Have you ever wondered about those people that seem to have some sort of extreme resilience? You know the ones, they have seemingly endured the impossible. They have gone through hell and have come back stronger and better than ever. I have met women who have been sold into trafficking and come out stronger. Men have talked to me about their years of child abuse and anguish and yet can still trust. Individuals who have endured years of emotional and physical abuse still willing to take a chance on love.
What is it that sets these individuals apart? How does one learn to survive, let alone thrive after devastation?
There is one commonality between everyone I have known that has chosen to thrive rather than just survive. Gratitude. We often think of having the ‘attitude of gratitude’ as a way of being. An attitude is not a way of being. In order to live in gratitude, it must become a part of your whole life experience.
Our experiences do not make us who we are in life. It is what we make of our experiences in life that matters. We may not see in the moment what the experience is teaching us, but there are teachable moments in every experience without a doubt. Life really is only 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it. We need to make the choice to show life what we are made of.
It took me until adulthood to make sense of the abuse from my childhood. For as long as I live, I will never understand how someone can cause harm to a child. However, I understand my path and why I was given that particular 10%. There were things I needed to learn. I came to a crossroads and needed to make a choice of continuing on a path of self-destruction or learn to thrive. I chose to thrive.
I can honestly say I am grateful for my past. There are people that have cringed from hearing my story and wonder how I survived. I almost didn’t. It was nearly too much for me to handle. However, I chose to thrive. I chose to use my pain to connect with others and to help on their path to healing. I have seen this light in others who have chosen the path of thriving. There is a drive to help others find their way out of the darkness.
Everyday I make a choice to be grateful for my hardships because it keeps me grounded. I am grateful because I understand the path of pain and sorrow and can make soul connections with people. I am grateful I am able to be the person for some, that I needed when I was younger. So, while my experiences have led me on this journey, it is what I made of the experiences that has shaped my life.
Photo by Andre Guerra on Unsplash
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