Resilience – the ability to overcome severe hardship, requires willingness to work through emotional pain and suffering.
The below was written on an evening flight, alone in the back of a small plane in route to Newfoundland. The setting sun was beautiful (see snap below) and my cell battery was too low to watch a movie or surf around much. So I listened to some of my favorite tunes and got in a really quite place alone with my thoughts. The day prior I had a muscle biopsy as part of investigating some interesting yet unexplained health changes. So I had a lot to ponder. It would be several weeks before the results were in so my mind was deep in thought on this particular flight. Typically by the time I get this close I am energized by what lies ahead on my next adventure on “the rock”. This time I was a tad distracted.
Sitting on a flight to St. Johns Newfoundland, (then Gander, then Twillingate) 60’s music in my headphones, and the sun is setting in the western sky as we speed eastward. I’m more than grateful for the place I am in at this point in my life. The journey so far has been filled with unexpected outcomes. Good, grand, and sorrowful. Without the sorrowful I do wonder what would be different. But when your heart, if not your body, is in a good place it’s hard to dwell on the heartbreaks. We have the capacity to be so very resilient! Really grateful I developed that skill of late. Of course resilience did not come from the good or grand moments. This is one of the truths life has imparted to me I wish to impart to those around me who have not yet gained this perspective. I wonder how many devastating choices could be averted with a hearty awareness that the perils of the moment are passing and imparting. Let’s face it; in the middle of a battle of any kind, you need something to pull you forward. Much like a rope on the side of an impassable cliff, we need help getting up. Resilience is the learned memory of making it through, over or around and then carrying that experience forward. It’s your lifeline! Not unlike any skill acquired through the learning process, once you have it, it is yours to use as needed and as you choose.
The imagery in my mind at this moment is that of the children’s punching bag. Do you remember the one? Looks like a clown and has sand in the bottom. So with every punch it bounces back because it’s anchored to the floor by the stabilizing weight of the foundation. I’ve been that clown especially recently. So many health issues and yet more being investigated. I’ve found myself bouncing back with more than I knew I possessed and yet I remain standing.
Pissed off, grateful, and standing!
I have reflected on the above words on more than a few occasions. One key to having a resilient life is to have a strong community connection to those who will hold you up when you are passing through the muck and mire of difficulty. Especially those difficulties that hit you where it hurts the most. It does not have to be a large passé you run with, but a close few reliable peeps that have your back are essential. AND it is never too late to develop those critical connections if you find you lack what you need.
Call to Action:
A few links below might be helpful in contemplating if you or those you are responsible for training into a healthy adulthood are in need of work in this arena. Having been closely connected to several addicts over the course of my life I find the ACE study very interesting. The link below on the ACE and Resilience score are very interesting. Have at it! Then consider having a conversation with those around you on topic. Let me know how it goes.
Resilience Assessment: https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/resilience/get-your-resilience-score/
Harvard: Center on the Developing Child: short article on how children develop resilience
ACE – Adverse Childhood Events: https://www.pacesconnection.com/blog/got-your-ace-resilience-scores