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Recognizing Your Resilience

 

We’ve all learned a ton about resilience this past year. And if you’re in Texas, this past week has probably brought some new resilience awareness into focus.

Personal, emotional, physical, and even community resilience all play into how we move on, continue, and make the most of “this one precious life” as Mary Oliver so eloquently wrote.

The resilience of a material object is its ability to return to its original shape after being compressed or stretched. But you and I are more complicated than this.

We are not like dented car bumpers that can be popped back into place with the right tools. Because everything shapes us, we never return to what we once were.

Instead, we are shape shifters; passing through grief, trauma, disappointment, and all the other human experiences life can bring, which means even on the good days, we are being shaped.

 

We are constantly shifting and changing and becoming something new again.

We never really “bounce back” from anything, but actually bounce through.

This is human resilience. And we are really, really good at it. Probably because we get a lot of practice! But this doesn’t mean it’s easy. Going through it is the hard part. These are the resilience training moments of our lives and they can be really tough.

Being in the middle of the hard thing can feel like you’re stuck, but the truth is, there is always motion. Even when you’re resting things are moving and shifting and changing. Even when you’re struggling, things are happeningforyou.

Some things to remember when you’re caught in resilience training AKA a hard time:

  • Notice you’re in the beginning, middle, or end of something hard/challenging.Noticing it and saying it out loud to yourself will bring it into a broader awareness. This may seem unnecessary, but it can bring some clarity to the experience and recognition of what you’re going through. How this “lands” in your body as you say or write it may even inspire movement. (Jazzercise just may have been created by some tapped in mama needing to expel some hard-things energy.)Acknowledging how you feel goes a long way toward building resilience.

 

  • Be mindful of the catchphrase: “I’m only given what I can handle.”Sometimes this phrase will trick us into not laying down some boundaries and in turn we carry what isn’t ours to carry. There are no extra resilience points for fighting someone else’s battle or taking on things that aren’t yours. Check in with what you’re carrying. Does it belong to you? If it does, then loop back to step 1. If it doesn’t, give yourself permission to lay it down.

 

  • Resist self-criticism and go for grace instead.This can be a hard one for me! I tend to lean into self-criticism, especially if it’s a “lesson” I thought I already learned. But there’s no resilience in criticism. Instead, practice grace. Grace moves us into our flexibility and strength of gaining a new perspective. Look for ways that hold and lift you up, not drag you down

 

  • Assign meaning to your experience.This is different than the aged motto “everything happens for a reason.” Instead, give your personal meaning to the experience. Maybe there is an aspect of yourself ready to be seen or heard. Growth can send us into a more authentic place when we pay attention to what the experience means to us. This is very personal and unique to you.

     

    • Give yourself breaks.Over-analyzing a situation never ever helps. If you find yourself caught up in analysis paralysis, give yourself a break. You can take breaks to soothe yourself and do things you love and enjoy if that feels like an option. Sleeping and resting are good options too. Give yourself what you need. Mindful deep breaths can really help calm a highjacked nervous system.

     

    • TTP: Trust the process.No matter what, it’s going to work out. Trust yourself and the process. Self- trust makes for a very sturdy foundation of resilience. Life hands us big things to get through, yet sometimes we won’t know how they change us right away. Trust can give us space to surrender.

    These tools can be applied to your relationships with friends, family, and community, too. 

    Building resilience in relationships makes them that much stronger.

    Instinctually we may want to run through the hard thing as quickly as possible. We are wired to avoid what hurts. However, we are also capable of holding more than one thing. We can hold joy and pain, grief and gratitude, pain and pleasure, at the same time. Resilience makes sure of it. We contain multitudes. We do not have to stay static in one emotion.

    How deeply we can heal and grow our resilience is determined large in part with how we treat ourselves along the way.

    Resilience, when authentically lived, is a valuable skill that pulls us to a more loving and compassionate place. Resilience makes room for more of our light to shine.

    You are resilient. Remind yourself what you’ve been through to get you here and watch your resilience grow in the warmth of appreciation.

    Your bravery, courage, strength, and willingness to keep going are worth celebrating.

    Lots of love,

    Learn More or Book a Session with Danielle Here

     

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