Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. (I would like to add): a quality needed to thrive while living in unbelievable times.
I typically write about cryptids, but I’m also a social worker with a background in grief counseling. For me, this past week has been the most challenging to date in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve read and heard people say things like:
- “I’m afraid to leave my home.”
- “I need more than $1200.00.”
- “I have to get back to work.”
- “I’ve gone too far backward to recover.”
- “I’ve lost so much.”
- “Life will never be the same.”
What concerns me is that, while valid, so many of these pleas are driven by fear, discontentedness, and anxiety. And these emotions, unchecked, will take over and lead us where we don’t want to go. They will rob any chance at happiness and steal our ability to cope. But here’s the truth–we’ve been here before. We can control these emotions.
While the severity may be different, this pandemic is not the first time we’ve faced fear, discontentedness, or anxiety. I was reminded of this when my friend over at Caffeinated Fiction asked this question on one of her Social Media platforms: Tell me something about yourself that sounds totally made up, but true. I’ve seen this same questions on other social media sites worded: What is something about yourself no one would believe if you told them?
You’ve probably seen this question on your Facebook or Instagram pages as well. I wonder if the question was originally prompted and repetitively shared because we are currently living in an unbelievable time.
Did you answer this question? What was your response? Mine was laced with a memory rooted in fear, discontentedness, and anxiety. Not necessarily my fear, but my Mom’s after she was laid off during Christmas. The memory reminded me that we’ve all faced unbelievable times before … and survived. Resilience is the ability to last, to overcome, to survive. One way to do this is to remember how we coped in the past.
We’ve faced hardship before
Life, death, sickness, divorce, layoffs, bankruptcy. We’ve overcome before. We know what it takes. Life has a way of preparing us “for such a time as this.” And if you’re a young person, now is preparing you for later. We’re all equipped to cope if we focus on our strengths and where they came from. We do this by remembering how our strengths helped us in the past.
Need some words of wisdom? Pick up the phone and talk to one of the seniors in your community. I spoke to a 96 year old this week and she told me this time in history reminded her of when everyone had lined up outside the hospitals to get polio vaccinations. “Those were scary times, too. Every parent feared their child would get polio. And the war was bad,” she said. “Everyone lost someone or knew of someone who died.”
“How did you cope?” I asked.
“By staying positive. Listen,” she said. “The one thing that I believe has allowed me to live to 96 is by keeping a positive attitude. You can’t always stop bad things from happening, but your attitude can help you cope with it.”
You might not feel resilient, but the fact that you’re still putting one foot in front of the other means you are. Words don’t fix problems, but experience can teach us what works.
There’s a song out there by Jason Gray called “Glow In the Dark.” One line says, “And if the road gets rough, keep your head up. Let the world see what you’re made of.” I’ve posted the video below so you can read the words to that song and remind yourself what you’re made of. Remind yourself that you are resilient. Believe it!