Monthly Archives: October 2015

Thoughts on Resilience

Cat

One of my favorite bloggers (and humans) returned with a post after a three year absence. Go ahead and read Bodega Bliss’s take on how past wounds both hinder her, but also help keep her moving and hopeful. Then come back, if you like.

The passage that really jolted me awake is this:

Even if you have support in the form of your partner or this community, it’s still solely on you to come out the other side.  You are the one responsible for finding the strength to continue.  To somehow find a glimmer of hope in the depths of your hell.  Others can love you and be there for you, but you are the one that has to reach inside of you and figure out a way to keep breathing.

So very true, and wise. And I think this realization is valid for anyone who has gone through any major type of loss or setback. There’s nothing like failure and grief to make you feel completely alone. We always are, of course, alone but there’s a specificity to pain which reinforces this reality.

There is no upside to an awful experience like loss, but in my case this alone-ness made me a lot more independent. I slowly and in small baby steps dug into myself and pulled through challenges both small and large. And there was something empowering about knowing that I could.

I gradually realized that this independence was indeed something else: resilience. I know I’m lucky to have become resilient, but I think many who get to the other side, no matter how it is “resolved,” DO find resilience.

This is my take (not applicable to others, YMMV, disclaimer alert) on what resilience has taught me:

  • Self-pity is toxic. Avoid wallowing, and try to problem solve.
  • At the same time, when things are bad, acknowledge it to yourself. Sit with it. Then, try to release it.
  • Avoid enablers, and try not to enable. This behavior can lead to a static state where nothing improves.
  • Contact those you know going through tough things who are quiet. The quiet ones are often not getting the help/attention they need.
  • Don’t expect anyone to be what you need. YOU are the only one who can be what you need.
  • When you are what you need, your marriage, friendships and family relationships become so much easier, richer and better.

By the way, none of this was easy to figure out, and I am still figuring it out. I still make mistakes all the time.

But if there is one thing I want my husband and I to teach my children, it’s how to be resilient. Because while they are lucky, beautiful, smart and funny, none of that will protect them from life’s realities. However, resilience will allow them to deal with the bad. And hope for the best, even in light of the worst.

As Bodega says:

I have a confidence in myself and what I can do, that was never there before all of this.  I’m proud of the woman I have become. The battle gave me that.  Surviving the war gave me that.

May whatever battle you have fought or are fighting give you resilience.

xoxo

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