Resilience is… deeper, edgier, harder, than a pithy quote!
Resilience is a complicated evolution. It involves finding your street smarts, adopting a philosophical, belief, developing an awareness of others, self-awareness, self- love, the ability to grieve, to look at what the fck just happened, and look fear in the face. Don’t be fooled by quotes. Resilience is deeper, edgier, harder than a pithy saying.
Let’s face it. Life happens. It’s not a question of why, it’s a question of when. I think in North America we get lulled into thinking that terrible, life altering events don’t happen here. It’s shocking, and that much worse when it does.
Imagine you didn’t just experience one punch to the gut but many. You had an emotional traffic pile up. A death of a parent, the descent of another parent into dementia so bad she was living in her car thinking her house was being bombed, an addicted son, cancer not once but twice, and the loss of sight in one eye. What do you do then?
That pithy quote won’t save you.
I know because it all happened to me. It was a hail storm of events that required something that superman had, and definitely not just words to get through.
Trust me when I say this.
A stoic pioneer does not live in me. I do not toil endlessly, nor bury my emotions, ignore feelings of fear, inadequacy, and helplessness. But people kept asking, how did you do it…stay so strong? Lol.
I was never strong.
There were many moments of frailty and definite moments of too much wine, praying and breakdowns where no one could see me covering my eyes from Mr. Sadness sitting at the end of my bed, mocking me.
But here’s the thing. It’s not my nature to be friends with Mr. Sadness. The real me, the DNA I was born with is to seek fun, laughter and purpose. I knew what I needed to aim for. Yet surrounded by so much darkness and sadness my sight was off. I made a LOT of bad choices which looking at it from the outside seemed nonsensical. I ran away from home. How indulgent, and irresponsible of me. But I knew exactly what I was doing. I was searching for my happy place and was floundering, trying to crawl back into it.
But despite it all, or in spite of all, I WAS solid- which is way different than strong and a bit of juxtaposition that lay between moments of falling apart, and understanding that I will be fine.
I have always had a strong intuition, and I truly believe in inner knowing. I could have saved myself a lot of agony if I had listened to myself, but I think the excitement junky – the self-destructive addict in me actually enjoyed seeing how deep into sadness I could go.
Preverse. I know. I know.
It took a few years, because there was a lot to push out of my way. BUT, I bounced back to my happy place. How? The minute I understood I was looking for me, that I could trust myself, I knew I was going to be okay. It wasn’t easy. I had to grieve. I had to do a lot of internal work, look at my relationships, and trust my long ignored instincts that I wasn’t dying anytime soon, not once but twice. No matter what garbage I had to pilfer through, I would find me laughing amidst it. A dark sense of humour prevailed. I could joke about my mom being takened into custody by the Key West Police, while rescuing her; I could crack up at my son’s latest shenanigan’s and wear low cut tops to reveal a perky albeit fake chest, and joke about how many times I have missed the wine glass while pouring because of the loss of sight in one eye. I understood that while nobody said it was easy, it was always possible to weather any hurricane.
That’s all there is to resilience. Simple yet so complicated. Reclaim you and not the events around you, and you will get your mojo back. I promise.