. And I hated that people screamed when they saw me. I hated that I couldn’t live a normal life. And that my scars were a constant reminder of the traumatic experiences I had to endure.
I attempted suicide several times when I was younger & inflicted self-harm on myself. My arms and legs are covered in burn scars and self-inflicted scars. I wanted it all to end. But I had to push through the negative thoughts; I had to push through and think about everything I had to overcome. And I survived so much, and it was only right that I started living and embracing all of myself! I will never be ashamed of my scars again!
♡ What are you working on right now? Tell us what you’re passionate about & how you spend your time.
SJ: When I am not working as a project manager or studying (I’m still in college), I spend my time with my husband and children. I also want to grow my social media, so I think I will start posting content and doing that again soon. When I first shared my story, I had so many people reach out to me and share their stories. It was the most incredible thing.
♡ Where can everyone find you? Pimp yourself out!
SJ: You can find me on Instagram @yeetgod!
♡ ♡ ♡
Be sure to follow @yeetgod on Instagram & forward this blog post & Solara’s instagram page to anyone struggling who needs some major inspiration right now.
Solara is someone who I really admire, so I hope you loved this blog post as much as I did.
++ if you’re into starting a meditation journey, stalk this post.