May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Friday, September 27, 2013

Resiliency is Not Bouncing Back

I just read a magazine article about resiliency.  Gold medal winning athletes who had faced great adversity (deaths, disease, injury in their lives) said that had they not faced those struggles they wouldn't have won their gold medals.  They also admitted that during the adversity they had the same questions as I have, the "why" as in "why is this happening (to me)?" and the "how" as in "how am I going to make it through?"

Resiliency is the ability to become strong, healthy or successful again after bad happens according to Merriam-Webster dictionary.  For physical matter it is the ability to return back to its original shape after being stretched out.  The first definition is very separate from the second.  The article went on to say that the United States military has now embraced mental resiliency training instead of just physical.  It expanded the need for resiliency to all of us as training to handle great times of stress or difficulty that will inevitably arise in our lives.  Resiliency is not just a trial by fire lesson, it can be taught and learned.  (An internet search on this topic will yield lots of great information on resiliency which I highly recommend.)

Before losing Wyatt I realize that I had no real concept of loss or the resiliency it takes to survive that loss.  I became resilient.  It was a long process but one I started emerging on the other side I realized that if I could survive losing my first and only child (at that time), I could survive pretty much anything.  It is a mantra I still cling to with double emphasis since I have now lost my only two sons.  The resilience of surviving those extremely traumatic events in my life has left me forever wounded but has also imparted many gifts.  One is confidence.  The confidence I speak of above, where I know that I have survived some of the worst things that can happen to a person and I will continue to survive and find ways to thrive through difficulty.  The words "bring it" have new meaning and intensity.  That's not to say that I don't struggle and find myself crawling through the mud.  I do.  Sometimes often.

Another of those gifts is trust.  I am, by nature, very distrusting.  I'm a type A, do-it-yourself, kind of girl.  So it is often difficult for me to trust others or trust that things will somehow work themselves out, whether for better or worse.  I just want to make what I want to happen actually happen.  I've talked about this many times.  That's one of the reasons Potter's was so very devastating to me.  Because there was NOTHING I could do at that time to make anything happen.  I've learned to take pride in my values, the things that I hold dear to me, to do the best that I can and then....let it go.  Gosh, that's so hard and a constant struggle for me.  But I'm learning.

Trust and confidence haven't made my life rosy nor have they given me rose colored glasses.  They are sources of inner strength and their voices are louder than the ones that tell me to stop when things get too hard. It's hard not to think of the great Timex phrase because I just keep on ticking no matter what comes my way.  At the end of the day my body may feel broken and my spirit weak but come next morning I will get up and do it all over again.  That is resilience.  It's not bouncing back, it may be crawling, clawing or scratching your way out of whatever darkness has its grips on you and you may not find yourself "back" in the same place you started and that's okay.  Resilience is only the ability to become strong, healthy or successful again after something bad happens and that something bad will have not only changed you but changed your view on the world around you.  Resiliency is the ability to grow and adapt over time.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...