Went to a networking event today and the speech given was about Overcoming Tragedy and Rising Higher Because of It. The main talk was centered around a Ted-Talk speech given by Dr. Gregg Steinberg on Youtube called "Falling Up".
First thing of note that he says was that "Tragedy Defines You". To this I disagree. I think our souls are our true selves and are Consistent. Our minds when out of alignment with our souls or thrown off alignment can make us seem Different or Changing. But we are Consistently US underneath it all. Tragedy doesn't have to define you. I have met people who have been through great tragedy you wouldn't sense they had experienced given how positive and un-bothered they are in life. And I think when people get to Heaven, especially after time passes, they could practically Forget what happened on Earth because it's gone, in the past, no longer effecting them, and their happy and at peace with everything. You move Beyond your tragedy -so why would it Define you?
But he did make some good points on the process a person can often go through to transcend a tragic life event. Here are the steps he listed:
#1 Wake-up Call. You are "slapped awake" by the tragedy and it really makes you rethink your life.
#2 You try to make sense of the tragedy and find a way to give it meaning or purpose. You realign to who you truly are and seek to realign your life to its true meaning and purpose. Because of what you've been through you also are unafraid to venture forward out of your comfort zone and try new things -like a new life path.
#3 You come to fully realize you Spiritual Gift/ Life Talent/ Genius.
#4 You create a "New Life Song". A new direction for your life to head in to fulfill its purpose.
#5 You Find your "giving spirit" and solidarity with others and think about contributing to the world, building a legacy, and focusing less on yourself.
Obviously this kind of epiphany doesn't happen to everyone -or even in this order. Some people stay "stuck" with the trauma of what happened. Some people "return to normal" as if nothing had happened. And some people achieve amazing things beyond what they would have done otherwise had the tragedy not occurred. Meaning, this guy is interested in people who were launched forward in remarkable ways in spite of a tragedy.
But I'm going to give an exmaple of someone I know who I will call "Amy" to illustrate another point.
Amy: She had no 1 life tragedy but MANY and they continued over the course of many years. She had clinical depression -starting in Elementary School when she first contemplated killing herself. This desire to end her life only INCREASED with time.
She was never officially diagnosed with clinical depression because she never told anyone, but was diagnosed with ADHD. She was then put on a medicine called Aderol at the age of 7 -even though long-term testing of the medicine had not been done.
The medicine on any "normal" person would have the effect of a stimulant. But on her it became a depressant. By the time she was in high school the physical toll of Aderol had kicked in. She couldn't gain weight -only weighing 90 pounds. She also didn't get her period until the age of 15 and it was "spotty" -meaning she would go MONTHS without getting it and then maybe 2 weeks straight of having it. She also started getting nose bleeds pretty frequently.
Then in high school at the age of 18, she got a boyfriend. He cheated on her and threatened to leave her since "other girls would put out" but not her. Then one day while she was over at his house he forced himself on her and raped her. She told no one. She ended up miscarrying in secret. She tried to deny what had happened so got back together with him when he came round again, and he raped her 2 more times. She still told no one.
After they broke up again she thought that was the end of it. Then he started stalking her on Facebook and sent her rape threats when she started seeing someone new. She broke up with her new boyfriend and tried to "hide out" from social media.
It took 4 years for her to finally come to terms with what happened. Her "Wake-up Call" came when she actively started contemplating suicide. She didn't want to take her life, she just wanted the pain to end. She started reaching out to a few trusted people and slowly started "healing". She is still bothered and "triggered" by rape in general, but had reached a good place in her life where she is finally happy and free again.
Given everything, I don't understand how she survived. The few times she had reached out to friends in high school to get advice on her suicidal thoughts, some had actually suggested she just take her life and "get it over with". She has persevered in a way I can only accredit to her Spirit and her inner strength.
Now did she reshape her life, decide what her true purpose was, and pursue that? No. Did she start a non-profit foundation to help other rape victims? No. But did she change from being me-centered to being more empathetic/contributory to others. Technically no because she has ALWAYS been focused on helping other people. She was helping friends who had been abused and raped BEFORE and AFTER everything happened to her. She has also been there for several people who have struggled with suicide.
I think the thing to take note of is, You don't owe the world ANYTHING. You don't have to rearrange your life completely, quite your job, and start feeding the homeless. Sometimes the greatest thing you can do is spending time and caring on the few people you run into that need it.
Does she see any up-side positive take-away from being raped repeatedly? NO. There is no upside to rape. The only "benefit" is sharing in the same understanding as others who have suffered in that way so you can comfort them. but she HAD done that anyway and had nothing happened she STILL would have helped friends through those things.
You don't have to suffer clinical depression to help those contemplating suicide. It might help, but is by no means a requirement. You also don't have to go through a life tragedy to CHANGE your life for the better.
Here are the messages I've received from Heaven today to reaffirm what matters most here:
1. Choose to LOVE. Don't let hate or fear in this world blind you to LOVE. You are intended for it. You deserve it.
2. You WILL be led out of darkness by the light of your soul. You WILL be healed and are whole.
3. Challenges in life are overcome by the resilience of the light in your soul. It is ETERNAL.
4. Allow the process to BE. Don't try to control it. Allow yourself to let go and forget about the things that don't matter.
5. Let no one say what you do isn't worthwhile, what you say isn't worthwhile, or who you are isn't worthwhile. You are worth EVERYTHING.
6. You are taken care of Spiritually. God is WITH you and WITHIN you.