This month I want to talk about resilience and the power it gives to you to bring happiness and joy into your life.
Whether we like it or not, no one ever has a charmed life free from adversity. The way each person copes with adversity is different. There is no right way to handle a crisis you are faced with. There is only your way.
We also need to understand that what one person frames as tragedy or disaster, may be framed and inconsequential by another. It is not up to us to judge another person’s crisis and the meaning it has to them. What is important is the tools that a person has to navigate the crisis to come out the other side intact; feeling alive, willing and wanting to face life or get back on the journey ahead of them.
So how do we learn resilience, the skill to rise above tragedy or adversity? Well, there is only one way and that is to experience these tough times in our life. Some people have to learn these experiences as a child through loss of a parent, abuse, living in a war zone or live through an earthquake. Some people don’t experience adversity till they are a teenager or an adult. One thing is for sure, every living person will experience a time or many times in their life where they have to find a way through torment or terror.
So, what are some tools people can use to get through? You will find some tools in the TED talks section below, and there are many more to be found on the internet, but I would like to share some of the tools that I use to get me through the tough times.
Firstly, watch what your internal dialogue is. What are you telling yourself? When my marriage broke up, my self esteem was at rock bottom. I had 3 children to care for and I did not expect my now ex-husband to leave. I thought there was something wrong with me and I didn’t have any skills to help me so I had to devise my own. The internet was not the wealth of information it is now so I had to develop my own. I distinctly remember standing in front of the mirror telling myself I was beautiful and giving myself some encouragement. This turned out to be a wonderful affirmation for myself to get through.
Secondly, when I would wake up in the early hours of the morning in despair, I would get out a journal and write down my feelings. I found that I could take control of my life by writing it down, using the strongest language I could muster, using words that I wouldn’t normally use in everyday life. When I had got it all out of my head, I would find I could go back to sleep. So, talk about it. Let out your feelings by writing or talking to a close friend or counsellor but don’t keep it inside you.
Another tool I used was to see myself in the future or my situation in the future. I would see myself as happy and whole and enjoying life. I was managing my life on my own really well and I didn’t need that other person to be there to get me through. In fact, what I found was myself, that had been lost in my marriage. I felt free.
Now none of these outcomes materialized overnight. It was a long process. I learnt heaps about myself, that I didn’t know. Perhaps the most significant one was I could be happy and whole without a partner.
So, these three tools, I have consistently used through out my life for I’m afraid that was not the only time I had to face adversity. There were others that followed but I got through them.
We have all been through trauma with the pandemic. Some more than others. This video has some very important points on getting though the pandemic. Use these tools to help your children. Teach them resilience and they can have the tools for life.
So, if times are tough for you right now, know that it will pass. It will not last forever. If you have financial worries, know that money does keep coming in. Sure, it may not be the amount of disposable income you would like, but it does still keep coming in. If your teenager is acting out, see them as happy, well-functioning people in the future. See yourself having fun with them, enjoying your time with them. Remember, this is not about them, this is about you getting through. You have no influence on other people, only yourself and how you get through your life experience.
I hope the tips I have shared here are helpful to get you through a tough time and know life is to enjoyed not endured.