11/23/2014 11:55 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2015

What Defines You?


A few days ago, someone asked me, "Tell me about a defining moment in your life?" The first thought that came to my mind was when I was the happiest in my life, but then I started to dig deeper and I couldn't answer the question at that moment. In my mind I was thinking of a happy moment, which is when I had my children or when I first saw my book published. But then my heart said something else, it kept telling me that publishing a book didn't define me neither did becoming a mother. Those were the happiest moments of my life but they didn't make me think or change my path or even make me dig deeper within myself. They made me smile and gave my heart peace and joy.

It was the darkest moments in my life that actually defined me. The times when I felt like my world was falling apart, when even an ounce of hope wasn't left for me. Those were the times when I felt like God had forgotten me but it was actually the contrary. Those were the times when I had to get up reassess my actions and change the direction of my thoughts -- which changed my life. Those were the times when miracles happened and angels appeared in the form of strangers, neighbors, sibling or friend.

Why is it that as humans we are so afraid of change or challenges? Why do we fall in despair and start hating ourselves and the world and complain to God? We torture ourselves and the people around us and become victims, yet what we are really supposed to do is to become warriors. We need to fight these demons with grace and love in order for them to define us. Then why do we fear these moments that will define us? These are the moments when we know our strength and overcome our fears -- we become heroes yet we don't even realize it. We allow fear to rule us because it is easier to be fearful and not take a step than to get up dust the demons off , face inner fears and move on.

Those moments alone when tears are not stopping, when you are crying so much you feel like you can't breathe anymore or when you hug a loved one so hard that you are afraid to let them go, those are the real moments when we see how courageous we really are and our souls become one with the universe.

So today I challenge you to look back at your life, the times when you had to change the way you think, or you got up from the ashes of despair -- did those times teach you a lesson? Or the happy times when life was perfect and you didn't have a single worry on your mind? Think again and appreciate the hard times because they do make us who we are.

Tami Shaikh is the author of "Detox Your Soul -- A 30 Day Roadmap to Loving Yourself"