My Life of Flight, Fear, and Forgiveness

Betty Ann Connelly


Betty Ann Connelly travelled the world for over 28 years as a flight attendant. She also volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross for five years, teaching violence prevention in schools and to community groups.

After retiring from flying in 2003, Betty started her own consulting business, giving work shops to private corporations, governments and non-profits. She also enjoyed performing stand-up comedy at a club in Calgary.

Her life suddenly changed in 2007 when a car accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury. The experience revived long-buried memories of a harrowing past that required all her courage to face.

This memoir is the story of her escape from the haunting darkness of trauma and the freedom, peace and joy that come from letting go. This book also tells the story of Betty’s intensive encounter with A Course in Miracles, a non-denominational self-study spiritual program. The Course gradually teaches her how to shift her perceptions and feelings, leading to a release from the chains of her past. Betty bares her psyche with raw honesty and an unusual clarity of insight. This story reveals the metamorphosis of someone broken and devastated by seemingly insurmountable traumas, and how she healed as the Course led her on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

RESILIENCE is ultimately a story of joy, forgiveness, love and grace.

Published by the author in association with Fearless Literary
265 pages, trade paperback • $21.95 CAN • $16.95 US • ISBN 978-1-7780409-0-0




"It's Not Fair!"

The Course told me that I was a changeless core of light.

“It is not you who are so vulnerable and open to attack that just a word, a little whisper that you do not like, a circumstance that suits you not, or an event that you did not anticipate upsets your world, and hurls it into chaos. Truth is not frail.” — ACIM T-24.III

That was exactly what had been happening to me. My certainty that I lacked value and purpose had made me feel vulnerable and confused. Everyone else’s comments and actions upset me. Even a condescending look could ruin my day. But if I believed what I was reading, then the overly sensitive person I’d always been was just ego and not reality. I didn’t know who I really was. It was difficult to believe that I would eventually see myself as changeless and strong, regardless of what others said to me or what emotions cascaded through me.

This idea was new and I didn’t necessarily trust it yet. It seemed like wishful thinking. So I only gave up my old beliefs one small piece at a time, and only with proof that this was a better way. Required proof was minimal. The more I studied, the more minor frustrations seemed to disappear. There were moments of easiness to my days and an occasional brief calmness that I’d always longed for. I had a new level of appreciation for the park I walked in after each few hours spent reading the Course. I sat on a bench and, for the first time, truly valued the beauty of the flowers — the roses and petunias and pansies and others I couldn’t name — that provided a glorious palette of color and scent amidst the backdrop of the green of the trees and the manicured lawns. I loved the peaceful energy that emanated from the area and I wondered how I hadn’t really seen the park’s elegance before.

One day I joined a friend for lunch, a colleague who enjoyed Italian food as much as I did, and we sat on the patio while we ate our seafood pasta and people watched. It was a beautiful, warm day and we chatted and joked about families, work and life in general. An hour and a half later, as we prepared to leave, she surprised me with this comment: “You aren’t as edgy as usual. You seem more peaceful.”

I’d never told her about ACIM, so her comment caught me totally off guard. Wow. After studying for just three weeks, the change in me was obvious. Confirmation felt wonderful. I eagerly went back to reading and studying ways to change my life for the better.

Then this hit me like a ton of bricks: “I am upset because I see a meaningless world.” — ACIM W-12

It occurred to me that I had no clue of who I really was. My inside world was meaningless. As I looked at the outside world when my pretenses were down, it appeared meaningless as well. Why was I here? Why was anyone here? Standing on my ninth-floor balcony, overlooking the busyness of downtown, I watched everyone rushing about their business and saw people as mice running around in a maze. We are born, we live and we die. Why? Was there any purpose to this painful and empty existence? I wanted purpose and a more gracious understanding and acceptance of my existential journey. No more just bouncing from crisis to crisis in a panic....