“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling
This post is not meant to minimize anyone’s experience, especially one of trauma and abuse. Rather, it’s meant to highlight the resilience and strength people have in them to recover and bounce back from their situations.
So what is resilience?
Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover from something that has impacted your emotional, physical, spiritual and mental being in some way. Basically, it has caused distress and compromised your way of thinking, feeling, behaving, etc. The “something” can be a traumatic event, a transition (moving, job loss, separation, break up, divorce, changes in friendships, etc.), or anything that has caused adversity in your life.
The growth that follows…
Situations can either make or break you. What I find most interesting and valuable when we go through stressful situations and unexpected changes, is the strength, growth and maturity that follows after. That is, if you are able to learn and grow. More so, if you are able to move from what people might label the “victim mentality” to “survivor mentality.”
But I get it. It’s not that easy…
And you’re right. When life comes and shakes you, it brings you to a very uncomfortable state. It leaves you in a web of tangled emotions and uncertainty. Who knows what tomorrow, the next months or years will bring. Then anxiety creeps in and maybe it’s followed by solid depression. Now not only can you not stop the uncontrollable racing thoughts, but now your sleep is screwed up, you don’t have an appetite, you could careless about participating in things that once brought you joy, you’re super angry at the world and you give up on the idea of things getting better. Sound familiar?
“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it.”-Charles R. Swindall
What if I told you, by shifting your thoughts and or accepting your situation, it can help you transition into a better version of yourself? Think what you want, but things can and will get better. Incorporating things like gratitude (yes, I know it’s overused) can help you shift and re-frame the way you perceive your situation. Instead of feeling stuck, angry, resentful and scared, you can transition to being grateful that such situation happened by surprise. If it weren’t for the whatever unexpected situation, you might have stayed stagnant and in your comfort zone. You might have never found out how strong you really are and reaped the benefits from whatever it is that shook you.
You can overcome this!
Life will throw many curve balls our way, but ultimately, it’s up to us to decide how we want to hit them. You are so much stronger than you think. Please don’t allow your situation to define how you will live out tomorrow, the next months and years. You always have the choice to adjust your sails to reach your preferred destination. You can overcome this.
Stay tuned for the next post on strategies to help build resilience!
Live mindfully, hopeful and persevere.
Until next time!
Claudia Stanley, LMSW