What Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton Teaches Us About Tragedy, Faith, and Finding Life’s Purpose

Aimee Hughes
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Before professional surfer and motivational speaker Bethany Hamilton’s life changed forever when she lost her arm to a shark attack (along with 60% of her body’s blood), she and her mother spent most nights praying for Bethany’s life purpose to be revealed. From the ripe age of 13, Bethany’s deep-seated desire to find her dharma (or life purpose) was central to her life story, and it was answered not long after the shark attack when she made it her mission to serve millions around the world through her spiritual teachings.
 
Soul Surfer, the feature film made about Bethany’s story, teaches us what’s needed to overcome adversity, and ultimately step into our own personal power. As we take the plunge, it’s essential to have ongoing faith, a strong sense of community, and a desire to compassionately serve others in all that we do.
 
Bethany’s insights can help us heed these life lessons, and fulfill our own personal dharma in the process.
 

Bethany’s insights can help us heed these life lessons, and fulfill our own personal dharma in the process.

 

Here are 3 inspiring life lessons we can learn from Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton:

 

You Gotta Have Faith

Bethany’s spiritual life has always driven her forward. A deep spiritual connection to whatever you want to call it – the Divine, God, Source, the Cosmos – is essential for living a life that’s deeply fulfilling.

When we’re connected to something greater than ourselves, our lives become filled with wonder. We have an inner knowing at the core of our being that we were placed on this planet for a reason.
 
We know that there’s no one on Earth just like us, and that each and every one of us has a unique and important purpose to fulfill. A connection to Spirit enriches and liberates our lives – a lesson that Bethany has understood and lived from early on.
 

When we’re connected to something greater than ourselves, our lives become filled with wonder. We have an inner knowing at the core of our being that we were placed on this planet for a reason.

 

It Takes a Village

This champion surfer has always relied on her tribe of friends and family to help her through hard times. You can see just how essential these bonds were for her as she healed her injuries from the shark attack, got back in the water after only three weeks, and ultimately became a global spokeswoman for overcoming adversity.
 
Bethany needed her family, her friends, and the leaders of her youth group to support her – just as each and every one of us need that same sense of support. Calling upon our support system to fulfill our life’s purpose – whether it’s family, close friends, or work colleagues – is an essential step if we want to succeed.
 

Cultivate Compassion and Serve Others

Life’s tragedies open our hearts to the suffering of the world. Through the pain and healing that took place after the shark attack, Bethany opened her heart and learned compassion on such a profound level that she made it her life’s purpose to serve others.
 
Living a life of service is ultimately what we’re all here to do – whether that means serving raising children, creating art, or teaching yoga. In the words of Bethany Hamilton, “Compassion can drive us to do amazing things and give us perspective.”
 
Our dharma is to serve, and we realize this when compassion is at the heart of our daily existence.
 

 
If you’re feeling lost, or sensing that there’s something unique and powerful that only you were born to do, have patience and follow Bethany’s example. Cultivate an unshakable trust and faith in something greater than yourself, and lean on your tribe (or build one slowly if you don’t have your community just yet). Last, learn how to be compassionate with yourself and others. With time, the answers will come and your dharma will reveal itself to you.
 

Our dharma is to serve, and we realize this when compassion is at the heart of our daily existence.

 
Want to learn more about Bethany and her amazing story? You can visit her website:
bethanyhamilton.com.
 
Have an amazing, inspiring story of your own to share? Please do so in the comments below and keep the conversation going!
 

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Aimee Hughes

Aimee is a holistic health writer who has been traveling and exploring the world of natural health and wellness, yoga, dance, and travel for the past two decades. She is the author of a self-published vegan cookbook, “The Sexy Vegan Kitchen: Culinary Adventures in Love & Sex,” available on Amazon. Aimee is a regular contributor to On Fitness and the lead writer and health consultant for the Yandara Yoga Institute in Todos Santos, Baja Mexico.

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