"I found myself consumed with identifying practical solutions and sources of help that those struggling could use right away ... and I recognized that it all starts with each individual's inner strength and resilience."
The human capacity for strength and resilience is extraordinary. It never ceases to amaze me, whenever I'm fortunate enough to hear a story of what some awe-inspiring person or people overcame. I say fortunate because I'm continually grateful for the reminder to put my own problems into perspective.
Just this weekend a close friend and I were sitting in her kitchen talking about grief. She was telling me about her aunt's reaction to the death of her brother--my friend's father--who passed away a few years ago. The aunt had already lost nearly every member of her family, and was convinced she'd never feel happiness again. "But," my friend told me, "she did." We do, I thought. Nearly always, we get through.
This simple story of resilience is but one of billions around the world. You may have one in your head right now. It's the rare person that has never felt pain or had tragedy touch their lives. And anyone that's come out on the other side has something valuable to say that others can benefit from.
That's where we come in. Here, on HuffPost's Breakthrough section, we are harnessing the power of story to provide solutions for those suffering through crisis.
Tony Robbins said, "the most powerful way to find the solutions that can turn our lives around is to reconnect to what we already know." Most of us don't even realize just how deep our capacity for strength goes, until we're forced to dig down and access it. The 'answers' aren't something to be doled out by experts, or hiding in a hard-to-reach, far off place. Each of us is born with them, and by sharing our stories, we can all be reminded of them.
The kind of story we're interested in is one of solutions, not problems. Can you conjure up that moment or period of time when you went from overwhelming pain to discovering a way past it--and then beyond it? It's what Tony refers to as a 'breakthrough,' the namesake of this section. That's what we're interested in hearing about. How did it happen? What was it like? How did you pull through? What helped?
It only takes a few minutes to share your story right now. Focus on the solutions you've learned, not the problem you faced or are still facing. You can type a few words and/or upload a picture or a video. If it helps, answer Tony Robbins's five questions (below) as a guideline.
Statistics can go in one ear and out the other, and words, even the most well-intentioned, can be empty. But a personal story -- the kind that gives you a peep hole right into someone else's life -- resonates with us. A story can become cemented in your mind, where you'll find it's called upon again and again when it's needed.
By sharing these positive stories -- your solutions -- you can pay it forward. You never know with whom your story will resonate. What you have to say could be exactly what someone else needed to hear.
Click 'Add A Slide' to PARTICIPATE:
Answer these five questions:
1) What was your life right before the challenge or crisis hit?
2. What was the crisis you faced? What happened, and when it did, what did you feel and experience?
3. What pulled you through this difficult, unjust or impossible time? What was the trigger or catalyst for change? Was it a belief, a strategy, a faith, a person, a tool? What made the change possible?
4. Once you turned the corner mentally or emotionally, what did you do to turn your life around?
5. How is your life better today because you lived through the crisis? How have you been transformed? How are you stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually? What gifts do you have to give because of this?
Follow Meghan Neal on Twitter: www.twitter.com/megbirds