Posts Tagged ‘#resilience’

A loved one said something to me that I received as I might receive a blow to the gut. She spoke her understanding of who I am as a compliment. Though I know that she wasn’t intending it to be hurtful that is exactly how I heard it.

So, what was said to me that got my knickers so knotted?

“But you are resilient”

I do not remember what words I said, but I can remember the frustration rising up within me.

As I look back now I understand that it was said with affection and appreciation. But, at the time, I heard it very differently. I heard what sounded like, “you were born resilient.”

Resilience is like elasticity of emotional response. It is to keep going even when faced with obstacles. It is to spring back up after being beaten down. It is looking for the light in the middle of the darkness.

“Positive people also have negative thoughts.
They just don’t let it control them.”

Though the experts on resilience seem to be split on whether resilience is a natural trait or a learned one, I would say it could certainly be natural … but that doesn’t mean that it develops without effort.

Resilience is born out of bruises, failures, bad news, hurts, heartbreaks, tears and sorrows. It is an emotional muscle, one that must be exercised to grow.

It is an act of self survival, not born out of Pollyanna positivity, but from a personal awareness of the dark that exists and the peril that is present.

It is because of this awareness of disaster that could follow, that one practises resilience, rising from ashes, eyes focused on the light, the good, the positive … as an act of self-survival.

If, when we are faced with the tough stuff of life, we spend too much time within our dark problems, our struggles then we will be accepting the darkness they bring as part of our identities … we will be claiming victim as part of our name.

We all have dark and sad and tough events and things done to us that we did not bring on ourselves, but we all have the choice in how we respond to these dark and twisty events and realities.

Acknowledge your pain
(cry, mend the wounds)
get up,
dust yourself off,
adjust your crown
and keep on keeping on.

You and I are children of the King … we may be afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) and we can do all things through Christ because he gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).

We don’t walk through our lives alone.

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Another year, baby girl. Twenty-two years of life and living to celebrate.

I have been thinking about this birthday for weeks now, somehow it is haunting me as though there is something of greater significance than my eye can see, my mind can imagine.

Years before your birth there was a popular movie, called Dances with Wolves. None of it’s story really matters, just the name and story of one of the main characters, Stands with a Fist.

After another group had killed her family, Stands with a Fist was raised by a Sioux medicine doctor. She suffered the teasing and name calling of others, who only saw their differences. One day, she hit another woman in the face, hard, and she fell to the ground. The teasing ended that day, so began her tribe name of Stands with a Fist.

When Stands with a Fist first appears in the movie she is in deep mourning, for the husband who had died. She is seen injuring, mutilating herself, trying to create visible scars for the agonizingly painful invisible ones she felt, deep within her heart.

So, you might be wondering, what does this movie, this Stands with a Fist chick have to do with your birthday?

Well, you’ve had a season of losing your foundation, your security. You’ve experienced, in a number of situations, the impact of being different (even bullied in direct and indirect ways). You have struggled in your health, relationships, work, education, finances.

But, I saw something change in you … something that was never part of your nature before.

You started to raise your fists.

Not physically, of course, for your nature is non violent, but mentally, emotionally, relationally. You started to stand up for yourself, advocating for yourself, protecting yourself.

There is a strength in you, that I have not seen before, emerging. You are doing the hard things, the awkward things, the self-preservation things, not giving into the bullying of your struggles, but hitting back, refusing to stay in the dust.

Out of discouragements and heartbreaks and struggles and violations of all sorts there is a refusal to wallow and a move towards health … whole and complete health.

I see you rising from the dust of weakness and building a foundation that is partially what you first were given, and part the experience of life.

Know, though, that you do not have to fight these hard things alone …

Happy Birthday baby girl … may this resilience only continue to grow in you.

“We are pressed on every side by troubles,
but not crushed and broken.
We are perplexed
because we don’t know why things happen as they do,
but we don’t give up and quit.
We are hunted down,
but God never abandons us.
We get knocked down,
but we get up again and keep going.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

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