“Dr. Michelle Goñi’s ‘Roses and Thorns’: A Journey of Self-Acceptance, Healing, and Empowerment”
By: Daedrian McNaughton
In her captivating memoir-esque compilation of raw and empowering prose poetry, “Roses and Thorns,” Dr. Michelle Goñi takes readers on a personal journey of self-discovery, resilience, and transformation. Inspired by her own experiences and upbringing, Dr. Goñi explores the complexities of overcoming obstacles, embracing vulnerability, and finding one’s authentic self-acceptance.
From an early age, Dr. Goñi found solace and freedom in writing, particularly in the genre of poetry. It was through this form of artistic expression that she discovered her voice, allowing her to navigate the challenges she faced in a rigid and demanding household. While pursuing her pre-medical studies and eventually becoming a physician, her passion for writing took a backseat. However, as life’s stressors and inevitable challenges piled up, Dr. Goñi found herself drawn back to writing as a therapeutic outlet.
The beauty of “Roses and Thorns” lies in its ability to connect with readers on an emotional level. Dr. Goñi’s words are simple yet poignant, allowing readers to easily delve into their own introspection and form empathetic connections. She beautifully juxtaposes the concept of roses and thorns, acknowledging that life often presents us with challenges, but it is through embracing these thorny moments that we can truly appreciate our own resilience and find beauty amidst the pain.
One of the major themes explored in Dr. Goñi’s book is the journey towards self-acceptance. Overcoming societal pressures and ingrained limiting beliefs, she shares her process of rewiring her thought processes and inner voice. Shifting from a negative and self-sabotaging mindset to a positive and self-loving one, she emphasizes the importance of self-empowerment and setting boundaries. Through her own experiences, Dr. Goñi encourages readers to embrace their true selves and reject the idea that their worth is determined by others.
Dr. Goñi’s book also delves into the influence of family and culture in shaping one’s identity. Growing up with an immigrant father presented its own set of challenges, as she faced high expectations and a lack of understanding about American culture. The strictness and perfectionism instilled in her upbringing left deep scars, hindering her ability to deal with failure, imperfections, and emotions. However, through her journey of self-awareness and healing, she was able to break free from these limitations and find her own path to self-acceptance.
As a physician, Dr. Goñi brings a unique perspective to her exploration of mental health and wellness. Drawing from her own experiences of navigating the pressures and demands of the medical field, she emphasizes the importance of prioritizing mental well-being. She shares her realization that true success lies in finding a balance between personal growth, happiness, and professional achievements. Dr. Goñi’s message resonates deeply as she invites readers to embrace a mindset of compassion, grace, and love.
“Roses and Thorns” not only acts as a source of inspiration but also as a guide for those facing adversity, grief, or cultural complexities. Dr. Goñi’s vulnerability and honesty about her own experiences normalize imperfections and encourage readers to embrace their own vulnerabilities. By sharing her stories, she creates a space for others to confront their emotions, remove the veil of shame, and form deeper connections through shared experiences.
Ultimately, Dr. Michelle Goñi’s “Roses and Thorns” is a validation to the power of self-reflection, healing, and resilience. Through her evocative prose poetry, she invites readers on a transformative journey of self-discovery, encouraging them to embrace their authentic selves, find beauty amidst the thorny moments of life, and live with compassion, grace, and love.
Below Dr. Goñi shares a poem reflecting her journey.
it was time.
like the process of becoming a beautiful butterfly
and spreading her wings
she had been encased in her chrysalis
awaiting her metamorphosis
to reveal her exquisite colors
and even her scars
through the power of revelation.
she was able to break through the protective shell
inside of which she evolved.
when she was ready,
she rid herself of external constraints
the radical transformation was simple with acceptance.
the darkness was a necessary phase in the cycle of change
it allowed her to embody strength
it set her free with truth.
nothing was more powerful than the moment
she succumbed to authenticity
and she flew.