After serving five years in a Florida state prison for a crime that I didn’t commit, and two years later being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and undergoing major surgery to remove most of my colon, I have learnt one very important life lesson. You will find treasure in the darkest places if you simply change your perspective.

It’s easy to become self obsessed when you are suffering; it’s human nature not to want to endure discomfort. During the difficult times of life, our thought process is often, “Why me? And when is this going to end.” Rarely do we stop to consider the purpose behind the pain, and step outside of ourselves to discover the pearls of wisdom that are often buried in our struggles.

It was during my incarceration that I became a Christian, and learnt that life isn’t just about me. I was surrounded by women who had endured the most horrific traumatic childhoods, and were now being victimised by the very system that was supposed to help them. After I found the strength to end my pity party, my eyes were opened to the immense suffering of others, and I began to use my gifts to make an impact on the lives of the women I was housed with. It was during the worst season of my life that I experienced true peace, contentment, and fulfilment because I had found my life’s purpose, and it wasn’t dependent upon my circumstances.

Adversity is a part of life, not one of us is going to escape it. The question is, how are you going to respond when you go through challenging times? I have learnt that your power is in your pain, and I have a burning desire to share my experience with the world, and teach people how to turn adversity into your greatest asset.