BY DIANE KERTH
What a big important word it is, Resilience. Why is it important? It can be the difference between a healthy happy successful life or one that is filled with emotional, mental and physical pain. It’s important because life is hard! We get knocked down all the time.
Life is filled with examples such as: Your utility bills go up without warning. You work hard at losing weight only to find that when you step on the scale you gained 2-pounds. You finally are loving your job and then the company downsizes, so you’re out of a job. You’re excited to go on a first date and it was a total bust! Your child says something hurtful to you and it is like a punch in the gut. We experience big life-changing hits and we experience emotional sucker punches. There will be illness, job loss, failed relationships, pain and sorrow. Being resilient means the difference between moving forward or sinking down and feeling paralyzed.
Resilience is the ability to get back up when we suffer disappointment, rejection or pain. It’s the ability to recover, spring back with grit and determination. Being resilient takes work and effort. Having a strong level of resilience helps us to manage stress, keep a positive outlook and grow through turbulent times. When our resiliency falters we can slip into depression and discouragement which in turn creates issues with our physical health.
Plants and crops that get hit hard from rainstorms can look withered and tired (just as we can look). The plants might be limp and soaked, but if the roots are deep enough and the trunk is strong enough they will bounce back and become stronger. I’m always amazed by palm trees. They bend and sway during storms and can look as if they are parallel with the ground, yet, they don’t break. The storm subsides and the tree regains its stature into a beautiful tall palm tree.
Be a palm tree, don’t break! Grow your roots deep into the ground, which for us means to take on challenges, look for ways to improve now and take action. We may fail, learn, and then try again but trying again is where we build resilience. Life is hard and may not, usually won’t, go as planned. When we have the right mindset and strong determination to keep going, we are being resilient. It’s important to know that we will make it through hard difficult times. We will come out even stronger when we try, fail, and get back up. This will make our resilience muscle even stronger. A muscle needs to have a load placed on it repeatedly in order to build it stronger. The resilience muscle isn’t any different.
An activity to do when you are feeling tired, weak and beat up is to take out a pen and paper to make a list of every hard challenge you have encountered and came out of it on the other side. As the list grows it’s a reminder of how strong you can be when you keep taking steps forward. Be proud of the list and all that you have achieved.
Stand up during adversity. Keep walking forward when it’s hard. Don’t stop because it may temporarily look dark. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We will be stronger when we reach that light.
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