You Are Stronger Than You Think!

I love the quote by Christine Mason Miller, “At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.” The simple message represents so many of the powerful stories in our new book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times Won't Last But Tough People Will.

This Chicken Soup for the Soul collection is a reminder that when faced with financial challenges, health issues, relationship troubles, or any of the other ways in which life can go off track, we all have hidden reserves of strength and resilience that are just waiting to be called on.

Here are previews of two of my favorite stories from the book that show — this is not how the story is going to end:

You can rebuild slowly and surely even after the worst financial disaster.
In her story, Broken Vessel, Gold Meadows thought she was broken beyond repair, like a shattered piece of pottery. She was a divorced single mother of three with no home, no job, no car, and no child support. She was full of self-recrimination.

She had to start over from scratch. She decided the best place to do so was somewhere far away from her ex, so she moved from Maryland to California. She stayed with friends while she gradually got on a financial footing that would allow her to rent a small apartment and make a new home for her children.

It took years, but Gold slowly but surely made progress, finding a job, a small apartment, and a car. She says of her previously shattered life, “Piece by piece, I began to stand again. It all happened as slowly as the tears that trickled down my face each night. I knew if I could just make it through the pain and work of rebuilding, we would be okay.” And, like so many of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s contributors, she discovered she had more strength than she’d realized, saying, “I found my inner fortitude and resilience and I pushed on, one day at a time.”

You are not defined by your possessions and souvenirs.
In Tracy Whitaker's story, Validation, she lost everything in a fire. Tracy says, “It was nearly impossible for me to wrap my brain around the fact that nothing in my home remained.” She felt the loss of her papers the most—identification, birthday cards, letters, certificates, awards and more. All the papers that had defined her life had burned.

As a Black woman, Tracy wondered if she had inherited a familial terror. She says, “Perhaps in the deepest recesses of my being, there was historical trauma associated with the loss of documentation—documentation of freedom, of ownership, of self.” She also realized she’d been using those old letters and awards and other souvenirs of achievement as validation of her worth.

Tracy says, “I’d been hoarding not just paper, but other people’s opinions of me. Now I could reimagine myself.” She says she has learned that the only opinion worth cherishing—the only validation she needs—is her own.


Chicken Soup for the Soul has been “changing lives one story at a time”® since 1993 with more than 250 books that provide hope, inspiration, and tips for a better life. Virtually every title becomes a self-help bestseller. Each book contains 101 true, personal stories submitted by ordinary people with extraordinary experiences to share. The topics are wide-ranging, but always inspirational and entertaining, covering everything from faith and spirituality to family, marriage, pets, and overcoming challenges of all kinds. Life values such as gratitude, forgiveness, mindfulness, positive thinking, and giving back are a big part of the series, with specific self-help books that help readers of all ages, from children to the elderly.