Every once and while, we come across a person who stops you in your tracks. You become so inspired, filled with hope, feeling love and courage – so many emotions all at the same time. Most often, you do not understand why this person has such a hold on you, but you know you’re forever changed because of the lessons you’ve learned. Pauline Victoria Aughe is such a person. I had the pleasure of meeting her through the publishing company I work with as she is working on a book to be released this year with power-house motivational speaker Les Brown. But she is certainly not relying on that for success – she is well on her way to achieving any and all dreams she can think of. Pauline, thank you for your amazing spirit, courage, love, and pure heart. We ALL look up to you.
And now, Pauline’s story…
“I started with nothing except a deck of cards stacked up against me. I could have rightly taken the path of depression, self-pity, a path of give up and give in and no one would have faulted me for choosing that path. After all, I was born without arms and legs.
Perception is everything. Each one of us has a choice: we can choose to see our challenges, pain and sufferings either as a curse or a blessing. In this choice lies the key to the quality of our life.
The circumstances that I was born into are viewed by most people as difficult, or even insufferable. The first two reactions people usually have toward me are curiosity and pity. I often hear, “I feel so sorry for you.” Grown men and women have cried over me. But soon after the pity, people are amazed, inspired and transformed by the smile on my face. I smile because my perception of my disability is not of anger and resentment. I perceive my disability as a blessing.
But I did not always see my disability as a gift. My teenage years were the most difficult, but what I realized was that my perception of myself influenced how I felt I was treated. At school I never felt good enough; I felt small and out of sync with everyone else. And so, that is what appeared. I never felt more lonely. I can still remember bodies after bodies moving past me and yet I cannot remember their faces. However, at home, I felt secure and safe and so that is what appeared at home. I experienced love and laughter and total unconditional acceptance and relatedness.
I am a believer that the world reflects to you what you give out from the inside.
The most common compliment I hear from people is how happy I am. I told my sixteen-year old stepdaughter this observation and she replied, “That’s sad.”
Curious, I asked, “What do you mean?”
She answered, “It’s sad because people are so limiting in their beliefs that they can’t even imagine how you could be happy.”
This conversation helped me realize that my perception of who I am and what is possible transforms lives. The challenges in our lives are hard and uncomfortable to experience, but what I have learned and perceive to be true is that these same trials and tribulations that others see as harsh have helped me fulfill my purpose to live my life as a message. From these sufferings, I gain wisdom and strength, I fortify my faith and I embraced my true essence as a whole and complete spirit.
Making this choice to see my challenges as a blessing has unlocked the door to a fulfilled life of possibility for me and everyone that I meet. Make that choice and turn that key for your own life.”
Pauline Victoria Aughe
Author, Speaker, Mentor Extraordinaire
A story from an ongoing series of story-sharing and expression. To submit your story or express your feelings, click here ».
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