The character trait of resilience is defined as the ability to readily recover, the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with crisis, or to return to pre-crisis status swiftly.
Under normal circumstances we need a level of resilience to cope with our day to day lives. Occasionally circumstances will call us to stand up and demonstrate resilience. However, now, in the midst of this global pandemic, the changes it has so rapidly brought, the unknown that it has created, we need to have a high level of resilience from which to draw that we may maintain our composure, balance, sense of humour, our compassion, and our ability to support those whom depend upon us.
To build resilience takes time, technique, and a bit of tenacity. Each time we face a challenge in life, something unexpected and unbalancing, and subsequently overcome that challenge, we build our resilience, like a muscle. These small challenges along the way show us that we have the ability to overcome obstacles.
Resilience is a decision. I choose to be strong. I choose to survive. I choose to overcome. This is not a once only choice. This is a daily, sometimes many times a day decision.
Resilience requires and comes from purpose. A simple clear plan, even just a mental picture of the outcome that you want at the end of the challenge before you, will give you the long term focus you require to overcome the immediate challenges you face. When a plan is in place it gives the steps required to achieve the desired outcome. Again, this takes the focus from the immediate problem to the long term outcome. Each step brings a sense of success.
Resilience requires discipline. To make the daily decision, to take the steps in accordance with the plan, requires discipline. Discipline allows us to face down our emotions and daily challenges allowing us, rather, to focus on the long term goal.
Resilience requires compassion and understanding. We need to put aside our pain and be compassionate to the pain of our neighbours. We need to understand that others will react in different ways, possibly out of character, and need our compassion and generosity. We need to understand that we need to be compassionate, understanding and gracious with ourselves. Sometimes we fall, sometimes we aren’t perfect, sometimes we fail. It’s ok to drop your bundle. Just don’t let it get on top of you. If you toss the toys out of the cot, you’ve got to pick them up. Sooner rather than later is better. And if someone else drops their bundle, help them pick it up. This help you both.
Resilience matters, and you may just have more resilience than you give yourself credit for.