Carol’s Story of Resilience

| December 10, 2014 | 0 Comments


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.”  Nelson Mandela

Resilience – one of life’s greatest success qualities. The ability to rise every time we fall and recover from life’s trials and tribulations is a common theme of those who really live life to the fullest.  The stories and examples of resilience abound us. Frank O’Dea, the co-founder of Second Cup Coffee Franchise in Canada, went from destitute homelessness to a super successful entrepreneur.  His alcoholism led him to living on the streets in his early twenties.  He eventually made a conscious decision to get away from life on the streets. The pain of his past put him there which led to more pain until finally he had enough and he chose a new track to run on.  Resilience kicked in for Frank. With many other decisions and positive actions, Frank O’Dea changed his life and the lives of millions of Canadians (those who enjoy Second Cup coffee and products, plus franchise employees) in the process.

Then there are the resilience stories and testimonials of Tony Robbins, Og Mandino, Oprah Winfrey, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Richard Branson and Arnel Pineda of the rock band sensation Journey.  The one thing they all have in common: their ability to bounce back, rise up, and make life changes no matter what happened to them.  Reading their stories is inspiring and can often lift us from the depths of despair.  You know people as well, who have bounced back from adversity and beat the odds in life.

Here is the story of a successful lady that I know:

–          She had a baby at age 16 and got kicked out of her parent’s house; they wanted her to leave if she didn’t have an abortion.

–          She lived with her boyfriend until he was cheating on her; then she went into foster care.

–          Her son had club feet when he was born, because of the stress she endured during pregnancy

–          She lost 25 pounds and was told he wouldn’t walk without an aid and that he would never be able to wear skates. He walked, however, at age 3 and by age 10 he wore skates!

–          She had to do very painful exercises with him 3 times daily.  He would scream in excruciating pain during these exercises.

–          She had to quit high school the first year after he was born because of the trips to the children’s hospital, 2100 kilometers away. He required a hospital visit every 10 days for cast changes and surgeries.

–          She persisted and by 13, her son he was on the all star hockey team and soccer team.

–          Her boy was not her only focus. She often blamed herself for his club feet.

–          She promised him though, that they would not give up until he could do everything other boys could.

–          When her son turned 15, she began to hate her parents. She stopped speaking to them.

–          Seeing her son going through difficult stuff at that delicate age and to think of him being on his own would never cross her mind.

–          She went into counseling and went through a difficult time when she needed her family most. She wanted her parents to apologize and say what they did was wrong but it never happened.

–          She chose to work through counseling and to let the hurt go over time because if not it would have made her a bitter person.

–          Today, her boy is 20 years old and works successfully as a field millwright.

–          She never had a good relationship with her father because he was violent with her mom and drank a lot.

–          Today, things are different though. Her dad is remarried to a lovely lady and her mom is also remarried to an awesome man. She is now close to her mom now and she says “all this made me smarter and wiser and I like me! J”

–          She works extremely hard for everything she has acquired because of these life experiences; plus she does not back down from any challenges.

–          Further, she is married to an awesome husband and she works with kids and teenagers. Her thoughts on working with youth: “I just want to help teens to be honest and to believe in themselves no matter where they have come from or what they did. They need to be inspired and I think today parents do not put in enough parenting anymore. Someone needs to guide the teenagers, even if it only happens sometimes by a stranger; it’s better than never being believed in.”

We could all learn a few life lessons in resilience from Carol. No matter what has happened, you can bounce back.  And maybe, just maybe, life was happening for you, not to you. What they say is true: when the student is ready, the “teacher” will appear.  Be ready, and use the stories and testimonials combined with your own life experiences, to rebound from whatever cards the dealer of life places in your hand.

Make it a great day, no matter what!

Paul M White

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Category: Resilience

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Paul White, Work-Life Balance and Mental Health Expert Helping You Catch Life Balance and Create Greater Results!

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