Updated: May 21, 2021
“Never give up hope.” You hear this encouraging adage all the time, but what does it really mean to be in a situation that feels genuinely hopeless and STILL refuse to allow despair to win? Today we meet a woman who’s been given every reason in the world to give up hope: Carol Graham. She’s here to remind you that you can get through anything--anything!--with attitude, hope and humor.
3:20 Covid was a blessing
6:00 Laugh when there’s nothing to laugh about
8:40 Never give up
11:40 The Lesson of the Puppy
18:00 When there’s no end in sight
20:00 Being Thankful In Advance
22:40 Living without fear
32:30 The Helmet of Hope
35:50 Standing on a stage
39:10 No limitations
Adrienne MacIain 0:01
Hey, everyone. Welcome to the That's Aloud podcast. I'm your hostess, Dr. Adrienne MacIain. And today we're here with Carol Graham. Carol, please introduce yourself.
Carol Graham 0:13
It's so nice to be here because I've followed you, I've listened to some of your podcasts, I'm a podcaster, as well, so I do appreciate that. What can I tell you about me, I am an author. I'm a podcaster. I am a mother, a grandmother. I have three jewelry stores. I have a podcast that's been going for seven years entitled 'Never, Ever Give Up Hope.' And basically, that's what I'm about. I'm someone who went through hell, lived to tell about it, and share it on a regular basis.
Adrienne MacIain 0:49
Wonderful. So you know, my podcast is all about helping people see that life happens for them, not to them. And that everything we go through, you know, you don't go through it just to go through it. So I think it's so inspirational to see people like you, who have been through so much, just giving their stories to the world so that they can use them, and they can have that hope and that inspiration from that story. So I do want to give you an opportunity to just tell a little bit about your journey to where you are right now, before we jump into talking about Hindsight 2020.
Carol Graham 1:31
My journey, I was 67 when I decided to start a new career. And that career was author, podcaster, etc, etc. and motivational speaker. Although I have been speaking for over 25 years to audiences of every type, I wanted to focus more when I switched to my story. Because I'm one of those people, and I know there are many in your audience, who if they've had horrendous things happen to them in their lives, they try to hide it. They cover it up, they don't necessarily want to share it. Maybe people will think less of me, maybe they will look at me in a different way. And so we bury it. Also we bury it because of the pain. But I have been someone who lost two children, has had my husband imprisoned falsely, and then pardoned. I have had cancer. And when the doctor told me I wouldn't live, I said, I'll find my own care. And I did. I have been gang-raped and left for dead. I have lost two businesses, which shouldn't have happened except for greed from my partners. And the list goes on. As an author, like I said, when I career-changed, and I wrote my book, that's what pole-vaulted me into a new career as author/speaker about never giving up hope, and podcaster for about the last seven or eight years, I guess.
Adrienne MacIain 3:06
Wow. I mean, so much in there. But let's go, let's get into let's get into 2020. Maybe we'll kind of come back to some of that amazing stuff.
Carol Graham 3:16
Absolutely, because where we are now, it's where we came from. Right? So.
Adrienne MacIain 3:21
Absolutely, yeah. All part of the journey. So, question: what is the greatest gift that the year 2020 gave to you?
Carol Graham 3:32
After my husband had a brain injury, and he was not going to be able to work probably for the rest of his life. He was only in his 40s. And because of my own healing that I found through nutrition, I was able to help him. And so after seven years of being bedridden, etc, we came to a place where he was improved to the point where we could open our business back up, which is jewelry store. When we did that things were great. And it was, in our small town, one of the key places to go to because we offered so many services, including custom made jewelry, etc. Things were great. And then recession hit and the bottom fell out. And we tried to sell, after we were there about 11 years, we tried to sell. It wasn't selling. Everybody was basically in the same position. And we just didn't know what we were going to do. We have to have an income, you know, you've reached that point. And then COVID hit.
Adrienne MacIain 4:40
Carol Graham 4:41
And of course everybody all around us was beginning to really hurt and feel the crunch. But what it did for us was we live in a peninsula where people always went to the big city to shop. They didn't have that option anymore. And our business went through the roof. Just, it was amazing. Like, we almost felt guilty because there are so many people hurting, and yet here we are not just surviving like we have been, but thriving. And it opened up all kinds of new avenues. And one of the biggest changes was being able to give back to all those people who had helped us those years. So COVID was a blessing in every way, not just for us, but for those around us.
Adrienne MacIain 5:33
Wow. Wow, that's so wonderful. I mean, a lot of these stories are like, Well, COVID taught me this important life lesson. But you really thrived, that's wonderful.
Carol Graham 5:48
It did me too, because my whole life lesson has been never to give up. And that's exactly what we did. We stuck with it, and it paid off in ways we never thought it would.
Adrienne MacIain 6:00
That's incredible. So, you know, you've been through so many things. And I think you know, it's one thing when you've sort of been through one big trauma, but it's like trauma after trauma after trauma. Is there a part of you that says, What if, what if there's something wrong with me? Like, what if this is me? What if I'm like, attracting this or creating this? Does that go through your mind?
Carol Graham 6:22
It hasn't for many years, but certainly in those years of struggle, absolutely. And I think that's one of the reasons that people who do go through so much, they try to hide it. Because it feels like, I shouldn't be going through this. Not because, you know, things are, whatever is happening around me, but just that, What did I do wrong? And I knew I made mistakes? And we both did, we made some terrible business mistakes, we trusted the wrong people. But instead of dwelling on that, again, turning it around and what did we learn from this? We won't do it again. And it's what I said, there's two things you need in every life, and that is attitude and humor.
Adrienne MacIain 7:05
Carol Graham 7:08
And even when my husband was going through all those years in bed, I still made him laugh, like belly laughs, when there was nothing to laugh about. And we had no income, and the world was crashing in. But I made him laugh. And you know what, if you make somebody else laugh, you end up laughing too. And when you can laugh at yourself...
Adrienne MacIain 7:28
Endless material, endless material. Someone, and I don't remember who said this, but they said, "Life can be roughly divided into two categories. Either it was a good time, or it's a good story."
Carol Graham 7:43
I like that. Or both.
Adrienne MacIain 7:46
Exactly. Sometimes both, sometimes both. You know, I think the wonderful sort of transcendent moments are the ones where, even in the midst of a messed up situation, you can kind of step out of it for a moment and see the humor, and laugh. Those are just some of my favorite memories. Like in the middle of just like a messed up situation, but then realizing this is temporary, it's gonna pass. Right? This is gonna be hilarious someday. Why not laugh now?
Carol Graham 8:21
Hopefully they'll laugh with you.
Adrienne MacIain 8:25
Exactly, rather than at you. So what do you think have been some of the greatest lessons you've learned? I mean, you know, people always say like, Oh, this is a great opportunity for growth. Wow, you've had plenty of opportunities for growth, lots of life lessons in there. What are some of your biggest takeaways from your experiences?
Carol Graham 8:48
I think there's the common thread, which I already said, and that is never give up. Because no matter what we're beaten with, battered with, bruised, broken, all the things that could crush us, we maintain the right attitude. And that's not easy. And I do a lot of counseling, and I also do a lot of coaching as well. And this is what people really need to hear. And you know what, it's not just words. And I think that's what we really have to be careful with. Because you can very, you know, nonchalantly say, Well, you know, you need a good attitude, or you need to laugh about that or whatever. But no. Stories, to me, have been key, telling my story. I've written three books now, and basically they are stories because the stories...
Adrienne MacIain 9:39
Sorry, I'm sorry, my cat is so rude. Cats, man are so rude.
Carol Graham 9:47
It's the stories that people can relate to.
Adrienne MacIain 9:50
Carol Graham 9:51
In my book, there's 12 chapters, 12 traumas. So I fit, I think that I've covered all the bases as far as things that could go wrong. I've been there. So this is how I did it. But it's written as a novel, and so it's a really good story. And people relate to stories, and they see themselves in that story. It's just watching a good movie. So.
Adrienne MacIain 10:14
Absolutely. I think resilience is so key. So key. And I always say, you know, I can't really relate to people who haven't been through something. You know, I mean, you can just tell when someone has that resilience.
Carol Graham 10:32
Adrienne MacIain 10:32
And when someone does not. And any little thing that goes wrong, they're just panicking and freaking out, because they haven't been through something significant, and they don't handle it. They don't have the tools. You know?
Carol Graham 10:45
It's like I say, they throw a pity party, and no one shows up.
Adrienne MacIain 10:48
Yeah. And I think we've all been there. I mean, you know, to be fair.
Carol Graham 10:56
Absolutely. You stub your toe, you want people to feel sorry for you! You know?
Adrienne MacIain 11:02
One of my favorite lines that I, you know, it's like you have these kind of repeated lines that you say, one of my favorite famous lines is, "Where's my parade?"
Carol Graham 11:12
Yes, yes. That's good. That's good. Yeah.
Adrienne MacIain 11:15
I survived that. Where's my parade?
Carol Graham 11:17
Right! Where's the confetti? Yeah.
Adrienne MacIain 11:23
I think we all deserve a parade every once in a while.
Carol Graham 11:25
Adrienne MacIain 11:27
Yeah. So, you know, stories are so, I just absolutely think it's so important to tell our stories. And, as you said, shame is one of the biggest reasons why people don't tell their stories, that they feel ashamed, or they feel embarrassed, or they feel like people will judge them. So can you give people just some tools for kind of fixing that self-talk, whenever they want to tell a story, or they want to share something significant, and that little voice comes in and is like, "Oh, I don't think you should tell them that. I think that's kind of embarrassing. I think they might have some, some judgments on that." What can they say to themselves in those moments?
Carol Graham 12:10
Well, I have a story. I'll answer it through a story.
Adrienne MacIain 12:15
Carol Graham 12:16
When my daughter was 16 years old, she had a puppy, a little miniature dachshund. And she was going to be going away for three weeks to, I think it was Costa Rica. And so she said, Mom, could you babysit Louie Vuitton was his name. Could you babysit Louie? And he definitely, he had class. Of course, you know, of course I'll babysit him. But I had no idea that babysitting that dog was going to change my life. And what happened is, from the very first day she went away, he had seen her pack her suitcase. And so the evening that she left my husband and I were sitting in the living room, and we heard this tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump coming down the stairs. And here was the six week old little puppy, or six month old, sorry, little puppy, you know, and they're just little guys anyway. And he was bringing down his heavy Louie Vuitton bag, and it was about four times the size of him. You know? I mean, bringing it down the stairs. And we were like, What? Well, after he got it done with, okay, turn the TV off. We didn't know, but we figured we were going to be entertained. So then he scampered back up the stairs. That's 14 stairs, so it's a lot for a little guy with short legs. Scampered back up the stairs, and he started bringing down his things. He brought down his dish and his leash and his blankie and his toys and his everything that he owned in this life, he brought down one by one. Now we got the popcorn out, we're watching this unfold, we still don't know where it's going. So he then proceeded to put his things into the bag. Impossible for a dog with that-short legs, but I knew we couldn't help him. He had to do this himself. And so he would jump and jump and then he would kind of toss his things. He got everything in the bag and we're like, Okay, what's next? He proceeds to jump in. We still haven't a clue on what he was doing. And so as he jumped, he jumped and jumped and jumped until he got in, of course headfirst. Then he tried from the inside with his little teeth to close the zipper. I'm not kidding, this took like two hours, as you can imagine. And he's he got it and so that that point I thought, I don't know what's on this dog's agenda but I'm gonna help him close the zipper. So I got up and closed the zipper. He stayed there all night. The next morning, we got up, opened up the zipper. He jumps out and he looks around barking and running. He packed his suitcase. Like his mom packed her suitcase. I know, heartbreaking! And he was looking, he thought he was someplace else. So what I did with that, and how it changed my life was my daughter, she was 16 at the time, had watched her mom go through hell, over and over and over again. And she kept saying, Mom, you need to tell your story. And I would go, Yeah, whatever. Yes, you need to tell your story, Mom, people need to know that you can survive all the horrendous things that happened to you. Yeah, whatever, just be quiet, I'm not going to tell my story. And then when she was gone, those 14 days or whatever it was, 21 days, I wrote a journal of everything that her dog did and took pictures for the day. At Christmas time, I had put that into a book and I gave it to her as a hardcover, published book for her for Christmas. And she opened it up, and tears were running down her face, and she was laughing and crying. And she said, Mom, now will you tell your story? And it just hit me, if a dog has a story with a message, who am I to think that I don't have a story too? And consequently, I wrote my story, took me 10 years, had it published. And then from there, everything just exploded. The world needs to hear what you went through and how you made it. I didn't make it into a sad story. I made it into an incredibly funny and and encouraging story, and one totally full of hope, not devastation. Which you would think all those things. And does that answer your question?
Adrienne MacIain 17:02
Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, I that's the thing. I think that's the self-talk that you need to have in those moments is that everyone's story is worth telling. Because you never know who needs that story. There is someone out there who is waiting for your story to change their life.
Carol Graham 17:24
And the interesting thing about that when she told me to do it, and I asked her why, she said, Because my generation needs to hear your story.
Adrienne MacIain 17:35
Carol Graham 17:36
Totally different generation, and yet she she saw that people of her generation need to know these kinds of things happen to people as they go through life. She's only 16. Right? So it's never, you're never too young and never too old to tell your story, basically.
Adrienne MacIain 17:56
Absolutely. So my stepfather was also falsely accused of a crime and later pardoned. So I can really relate to that feeling of just complete helplessness at the hands of our justice system.
Carol Graham 18:13
Adrienne MacIain 18:14
I call it our legal system, because there's sometimes not so much of the justice. And it really is, it feels so overwhelming to be against, you know, the system, fighting the system. And, you know, it's one thing when it's like, there's, you know, a bad thing happens to you like loss, you're grieving, there's nothing you can do about it, it's over. But when you're fighting that fight, it can be so demoralizing to be like, I can't stop. Like, you can't give up this fight.
Carol Graham 18:48
Adrienne MacIain 18:48
Like you said, you can never, ever give up. But at the same time, there's no, you know, there's no healing in sight. There's no end in sight.
Carol Graham 18:58
Adrienne MacIain 18:59
And so I think those stories especially are really important to share, that there can be a light at the end of that tunnel. That there can be justice. That sometimes they do get pardoned, and it does get recognized that this was wrong. Now, that doesn't take away the pain, and it doesn't fix everything. But yeah, I mean, you really never can give up hope.
Carol Graham 19:29
Adrienne MacIain 19:30
And yet, I think so many of us, it's the obvious thing to do is to just say, I've tried everything I can think of. What now? And I think those are the moments of surrender. Those are the moments where you recognize that there's nothing more that you can do, but you're not the only one here and you can reach out for help. And you can pray, and you can reach into that deep part of yourself that is connected to everyone and everything else that is beyond you and find more strength than you even knew was there.
Carol Graham 20:15
That's interesting that you brought up pray because one of the actual coaching sessions that I teach on is how to pray the answer. It's very different from praying and begging.
Adrienne MacIain 20:31
Right. I always try to pray in gratitude.
Carol Graham 20:35
Adrienne MacIain 20:36
Even if it's something that I don't have yet, I just pray for, Thank you, that I know that you have our best interests at heart, I know that you are looking for the greater good, and so I just thank you in advance, that I know you're going to help us.
Carol Graham 20:50
Bang on! It also changes your attitude.
Adrienne MacIain 20:56
Carol Graham 20:57
Because, again, the pity party is not there, because you're finding things to be grateful for, and know that there will be resolution. So that's the attitude.
Adrienne MacIain 21:07
I think so many times in life, I don't know if this has happened to you but I assume, given everything that's happened, that this has happened, that there are times when you think, Why, why me? Why did this happen to me? And then later, you see, Oh, that's why. That's why. And I've had this experience where, you know, we had a business that we put a lot of money into, and a lot of time into. And it was related to kind of Airbnb, I won't go into the details. But we ran into some legal issues, and the whole thing fell apart, just disintegrated. And then I think about that now, and I go, Oh, my gosh, we would have been dead in the water anyway.
Carol Graham 21:48
Adrienne MacIain 21:49
We would have been completely dead in the water, and much later on after we'd have sunk much more time and money into it.
Carol Graham 21:55
Adrienne MacIain 21:56
And so thank goodness that happened at the time that it did. But at the time, it certainly didn't feel like much of a good thing.
Carol Graham 22:02
Adrienne MacIain 22:03
So how do you pray the answer?
Carol Graham 22:07
You have to take my course.
Adrienne MacIain 22:09
Okay, fantastic. Fair enough. Fair enough.
Carol Graham 22:11
It's very, very long and very detailed. But essentially, I don't know, you know, where you're coming from, but I use scripture. And the scripture has the promise, you know? And I dwell on the promise instead of the problem. So that's praying the answer, it's the promise. And we know that God can't lie, so he's in our court. And it happens, it absolutely happens. It's guaranteed, beautiful.
Adrienne MacIain 22:39
So I'm going to walk you through a little exercise now that I love to bring my guest through.
Carol Graham 22:44
Adrienne MacIain 22:44
If you've heard the podcast, then you've heard this before, but. So I'd like you to just close your eyes for a moment, just get nice and comfortable. And I'm going to wave my magic wand, and now everything that you deeply desire has come to pass. Everything that you have really, you know, on a heart-soul level been wanting is now here and is now real. And so I want you to just sort of with your eyes still closed, because I find this works best, just look around this experience. Tell me what you see, what you taste, smell, touch, all your senses are on and open in this ideal scene. What do you see first?
Carol Graham 23:39
Well, I teach on the same thing about using our senses. So I can totally relate. And you can break it down sense by sense, but what I see always is resolution. Whenever I am facing, there's resolution.
Adrienne MacIain 23:55
So what's the, what's the resolution you're seeing right now? What's coming to you?
Carol Graham 24:00
I don't have anything in particular.
Adrienne MacIain 24:03
So it's just...
Carol Graham 24:05
I'm usually, I'm mostly thinking about other people's problems and issues and all the people that I'm dealing with, but...
Adrienne MacIain 24:13
Okay, well then let's expand this. Let's go into an ideal situation for humanity. I'm going to wave this magic wand, and we have come through the worst of this COVID situation. We have come through this, you know, the kind of worst of the system that we are kind of wading through right now. And there is a new system in place here on earth. And I want you to just be in that experience for a moment. Just what...
Carol Graham 24:50
That would be lack of fear, because I think that's one thing that is driving people where they can't cope anymore.
Adrienne MacIain 24:59
it is it lack of fear or is it bravery? Because I don't think you can really get rid of fear nor would you necessarily want to, because fear can be a useful thing, right? If we had no fear, we do absolutely crazy, insane things. But that that courage, that bravery, people have that ability to face up to their fears. What does that look like?
Carol Graham 25:22
I think I'm going to stick with lack of fear, because I have been, or you can be, very brave in a situation, but still be very fearful at the same time. So when I am saying lack of fear is that you're not afraid. So you don't have to be brave. You're not hearing all the negative reports, you're not hearing all the propaganda, you're not hearing all the all the fearful things that could happen. But you are in a place where you, it doesn't affect you. And that's not, I don't think, being brave, you just don't allow that to penetrate, those negative thoughts into changing who you are, or who you want to be, or what you want to do. And I don't live there, I can't remember ever living there. No matter what I went through, I just don't allow it. And so it's overcoming that by not allowing it.
Adrienne MacIain 26:22
So what does that, what does that experience look like? Of fearlessness? What does that... I'm trying to get people, you know, to just visualize this with you. So what does it look like to be in a world where people are making choices that are not fear-based?
Carol Graham 26:45
I don't know if I can answer that. But just come back to what I just said is that I think it's a choice. And we can choose to allow things to affect us in a negative way. Or like you said earlier, to turn those around and say, What have I learned from this? How can this help me? This is not a stumbling block, this is a stepping stone. And so then you are not afraid of what you're facing. But everybody's different. You know, I certainly cannot speak for anybody else other than myself.
Adrienne MacIain 27:20
Well then let's come back to you. So what is it, I want to go a little bit deeper here. I feel like you know, there's always something next, right? There's always something, something more. What is it that you desire more of in your life right now?
Carol Graham 27:43
I can't think of anything.
Adrienne MacIain 27:46
Perfect, ideal. That's wonderful. That's wonderful. So tell me...
Carol Graham 27:52
I take it a day at a time, you know, whenever hits, I don't know how to, to second-guess the future, right?
Adrienne MacIain 28:01
Well, we're not second guessing. What I'm trying to get you into is a space where you really can visualize that exactly what you wish can be real for you, right?
Carol Graham 28:14
I've always lived there for as long as I can remember. So it's not a matter of changing. I know what you're trying to say, as far as what people need to do. But I think every, you know, if they have, if they look at things on the positive, they look at things outside the realm of fear, they look at things that you know, are good, instead of negative, they will end up living there. And that's what changes. They keep the sense of humor, they keep the right, you know, perspective on things. They stop blaming others, they learn to forgive. All those things that we know we should do, we learn to be grateful instead of the opposite. And on and on. When we choose to live there, and it is a conscious effort all the time. I don't think we ever attain it 100% because we're always working at it. And if you think you're someplace, I think what you're trying to say is what about when something comes by and throws you off kilter, you know, sideswipes, you whatever? blindsides you, I mean...
Adrienne MacIain 29:17
No, that's not really it at all.
Carol Graham 29:20
Okay, then I'm just, I'm totally on a different page, I guess.
Adrienne MacIain 29:23
That's okay. That's okay. So what this exercise is really about, most people, you know, they are thinking about what's probable. They're thinking about what's probable, not what's possible. And so I like to take this, I like to take people into this realm of what could be possible, what could I visualize, what could I create for myself, and just put myself in there right now. Because I think people think, oh, well, you know, that's, that's just my imagination. Well, your imagination is incredibly powerful, and even putting yourself in an imaginary space temporarily, and creating those emotions of being there can actually help it become in the world. Because focus really does determine reality. I know that you know that, because you've had to choose, over and over again, to focus on the positive rather than on all the negative that's coming at you. Right?
Carol Graham 30:23
I'm a realist. And I think that's what you're asking is when when you are there, you know, when, when it is really happening. Even, I still refuse to allow that realism to affect me, and my attitude, and what I want to achieve, and where I'm going in who I want to be, and who I am helping. Does that kind of?
Adrienne MacIain 30:53
Yeah, so when you are, I mean, I think there's two different things here. There's when you are in a situation where you're feeling overwhelmed, you're feeling sort of attacked and traumatized, how do you kind of come back to a place of centeredness and retaining hope.
Carol Graham 31:12
The line that I use all the time is "when you buy the thought, you buy the lie." And in a nutshell, that's what answers that. I refuse to buy the thought. That doesn't take away from the fact, the fact is reality. But the thought is what determines where I'm going from here. And so I don't buy the thought, I rebuke the thought, I refuse the thought, I don't allow the thought. I think on good things and positive things, and how can I turn this around? Doesn't matter what pain I'm in the middle of. And that pain is real. But we don't have to live there, we're just traveling through it. I don't know if that helps you or not.
Adrienne MacIain 31:53
Yeah, well, I think that, like I said, focus determines reality. And so you need to, you can't focus on a negative, right? You can't say, I don't want that. You need to focus on what you do want. Does that make sense?
Carol Graham 32:07
I guess, okay.
Adrienne MacIain 32:09
This is just what I found, that it's very difficult to block something out. To say, you know, like, if I say, Don't think about elephants! Immediately, you're thinking about elephants. And so instead you need to think about something that is not elephants, something else. Right?
Carol Graham 32:26
Adrienne MacIain 32:27
Carol Graham 32:28
Adrienne MacIain 32:30
Yeah, it's focus. And so I guess what I'm asking is, what do you think the world needs to focus on now?
Carol Graham 32:37
Adrienne MacIain 32:38
Hope. And so what does hope feel like in your body? Can you try to get people to understand what hope, how they can create hope for themselves, and what that experience is?
Carol Graham 32:55
Well, I just taught on this the other day, funnily enough, about the helmet of hope. And that's out of scripture. And what the helmet of hope is, it literally is putting on good thoughts. And again, not, you know, disregarding what you're going through, and, and whatever. And I deal with people, and I'm sure you have, who have, you wonder how they ever made it through any of this. And it's baby steps. So it's not just automatically one day you wake up and you'll say, I'm going to be hopeful today, and the things are going to be better. It's baby steps. And taking those baby steps by a moment at a time when something happens, instead of allowing yourself to go into a negative mode saying, you know, I didn't get that parking spot. So maybe there's a better one. You know, that's a that's a pathetic example. But it is, in essence, the same thing. You know, this didn't work out. Okay, so what can I do to change it so that it doesn't happen again? Or that I can look at this differently? Attitude, hope, humor.
Adrienne MacIain 34:09
Carol Graham 34:10
In everything, in everything. You know, when the doctor told me, or told us, that my husband would be brain, you know, was going to be brain dead, that there was not any hope, etc. Of course, I'm in shock. Of course, I cried tears. But the first thing I did was when I said to him, Well, now you'll be just like me. You know, it made him laugh. And of course that's not true. He's much smarter than me. In other words, you know, we're both the brain-dead. The point being that it's all in how we look at it. And I apologize for not maybe grasping what you're trying to get across. But you know what I, what I always teach people is the end of the rainbow, you know the the prophetic future, they you know, what is going to happen, what good is going to come, and not dwell on where you are right now because that's going to pass so...
Adrienne MacIain 34:10
Carol Graham 34:11
I'm not gonna stay there. Somebody says, "When I go through hell." Notice the word through. You know, I'm not, I didn't, I'm not in hell, I went through hell. And so I'm going through, and you just keep moving. You don't become stagnant in that negative world.
Adrienne MacIain 35:32
Where are you headed next? What's next for you?
Carol Graham 35:37
I'm writing more books. I am hoping for speaking more as soon as things open up. You know, more of the same.
Adrienne MacIain 35:48
Right, so I'm gonna try this one more time. I'm gonna try this more time. Okay, so I'm gonna have you close your eyes. And you are now standing on a stage. And the stage has beautiful warm lights on you, you can feel that on your skin. You have a nice, comfortable podium, you've got some nice cool water there. And you look out into the crowd. And you can see they're all they're to see you. And they are just so excited. You can feel that energy, that excitement in the crowd, that they're here to hear your story and to be inspired by you. I just want you to feel that for a moment. Feel that feeling. And then you see someone out in the crowd. And you can tell, you can just tell by looking at them, that they are really going to resonate with what you're about to say. And as you're telling your story, they are just on the edge of their seat. You can see that, you can see the little wheels turning in their eyes, and they're realizing, Wow, I'm next, I'm going to tell my story next. And how does that feel to you?
Carol Graham 37:03
Well, as I mentioned earlier, I've been speaking for over 30 years. And it wasn't until maybe the last 10 or so that I've been sharing my story. And that's exactly how I function. I look over my crowd, from one end to the other, I find the person who I refer to as a receiver, and I speak to them. Not just to them, but specifically to them. And when I see them with crossed arms, and an attitude of I'm not listening, because she's not going to help me anyway, to halfway through a relaxing, and then three quarters of the way through tears. And at the end of the time I walk up to her and I will say to her or to him, I really resonated with you today. And I will specifically talk to that person, I will seek that person out. If there's more than one, which there often is, of course, the same thing applies. But yes, it's exactly what I do. And it works because your audience, and I know you've heard this 100 times if you've heard it once, your audience doesn't care how much you know, they want to know how much you care. Bottom line.
Adrienne MacIain 38:20
Very, very true. Yeah, absolutely. All right, well, Where can the people at home find you?
Carol Graham 38:27
Carol Graham, or Battered Hope, or Never, Ever Give Up Hope. And there'll be pages on Google. My show is the number one show on hope, and has been for many years. And the stories of the people that I interviewed, if you like stories, oh, my word, every interview is from a person who was in a place where they should have given up and they didn't, and their story is remarkable. So there are a lot of people out there with stories of never giving up, persevering, pushing through, and being successful in whatever they choose to to do.
Adrienne MacIain 39:10
That's wonderful. Thank you so much. Is there anything else? I in fact, I'd love to, to hear, you know, obviously the message of never give up hope is the main message, the main takeaway here. But is there anything else that you want to really leave the audience with today?
Carol Graham 39:27
Interestingly enough, when I was getting ready today, I thought of something to say to you and that is, boundaries are not boundaries, they're limitations. We have no limitations. When someone asks me how old I am, or if I think about how old I am, immediately there comes a limitation. Well, I've only got maybe five years left or 10 years left or whatever. But no, it's what I can do now. I'm not limited by how old I am, or who I am, or where I am. No limitations. And if you see yourself without limitation, you are going to achieve a lot more. Whatever you want to do.
Adrienne MacIain 40:14
Thank you so much for being here, Carol.
Carol Graham 40:15
Well thank you. I really appreciate it, you challenged me.
Adrienne MacIain 40:20
It's what I do.
Carol Graham 40:23
Transcribed by Rebecca MacIain