It’s been 13 years since Elizabeth Smart was found after being abducted from her home in Salt Lake City. She was kidnapped, raped and assaulted daily before finally being recognized and rescued 9 months later.
Elizabeth Smart is now 28 years old and tells the Oklahoman that her mother gave her the best piece of advice she’s ever received after her ordeal.
“What she said was … ‘Elizabeth, what these people have done to you is terrible, and there aren’t words strong enough to describe how wicked and evil they are. They’ve stolen nine months of your life from you that you will never get back. But the best punishment you could ever give them is to be happy, is to live your life, is to move forward and do all of the things that you want to do. Because by feeling sorry for yourself and holding onto the past and reliving it over and over and over again, that’s only allowing them to steal more of your life away from you, and they don’t deserve that. They don’t deserve another single second more of your life,”
Elizabeth, who was the keynote speaker to a group of women in Oklahoma last week, went on to reflect about what becoming a mother herself has meant to her. She calls having her daughter Chloe, now 9 months old with her husband Matthew Gilmour, ‘the best thing ever’ but also reflects on how her personal life experiences has shaped how she is as a mother.
“It’s probably made me like the most paranoid, overprotective, annoying parent ever. I’m definitely given a whole new depth of feeling about everything.”
I think we can all appreciate that! Elizabeth has created her own foundation, the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, that works to prevent crimes against children, and says that she has really taken her mom’s advice to heart saying ‘“I’m happy, I’m really happy.”