What qualities come to mind when you think of a hero ?
When I was thinking about this I asked a few of my friends this question. COURAGE was the one quality that everyone included in their list . I wonder how you would have answered ? I’d like to know so please join in by adding your thoughts at the bottom of this post !
Maybe, just maybe, you are the hero in your own story in your recovery from Narcissistic abuse .
Your perception of heroism may be quite different depending on your own life experience , however I think courage would have to be up there in the first few because when I think of my heroes they have all displayed extraordinary courage in some way or other.
Some examples of courage:
- a sick child battling a life threatening illness still managing to smile
- a war veteran who has had his legs blown off going on to compete in paralympics
- a person who has a severe stutter standing up to make a speech
- a person who has been bullied in their workplace speaking up while risking being further marginalized or sacked
- individuals who go to the aid of others knowing their own safety is at risk
- ANYONE who faces their fear and does it anyway
- ANYONE in or recovering from a narcissistic relationship is the very definition of courageous.
……and then in no particular order would be compassion which is the ability to show empathy, dedication to whatever she wants to achieve which includes setting goals , perseverance and determination even if that means having to try a few times to reach those goals , strength of character including strong beliefs about right and wrong and a strong moral compass which cannot be swayed by popular opinion , a sense of selflessness and of course humility …..lets face it we don’t see to many true heroes saying “look at me , look at me ” ! Heroes come in all shapes and sizes…
Whoever our heroes are whether a well known sports person , a war hero, an entrepreneur with a rags to riches story or one of the many wonderful unsung heroes in our local communities, they all possess the above qualities to a greater or lesser degree. We all have different heroes we look up to and from whom we draw inspiration for different reasons.
As the saying goes “heroes aren’t born , heroes are made” and often its through adversity that these heroic qualities come to the fore . Heroes have more often than not suffered extreme hardship or illness, been victimized , faced grave danger or have been physically, emotionally or psychologically abused.
For some heroism arises from having stared their own demons in the face…and won. At times these heroes have come to a point where they have lost hope, such was the enormity of challenge they were facing, but somehow they found the assistance they needed to carry on. This assistance, which may have come in the form of supportive friendships , mentors or faith, has provided the hero with the wherewithal to successfully pass through this stage of his journey. The hero will be forever changed .
Heroes are everyday people at whom life throws seemingly insurmountable challenges. They aren’t perfect human beings , they struggle and suffer and at times feel as though they cant take anymore . But the difference is that they don’t give up despite facing repeated tests of their endurance. Like the rest of us they are sometimes left wondering if they will ever get to the end of the dark tunnel and walk out into the light.
My hero is a young woman Australian woman, Turia Pitt . She is my hero because I met her personally at a time when I had just realised that was in a narcissistic relationship. I came away from our meeting thinking that if she can recover from her shocking physical injuries and maintain such mental strength and positivity then so can I . Turia is a hero to many people like me but she is also the hero of her own story.
Turia is a very bright , determined, competitive young woman. In 2011, aged 25, she was working as a mining engineer in the Kimberley region of North Western Australia. That was also the time of her horrendous accident. An endurance marathon runner, Turia was caught in a fire whilst competing in an endurance event. Turia defied all the odds by surviving despite 70% of her body being badly burnt. From the outset she was not expected to live .
Turia was in hospital for many months, she had many many surgeries and many set backs . She endured dressing changes so painful they made her scream out loud and physio sessions that made her cry with pain. BUT the key thing that she did when she was in hospital was set herself a goal. She was told she would NEVER run again and because of her overall degree of disfigurement (her nose was burnt off , she had fingers amputated and very bad scarring of her face, arms and upper torso) . She was told that she needed to prepare herself for that eventuality that her life would never be the same. Turia did the opposite by immediately setting herself a goal which was to complete in an Ironman event in 5 yrs time . Just for the record thats a swim of 2.9ks , a bike ride of 180ks followed by a full marathon of 42ks……in one day ! There would be no small goals for the girl who was told she would never run again!
As I write Turia has gone on to complete not one but two Ironman events and has inspired myself and others to keep going when the going gets tough. She faced obstacles that would put the best of us off ever contemplating an event such as an Ironman. She showed amazing courage, determination, strength of character and humility ….she never saw herself as doing anything really amazing. She was just getting on with the job of recovery and getting back to doing what she loves.
Turia is no longer working as a mining engineer, she has reinvented herself as a motivational speaker and charity worker and she has recently set up her “School of Champions ” through which she personally mentors individuals over several months , working with them in order that they too can believe and achieve. Turia’s motto is NEVER GIVE UP…. .she personally signed her first book for me with those words which I revisit anytime I’m feeling that I can’t go on.
Do you have a hero?