One Smart Girl: Elizabeth Smart Signs with ABC News

Why it's important to both learn from the worst in life and embrace the best of it.

By , Columnist

I’m a big believer that negativity is only debilitating if you allow it to be. Apparently, Elizabeth Smart is of the same mindset.

Smart, who was kidnapped from her bedroom when she was 14, and was raped and held captive by a religious fanatic for several months, has recently completed talks with ABC News. No, she won’t be giving another interview; "This is definitely not about looking backward and telling her story, which has been well told and retold," an ABC spokeswoman said. In fact, she’ll be drawing on her experience with abduction and abuse to become an on-air commentator on missing persons cases, particularly those involving children, and will speak to the perspective of families and abductees in traumatic situations.

It’s easy to let negativity, even experiences that aren’t as absolutely life-altering as long-term abduction and violation, overpower us. Often, they push us to start running - running away from moving forward, away from getting into a similar situation, and away from feeling so terrible again. Unfortunately, though most of us won't have to live out the terrors of Smart's past, none of us will get out of life unscathed. Bad things will happen, hearts will break, and you’ll find yourself -- probably more than once -- feeling lost and frightened and gazing into an abyss.

Instead of letting fear of the past make you fearful of the future, pull an Elizabeth. Use whatever negativity is driving you and let it push you towards something positive rather than away from something negative. Be proactive in finding a new future, whether it’s one like Elizabeth Smart’s that will hopefully help to prevent others from enduring what she was forced to endure, or one that’s completely unrelated but just as productive and fulfilling. Moments are all connected, and it’s essential to understand that, just because something bad happened at one point in time doesn’t mean it can’t trigger something amazing in the very next.

ABC has said that Smart could appear on air as early as the next few weeks.

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Emmie Scott is an English major-turned-marketing exec, with a passion for writing, humor, sharing knowledge, and "pink drinks." After hours, she started Are Toe Rings Professional Attire?, a blog for college grads and twenty-somethings looking to find their way through that daunting labyrinth called…

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