The phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is one almost everyone knows but what does it truly mean?
For Lauao Petelo, from the village of Moamoa, the phrase simply means that whatever struggles you face in life, when you pull through, you will have the strength to face anything that life throws at you.
Aged 27, Lauao says that there is nothing greater in life than to be with her family and although they face many struggles, she welcomes the chance to get stronger in life.
“This is me, my family doesn’t have anything great or shiny to our name but to us, as long as you have your family then you have happiness,” Lauao told the Village Voice.
“We don’t have many struggles, but the ones that we do have can always be turned around. To be honest, I feel that struggles are very important in pushing a family forward in life.
“Those who deal with their own issues are the ones who will be tough enough to go through whatever life throws at them.”
Lauao says that there aren’t any issues too big for anyone, everything can be dealt with if you have the right mindset.
“What I am trying to say is that there aren’t any problems too big for you to deal with,” she said.
“The one thing that counts is trying your best to take care of you family with whatever you make through the strength of your hands.
“Whatever talent you are blessed with, that’s what you should nurture and use to take care of those you love.”
And if you find yourself in a situation too much to handle, Lauao says to trust in the Lord.
“There are many days ahead of us, as we go onto the New Year; we need to remember that the Lord is the giver of life and strength,” she said.
“Knowing this is what gives me so much joy and what will take my family forward.”
One of the issues Lauao currently faces is the high cost of living. This is a struggle shared by many in Samoa.
“I think everyone can agree that the cost of living is quite high,” she said.
“This is the one thing that worries so many of our people. Whenever I think about this subject, it’s almost as if I can’t sit straight because it’s a stressful fact.
“There’s really nothing much we can do when it comes to the high cost of living but leave it to the Lord. We just have to continue to serve the Lord.”
And when Lauao feels weak, she finds strength in the eyes of her children.
“Another thing that is very important in life is prayer,” she said.
“Praying every day is what lets the Lord know our wants and needs and that we trust him with it. Everyone feels weak every now and then but trusting in the Lord will help a lot.
“I have a wife and children, no matter how tough life gets, I get the strength when I look at my children. I know for a fact that that’s from the Lord and no one else. “And through hard work, everything within my family is in order.”