This is the second in a series of articles about resilient thrivers, who face life challenges in their various forms; including illness, loss of loved ones, as well as financial roller coaster rides and emerge triumphant. What they have in common is a desire to take their own experiences and transform them into healing for themselves and offer the lessons gleaned to benefit others.
Human beings are resilient creatures, with the ability to bounce back from nearly any eventuality. We wouldn’t have survived as a species if this weren’t the case and yet there are times when we doubt that we will make it one more step, let alone another year or a lifetime. Think back to happenings in your own life when you were faced with daunting challenges, physical or emotional pain. The way in front of you seemed dark and fraught with peril and you could hear “Lions and tigers and bears…. oh my.” being chanted progressively louder and with more fervor by Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. The sad part is, you might have believed them; I know I did until I remembered that I always had the power to return Home. That would be true even without sparkling ruby slippers.
Why do some people crumble under the weight of life events, while others (like the mother who, defying logic and gravity, hoists a car to free her child trapped beneath it) are able to extricate themselves? In an article published in Business Insider, author Sandra Liu Huang postulates “People with a growth mindset are more resilient to challenges related to their abilities and performance than those with a fixed mindset.”
Ferlie Almonte who refers to herself as a “life reinvention architect”, has rebuilt her life from the ground up following a series of devastating back to back losses. She is the co-author of the Amazon best seller, Empowering Transformations for Women, and was a featured author in the book, PURE GENIUS: Simple Solutions That Work to Light Up Your World.
She earned an Image Consulting certification from Image Resource Center in NY, to help professionals and executives communicate their value with confidence, and with an impeccable image. She herself, sparkles with a vibrant and enthusiastic persona that might seem to bely the dark nights of the soul that she faced.
Almonte tells her story:
Whew! Where do I begin? In my adult life, I feel like I’ve been hit by a tsunami of adversities that many could not fathom how one person could experience so many unbelievable personal challenges in one lifetime.
I would say that my TOP 5 (who makes that kind of list?) that sparked my awareness to tapping into my inner strength and resilience were the death of my mother to ovarian cancer at age 58, followed by my father’s passing six months later, to lung cancer, also 58, my own near fatal disability for almost a decade that lead to my financial demise, my dramatic and horrific divorce from the father of my only child, and the passing of my civil union spouse to pancreatic cancer within 3 months of diagnosis and within 8 months from the day we said “I do.”
I saw mortality from the front seat of many stages: As a patient, as a Clinician (I was a Respiratory Therapist), as a wife, and as a daughter, very eye opening and immensely strengthening to say the least. I HAD NO CHOICE. They said that we never know how strong we are until to be strong is our only choice. Though there were moments when I felt physically weak and exhausted, crushed emotionally, tortured mentally, and broken financially, I still felt that God lifted me up and reminded me that I have a beautiful reason in my child, to continue fighting. And by default, there was nowhere to seek strength from but from my own self, powered by my unwavering faith in God.
My beautiful late mother was a Pillar of Strength, a Role Model of Grace and Class, a Testament of Unconditional, Faithful Love. She remains as The Voice that keeps me going through my life’s incredible challenges.
These personal catastrophes I have been through ignited my profound Spiritual Awakening. I was never religious. But during one deeply humbling, vulnerable moment when I was gravely ill, I prayed fervently, loudly, making sense of what I was being tested for, and with great humility, asked God, “WHY I WAS BORN?” I remember saying out loud, “I know that I was born to be of service to others, please show me HOW.” In the days, weeks, months and years to come, angels in disguise have been coming my way in the most impeccable time, to execute a Divine Mission, leading me to my Crusade to be The Voice of Hope and Resilience for people who are in places of darkness in their lives, guide them in finding their light, help them emerge into their greatness and elevate them to sparkle in their own unique light so others may also find their path to their unique purpose in life.
Everything I have been through became an integral part of my Metamorphosis into becoming a Beacon of Light to others in finding their New Beginnings.
Through it all, I REMAINED GRATEFUL, NEVER RESENTFUL.
I made a decision not to let my adversities define me.
I made a decision to Live Joyfully, Purposely, Audaciously.
I chose to keep the energy around me toxic free.
I chose to protect my sacred space by being mindful to feed my mind with empowering thoughts.
I chose to surround myself with people who are positive and kind.
I chose to use my Tribulations to Ignite my Passions,
And I chose to MAKE MY MESS, MY MESSAGE and Made it my Mission to Transform lives through my words and my work.