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From Tragedy to Triumph – You are the Hero/Heroine

One of my favorite quotes by the late Maya Angelou: "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

Everyone is a hero or heroine in their life’s journey. Some of you have had to overcome appalling hardship and trauma, others abuse and neglect and still others overwhelming life challenges and disappointments. I have listened to thousands of people throughout the years, and I am reminded that each person has an amazing story of courage to tell. Group participants, clients, family, friends and acquaintances reinforced my belief in the human spirit’s resilience and resourcefulness to survive and thrive.

Setbacks and crises can become opportunities for each of us to strengthen our sense of self and create lives that reflect our core values. When we overcome our “road of trials” feeling empowered and focused on a positive outcome, we become “silent heroes.” I hope you have acknowledged your courage and honored your journey.

If you are anything like me, the journey to become more authentic and rebuild your life after adversity isn’t always smooth. You may have experienced a few pity parties and temper tantrums but kept going any way. I hope that when challenges enter your life in the future, you will continue to find ways to take a stand, achieve your goals, keep your heart open and have gratitude for who you are and where you have been.

Here are a few tips to help you take charge of what is within your power to change and move forward as a thriver:

Feelings: A stressful childhood or life crisis naturally leaves you with unresolved negative emotions. These emotions can linger many years after the situation is over and sabotage your health, well-being, relationships and success. Do not deny, repress, act out or judge your feelings. Instead, allow them to flow through you until they take you to an insight (a perception) and/or energy shift that restore you to authenticity and inner harmony. Past and current emotions are able to be cleared when you feel and accept them in the present moment. Panache Desai, author of Discovering Your Soul Signature, in a recent magazine article says: “By allowing ourselves to acknowledge, experience and release these emotions without judgment, we are clearing the obstacles to our authentic self, what I term one’s soul signature.”

Perceptions: One way to take your power back in any situation is to put a positive spin on a negative situation—the reframe. That includes backing yourself in the choices you have made as well as interpreting a situation in a way that puts you in the driver’s seat. Reframe is an art that takes practice; it focuses on opportunities, empowerment and life lessons instead of victimage. When you are willing to observe yourself and a situation without blaming yourself, others, life or God, you are on your way to mastering this skill. You are ready to look at the situation objectively, create a positive life affirming goal and assess what you can do to accomplish your goal. (Example: 1) A financial setback can become an opportunity to simplify your lifestyle in order to spend more time with your family. 2) Childhood neglect contributed to your being a resourceful, resilient person today.)

Actions: With clarity and a desire to become your best, you are ready to create a meaningful goal, design a plan and take purposeful action. You can change something about the situation in order to get what you want. You can also change something about yourself in order to reduce stress and work with what is. Or, you can move on feeling empowered in order to live your values and express your worth. Change involves risk and takes courage. You can’t make a mistake if you do not judge yourself. Trust that you have what it takes to deal with whatever shows up in your life. Be aware that the journey is as important as the final destination. (Example: 1) You decide to go to a nutritionist and take a yoga class after you have been diagnosed with cancer. 2) Living with an alcoholic parent, you make conscious choices about alcohol consumption.)

Like the mythical hero, you have survived the storm, performed the courageous and emerged a thriver. Your success story inspires others to keep going when they feel lost and defeated. In your time of need, others will inspire you. Grace is always available to comfort, encourage and guide you when you ask for help with an open mind and loving heart. Proceed on your path knowing that adversity is a stepping to greater aliveness!

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