Resilience, really??

I recently spent a Friday evening with my son in the emergency room. He was helping me with some projects at the house and had hurt himself in the process. I took some reading material, one piece of which was the latest Chatelaine magazine. I don’t typically buy magazines but had picked up a couple for some light reading material when on my way to visit a friend at her cottage.

As I watched the drama unfold in the ER and oh, there was a lot of drama, I flipped through my magazine trying to kill the time. Of interest to me was a title on the cover “HOW TO BOUNCE BACK FROM ANY CRISIS”, especially with my upcoming workshop and my desire to teach women how to create more joy and happiness in their worlds. I was hoping to find some bright and shiny nugget of wisdom that I could include in my teachings. So I flipped to the article and started to read. What I found left me more than a little bit surprised and disappointed.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying I often find the world we live in somewhat contradictory and confusing. We, who are lucky enough to be born in North America or who came to live here at an early age, live in a world of abundance and waste. If you look at the magazines we buy and read, it appears that our day to day worries are often about fashion and fitness, beauty tips and home makeovers. In truth, this does not create an accurate picture of my world, but I will say that I have never given a thought to a family member starving because I did not have the ability to give them something to eat or having to walk out my door and into a war zone. Medical care is readily accessible even if it requires that I sit for several hours and wait to be seen, and we have so many laws to protect us in this country that I rarely consider if a product may harm me or if I may be attacked when walking down the street (although I’m sure these are possible, the fact that there are laws somehow makes me feel a bit safer).

So when I began to read the article about bouncing back from crisis, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that it was talking about resilience and how to “boost” yours, but I was. Have we really become a society in which it’s necessary to explain that to overcome obstacles, we simply need to be resilient? To be perfectly frank, I found the idea that this was worthy of an article in a popular magazine to be a bit ridiculous. Have we really forgotten that, in order to survive, a fighting spirit may be required? Or have we gotten so soft because everything is provided in pre-packaged, often bite-sized pieces that are “Ready in JUST 10 minutes!” for our almost immediate consumption and marked with an expiry date so we don’t even have to check to see if something may have spoiled before putting it in our mouths?

Just for the sake of clarity, let’s consider what resilience means. In my mind, it’s the ability to adapt to the circumstances with which you’re presented and to thrive regardless. Think survival of the fittest or even leader of the pack. Who leads the pack? The one who wants it most and is prepared to do whatever it takes to take and hold that position. Who survives? In many cases, it comes down to who refuses to die. Doesn’t seem so complicated to me. That we need studies and Dr’s with fancy titles from big institutions to explain something that one would expect to be a matter of instinct concerns me.

I can say, with 100% certainty that if I were ever to find myself in a situation where it was necessary, I would defend myself, my loved ones, and likely anyone else who happened to be there with my last breath. I wouldn’t stop to think or ask questions, I would act and would not go down without one hell of a fight. Am I resilient? You’d better believe it! I know this because I have encountered and fought my way through difficult circumstances. I know this because I have proven it to myself again and again. I know this because I’m still here and I’m still striving toward creating the reality I would like to live.

So here’s what I’m going to leave you with today. Have you gotten complacent to the point where you need someone to tell you that you need to become resilient to make it through this life? If you have, I’m going to challenge you to begin to flex that muscle. If you’re like me and at most may require a periodic reminder that you’re stronger than you realize and you can survive whatever comes your way, maybe start to consider what value things hold for you and how much you have to be grateful for. As I was recently reminded, if you can’t breathe, nothing else matters. If you have no food or very little, food is very important. So if you live in a world of abundance, what really matters to you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this subject. Please feel free to leave a comment or a response below and, as always, if this has been of value to you please pass it on. Until next time…


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