Life can be a serious bitch sometimes, with the shit that is thrown at us every day it is amazing that we still get out of bed, go to work, feed ourselves and pay our bills. I have certainly been hit with my fair share of frying pans to the face delivered by life. My childhood was spent in a great deal of pain, I had migraine or body pain every single day. I remember begging my brother to press into pressure points in my back until I was in tears, because my parents couldn’t bare to do it, just so that I could loosen up after a day of ticks and twitches. My headaches would be so bad from uncontrollable eye rolling that I could barely focus on studying. I always felt like the “weird kid” because of my physical and vocal ticks. As I got older I grew out of a lot of them , thankfully, but the pain was ever present. I went to College and after breaking up with an abusive fiancé, fell in with an extremely destructive crowd and loss all sense of self respect. I was broken. The result was a period of estrangement from my father, which tore me apart, lack of respect for my self and a disrespect for the work that I now do. Some where in the middle of all of that, at some point after a devastating event that I’m still not nor will ever be comfortable talking about outside of my closest circle of friends, I woke up one morning and decided that I was worth more than the life I was living. I cut ties with every single friend with the exception of one. I was determined to make a new start and remember all the reasons why I chose the career I did. I also received a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I drew on one of my most pronounced character traits, resiliency.
Resiliency is defines as; the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness, or the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
The absolute truth is that if someone came to me and said that with one pill I could make the Fibromyalgia disappear permanently, I would not take it. My most valuable personal development came from this chronic illness and I would not be the person I am without it. When I am in keeping with my care plan I do incredibly well and have little more than discomfort similar to the body aches of a mild cold. I’m athletic, working full time, sitting on a provincial committee, writing this blog and making time for the people I love in my life.
When I’m not diligent or life hands me stress that throws me into a flare up, the pain is the equivalent to the pain felt after a car accident, I have a plan of action that always gets me back on track and I know that it’s temporary. It’s harder to get up the motivation to move but I know that it will help me to bounce back. My extreme ability to be resilient allows me to let go of the negative events and situations very quickly and move forward.
Resilience is an absolutely necessary skill for building a life full of happiness and joy, because it helps us deal with life’s shit bombs. People can be horrible sometimes and to be honest we can be awful at times too. Without a toolbox full of resiliency skills we will just fall into a state of constant bitterness and unhappiness, and when that becomes the norm it will become so difficult to break the pattern. Difficult, though not impossible.
Here’s what I learned about resiliency from my journey to wellness:
- Be prepared. You can never rely on life to go perfectly. Nor do you want it to. Character, confidence and skills are built through maneuvering life’s little shit bombs. Embrace the challenges and learn to become comfortable with them. This means you will need to be well nourished, well rested, fit, healthy, emotionally strong and centred. Meditation and deep breathing are most effective when practiced daily, you can bring your breathing under control more quickly and effectively if you have an established practice of centering. Practice happiness and joy every day, find something to laugh at, journal your gratitude, take time to play. Maintaining physical and emotional health will allow you to deal more effectively with life.
- You need to grieve. Grieve the event, situation, how a person hurt you, etc. Allow your self to really experience the sad, anger and disillusionment. Get it out of your system and resolve it quickly. I personally don’t allow myself let negative emotion linger for more than a day. I will transform that emotion to something else, for example grief from loosing a loved one is transformed to celebration for their life. Feeling betrayed is transformed into determination and action. Pain is transformed into focus on wellness.
- Let the negativity fuel you into action. Assess the situation and what you need to do to move forward. I like to research, it’s calming for me and helps me create an action plan. Make a plan, that is flexible. The best laid plans will usually fall apart at some point. Understand that this flexibility allows for changes while the plan provides the structure. Here’s a tip for you, if something is making you anxious, do the work! Deal with the situation, make a plan, stand up to it! The only way to resolve that anxiety is to act. Yes, deep breathing will calm you down temporarily but action can deal with the issue permanently.
- Have confidence in your ability, skills, and strengths. You have everything you need to deal with the hardest situations within you! Have a big picture goal and believe in it, unwaveringly? Absolutely believe that you deserve success and happiness. Have purpose in what you do and believe in yourself.
- Have a team behind you, people who can give you support, advice, feedback, hugs , etc. Include doctors, therapists and other professionals as needed. Don’t try to figure it all out on your own, having said that you also need to think carefully about advice given, sometimes your unique situation warrants a second opinion.
- When all is said and done, and you’ve dug yourself out of the hole you were in, celebrate! Celebrate with people who are proud of your and love you! Celebrate alone or with your fur baby! Happy dance! It doesn’t matter how you do it but you need to acknowledge your hard work.
You absolutely have the capacity to succeed and tackle what life throws at you. Understand this with absolute certainty. You are amazing! Don’t let anything or anyone conquer you!
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