The Secrets That Have Made Me Stronger


If It Doesn’t Hurt You, It Makes You Stronger!


Or does it make you question the reason for life? The why me? The do I deserve this? For me like a lot of you (I’m sure) I have thought about everyone of these questions and more.

I also have experienced others including friends and family who say these things in their effort to try and make me feel better..?… or are they trying to make themselves feel better? They don’t know it of course, but I have a little insight into this and feeling sorry for me (or pity) is not empathetic.

Saying things like “oh wow, you really have bad luck, or wow you really got dealt a bad hand” is not empathy.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Pity is the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others.

Yes, I have gone through some stuff over my life, in fact it feels like I have had many lives. I think we all have little lives or chapters that we go through. One as a child growing up with my Mom (before 7), one living with my Uncle, Aunt and cousins (to 15), living with my dad, living with a boyfriend at 16, playing house, getting married, having a baby (Prior to 22), single parenting, dating, starting over; married life/parenting again and menopause. I am sure there will be more chapters in my life as in yours.

Don’t get me wrong there was a lot more to my mini lives (Isn’t there always?) than I have written above. The ups and downs of each chapter entailed many feelings, good and bad. Sometimes tidbits come out, sometimes more comes out. It really depends on our triggers, feelings, and experiences at the time but It is all me! The good, the bad and my life!


I had my boys (3) in two different decades. One in the 90’s and other two in the 2000’s. Each one is very different as I am sure you all can relate too? They have their issues and concerns like any other kid and they have a few other added parts to them that is not always easy for them or those around them (especially their parents!) In our case ADHD, Tourettes, anxiety and an acquired brain injury are some of those extra parts that make them who they are. It is hard for us parents to navigate something so different from what we know. It is even harder for the kids who know no different but know that they are not like other kids.

No life is easy in my books. Some are easier and some are really full of more downs than ups, but essentially we try to make the best of what we are given or dealt (often heard) with. It takes more time for some to get a grip on their life and for some it takes time to find what their life is going to be all about! And it will likely change… chapter by chapter!

What chapter are you in?

Do you want to be where you are now? I feel this is a loaded question and one that isn’t always that clear to me. As I think about this, lots of things come to my mind.. work, marriage, teenagers on the verge of becoming adults, grand-parenting, finances, vacations, hobbies, menopause, friends and family.


I like helping people so my job as a DSW feels right but it isn’t always the best for me. My health is important but I don’t always take the time I need to focus on this as my job can be demanding. I am a creative person and I need creativity in my life, I also have a strong need to complete or finish things…. which my work doesn’t offer often, but it does allow me to feel that I am making a difference.

Marriage! Teenagers! Grand-parenting!

These are the mushy parts of our lives. I’m sure each one has its ups and downs!! I know my mushy parts do. Marriage and all of these are a work in progress that take time, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, mutual respect (although teens often forget this!), affection and commitment to do our best and try to understand the others point of views. We are different people after all! Grand-parenting has been easier so far… but that’s because I can “give them back!” It is however a different period in time these days. I mean for me growing up.. my grandma was only a grandma and not parenting in the usual sense of it and she was retired. But like many of you… we are still parenting, working and also now grand-parenting with less time available than previous generations. But we make do, enjoy the time we do get…and we can send them home!

Fiances, vacations!

Well we all wish we were financially stable with savings in the bank, house paid off, vacation money in bank and some money for our kids education put away. Each person has a different level that would allow them to feel less stress about all of this. What’s your level? I don’t need your answers but you need to realize that this answer changes over time and that it is as individual as you are.

We have a mortgage, are living within our means for the most part and we have some education money put away for our boys. We are starting to feel better about where we are now in this part of our lives. We don’t go on vacations every year; sometimes we choose to do work on our home. It’s all about what works for your family! As we mature we realize that our priorities and perspectives change over time. What seemed like such a huge cloud over us isn’t really…once you pass it!

According to physics:

 A moment is a measure of its tendency to cause a body to rotate about a specific point or axis... is a combination of a physical quantity and a distance. 

A moment is a time where we move physically, mentally or both through our lives. It seems longer sometimes and shorter other times. These moments make our lives many things but essentially they make us more individual… more like ourselves!


Maturity for some brings insight into our lives. The same could be said about growing up “too fast”, experiencing traumatic events, discovering new truths about the world, life and your identity. My insights on my life may be different from yours and any insights that I may have into your life will also be my perspective based on my values, beliefs, and morals not yours!

For others their insight into their life paired with their experiences can create selfishness, entitlement, and self-centered behaviour. I am not sure how, when or why exactly this happens to some and not others but I do know it has a lot of to do with their circumstances and their reactions to their environment. I’m not going to dig into this but I am aware of it and have seen it first hand.

I have seen it in my personal life and within the field I work in. I see this often, sometimes daily. It’s not pretty how people destroy the relationships they have or the ones around them because they make poor decisions based on a moment or many moments that they have experienced in their lives.

There is no easy quick fix for helping a person see what they are doing by sabotaging the relationships around them. I know that I don’t want this to be me! I care a lot about what others think and what I think, I would want if I was them… in their moment. The why, who and where they do what they do… and to whom they do it too!

I often take a step back in my life and try to look at it from an outside perspective. Something I have tried to teach my kids. It’s not always easy, and it doesn’t always work but it is a start that keeps me on track with my morals, values and beliefs.

I ask myself 6 questions when I doubt myself or when I feel insight is needed to make an informed decision. (I often have to write it down to see it)

  1. What is my reason? (My kids: why are you doing this?)
  2. Will it hurt me or someone else? (My kids: or could it break things?)
  3. Is it right? (My kids: will you get into trouble?)
  4. What will I/others gain from this action?
  5. Can I feel good about this choice?
  6. Would I want someone else to do, act or treat me like this?

What do you ask yourself in these moments?

What doesn’t hurt you makes you stronger!

Do you feel stronger? Did you get hurt?

Was I hurt? I have been hurt, I just can’t remember all the times in any one moment. Maybe I want to forget them… or did I forget them? A bit of both probably. I often think what would my mom think of this? (She was only around for 7 years of my life but I feel it matters to me what she may think!)

Do I feel stronger? Yeah! I do feel stronger or at least until the next “moment” comes around that hurts.

But this too is just a moment… and it too will pass!


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6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I really like the 6 questions that you ask yourself. I guess we all do some form of this during emotional times but can see how this could work for goal setting too.

    1. Renee,
      I love the idea of using these 6 questions for goal setting, reflection and direction that we want to aim for.
      Thank you.

    1. Hi Mercedes,
      Thank you for your comment. I am glad that you want to use my questions. I find that they have made a difference and keep me grounded especially in times where I over think situations. Best of luck with your direction.

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Thank you. Your right everyone’s life is different and at the same time we often feel the same things just for different reasons. My questions may not be exactly the same as another’s but I believe they help me remember where I stand or where I want to stand.

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