It’s Not What Happens To You

Post crafted by Sarah Liddle

I’d drag myself to work. It wasn’t a bad place to work, but it wasn’t my dream job. 

I’d been fighting myself for about 4 years. Fighting with myself about my past. I would flip flop from jobs, none were what I wanted to do in life. My weight was up and down alongside my emotions. I was in the eyes of others – a failure. 

My life didn’t go as planned.

What led me to that point in my life where I felt like giving up? 

: my parents divorcing
: experiencing sexual abuse
: watching others experience sexual abuse 
: physical abuse from lovers 
: abuse from myself 

My upbringing dictated the direction of my life. I didn’t choose what happened to me. In fact, I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody. 

It happened. 

As my mom would say:

“Build a bridge and get over it.”

I tried that. I tried her motto. I failed at it, and everything else. 

Until one day when I decided to move country, and leave my job at Solitaire Lodge in New Zealand behind. The owner gave me a card and wished me well. In that card it read:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” 
– Epictetus

That one card changed the course of my life. Did things still go wrong, sure they did, but now, I had an attitude that would respond differently. 

You might feel that in life you’ve drawn the short straw, and maybe you have. 


It’s not what happens to you that matters in life, it’s how you respond to it, that matters.