Book explores how some people are resilient when facing loss
- NC Raine | March 07, 2018
Resilience and the stories of those who have fought through life's toughest challenges, is the subject for the latest book from author Allan Kehler. Born Resilient is a collection of 17 real life testimonies from individuals who have persevered through adversity. Stories of addiction, violence, abuse, and grief are shared in order to bring to light valuable insights as to how individuals have learned to endure.
“I've always been intrigued as to why some individuals are able to rise above, and some aren't,” said Kehler. “There's that line, 'blessed are those who struggle'. I wanted to think about some of the gifts that come from those times of struggle.”
Kehler, an instructor of Mental Health and Wellness at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT), has worked as an addictions councillor, consultant, and keynote speaker, in addition to being an author. He was motivated, in part, to create Born Resilient in order to show the therapeutic nature of sharing one's story.
“There's nothing more sacred than a story. I think we're so quick to judge and to short with compassion. Often, someone is fighting a battle we know nothing about,” he says. “I want people to understand that not only does everyone have a story, but I want to encourage and hopefully empower people to share their own story because that's what allows us to connect to each other and rise above our own challenges.”
Kehler was able to gather stories from 17 different individuals with whom he knew personally. One of those individuals, Blanche Nickel, a teacher in the child care centre at SIIT, was approached by Kehler to share her difficult story of loss.
“Sharing my story was emotional. With my story, my children were murdered – it brought me back to that particular point in time; the trial, everything my family went through, and rebuilding my life,” said Nickel.
Through sharing her story, Nickel hopes that her testimony and the sixteen others in Born Resilient give hope to other's struggling with life.
“When writing my story, it was, in a sense, relieving to see it all on paper. Knowing what I had faced, and lived through,” said Nickel. “I'm not a religious person, but I believe that it was the great spirit who helped me though so many difficult things. I hope this book can give others hope.”
To learn more about the book, or purchase a copy, visit outfromtheshadows.ca