How often have you heard that happiness is a choice? It’s the New Age thing to say. But Scott Stabile disagrees. He says it’s not a choice because we can’t choose our emotions. Stabile is the author of Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-open Heart (New World Library, 2017). He’s not about to apologize for feeling grief, either. When he finally allowed himself to feel grief about great tragedy in his life, he says that helped him become a better person.
“My parents were shot to death when I was 14, so that changed everything profoundly,” Stabile says. “We can reflect on certain experiences in our lives and we find the ways in which they have impacted us. There are certain things which I will never even know, the extent to which losing my parents at that age has affected me.”
Stabile’s parents owned a business in Detroit. An intruder murdered both, leaving Stabile an orphan. Then his brother died of a heroin overdose nine years later. Unable to fully face his grief, Stabile joined a cult for 13 years but broke away. The lessons learned from those experiences eventually led to his becoming an inspirational speaker, leading empowerment workshops around the world.
“When you deal with great trauma and great loss, and the sadness that comes along with it, I found that it has made me so much more compassionate and so much more available to connecting with others in their pain."
In Big Love, Stabile encourages others to open their hearts and allow themselves to experience grief fully. But he says they must also embrace the vulnerability needed to make meaningful connections with others. He tells the stories about his own life-changing experiences, sometimes with sadness but often with humor.
As difficult as forgiveness can be, Stabile was eventually able to forgive the man who murdered his parents.
“Empathy was my path to forgiveness. In my teenage years, that wasn’t anything I was able to think about. When I thought about him then, it was with rage and vengeful thoughts. But as I grew older and became more aware of the power of love, I became more aware of how those hateful thoughts were affecting me.”
Stabile says he began to consider the man’s humanity, to recognize that “no human being who is operating from a place of self-worth or feeling seen in this world would murder other people.”
Scott Stabile’s inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following. He has many followers on his Facebook page that features encouraging posts about being open to love.
Stabile's other books include Just Love, Iris, and the Li’l Pet Hospital series, and a feature film, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure.
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