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Your Stories Don’t Define You, How You Tell Them Will

Aug 14, 2018

We all know a few people who cannot seem to get a break. These are the friends we have who were in tough childhood situations, moved from home to home, and had abusive teen and young adult years, and then seem to have tragedy after tragedy in their lives well into adulthood.

Some of them are angry and bitter, some are simply resigned to their fate, and then others become more and more resilient, making choices to grow and help others in a variety of ways.

That's Ashley Horner. She could easily have given up all of her power, her love, her compassion. As a matter of fact, she tried to when she was 20. As she woke in the hospital after a suicide attempt, her dad (she was finally adopted by a loving family), who was not a particularly affectionate person, but who demonstrated love in other ways, was there, patting her hand. The look on his face said it all: He was disappointed, hurt, heartbroken at Ashley's choice to leave him and this world.

It was his hand on hers that awakened her desire to live and thrive, and her motivation to make the changes necessary.

Years later, following more tragedy in her life, she decided to help others in a few different ways. First, she started a recruitment agency with a focus on, and ambitious goal of helping veterans and members of the LGBTQ community. Next came Anchored Souls, to serve those who also suffered abuse and sexual assault, and then the recent creation of Anchored Kids, an organization to help grandparents finding themselves suddenly as primary caregivers of their grandchildren.

When we choose to use our most painful, damaging stories to motivate us to grow, thrive, and help others, we leave a legacy we can not possibly measure.