How does one cope with catastrophes like hurricanes Harvey and Irma, divorce, loss of a loved one, bankruptcy? How do we bounce back and have the strength to face another day, rebuild, start over?
Not one of us escapes. At some point, we have or will experience failure, tragedy or a wrecking ball that has landed on us. Resilience, the art of bouncing back, is something we can learn and plan for. Resilience is defined as a mental toughness, perseverance, optimism and courage. It is the opposite of victimhood.
Resilience is not hereditary or given to a select few. It is cultivated through thoughts, attitudes actions and behaviors. It can be learned and prepared for. The primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships.
I remember having a TKO (total knockout) 19 years ago when my husband announced that he was leaving. I was shocked! We had a low-conflict marriage that seemed OK to me. We both had busy lives, so there wasn’t a lot of time for romance.
I thought my life was over. It took every ounce of energy to keep it together for the children, but I was in a deep, dark place. I had to buy a home, move and figure out life on my own. I knew I was going over the edge? Family and friends lifted me out of the pit. My faith sustained me. The day of my move, I could hardly drive to the new house and meet the moving van because I could not see through my tears.
When I arrived, there were cars that I recognized. My church friends, neighbors, school chums and colleagues had created a moving team. They organized into groups working in the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, basement, even having a crew hanging mirrors and pictures. By the end of the day, when my children (who were farmed out to other friends after school) came to their new home, it was put together with beds made, pictures hung, refrigerator stocked, boxes hauled away.
I was so humbled by this, I knew I was going to be OK. Cultivating authentic relationships compelled these life helpers to be there in my deepest need.
The Center for Relationship Education teaches the skills to develop healthy relationships enhancing familial relationships, friendship, romantic attachments, marriages and collegial connections. To learn more about the workshops and trainings, check out myrelationshipcenter.org or call 720 488 8888.
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