Very early in my work with kids who had experienced trauma, I discovered this quote. It has underpinned my practice ever since. I managed a nonprofit program that brought mental health clinicians to crime scenes to support children and families in their most difficult moments. In the weeks and months following the event, we continued to support the kids and parents with trauma-focused counseling services.
On the last session, I would invite them to place their hand in paint and then on a canvas painting that said the first part of Maya Angelou’s quote, “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refused to be reduced by it.” We would talk more about the quote, and after a while, I would share the rest – “In the face of uncertainty, remember these two things; you are stronger than you think and you are not alone.” I could see them fill with pride at first and later with the comfort of being reminded of the people at their side.
It goes without saying that was difficult and rewarding work. As the years went by, I realized that this quote wasn’t just empowering and connecting my clients to their resources – It was also having the same affect on me. The repetition built my resilience.
Which quotes help you continue to help others? I’d love to hear…