I'm sitting in a hotel lobby when an unexpected thunderstorm comes out of nowhere. A few moments later, Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" begins to play over the sound system. I can't help but think that this moment is a metaphor for my life.
Everyone has faced a storm at some point in time. Whether it's financial, the loss of a loved one, a health issue, or any other hurdle in your path, I find that if you take a step back and change your perception of the situation, you just might bounce back and prevail. This is precisely what I admire about the incredible human race. We are designed to withstand the most trying situations.
As a child I faced the challenge of abuse from my father. I carried an open wound for 30 years, but I finally decided that I had to step outside of myself. I needed to look at my father as just another human being, one who'd had a baby at the young age of 16. He disciplined me the only way he knew how. Somewhere along the way my father experienced abuse, and in turn became an abuser. It was this very perspective that allowed me to heal and forgive. In return I learned to love myself and break the cycle.
Weathering that storm made me realize how strong I am. Since then, I have endured many storms in life, from paralysis to struggling with my career as a dancer, but I always come out stronger on the other side. Throughout history, people have both precipitated and been victimized by catastrophic events. Though they may seem far removed from present day, those experiences have left their scars on humanity. And those scars have made us stronger. They are there to remind us that we have survived. Yes, you can still see a scar, but as time goes on the pain begins to fade.
You are stronger than you think. Oftentimes when you witness a loved one go through something awful, you know just what advice to give. But when you experience something similar, you find yourself lost. Why is that? How is it that we know exactly how to help someone else, but feel helpless on our own? In order to be truly objective in solving a problem, you must take a step outside yourself and look inward.
I encourage you to change you outlook if you need to heal or are struggling to live a productive life. Instead of focusing on the dark clouds of a gathering storm, remember the other things a storm represents. A storm provides water for plants to grow. A storm replenishes our drinking water. And best of all, after the storm passes, there is always a beautiful rainbow on the other side.
For more by Auti Angel, click here.
For more on becoming fearless, click here.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.