Written By Aude Garderet
“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo- far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance.” ― Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper
We know that we all regularly face difficulties in life. No matter how much planning we undertake, whether working towards a promotion, planning to start a family or even booking vacation, life can have radically different plans for us!
I distinctly recall a few years ago, after experiencing a long cycle of personal struggles, I had booked a beautiful two week holiday with my family in Bali. I very carefully selected the villa, planned a Christmas dinner, and booked activities to ensure a wonderful family vacation. My intention was that this holiday would represent the end of our struggles and the beginning of a new, happy and peaceful chapter. I needed a break from struggling and this was to be the time to move forward!
However, life had decided differently and I realised this was the case as soon as I arrived at the airport! Not only was this intense life cycle not ending, but little did I know that I was about to enter one of the most challenging ones.
How do we find the ability to continue when we get shaken so strongly? How get back up on our feet again? Where do we find the faith to continue?
The first step is to allow all the emotions to wash over us. We need to cry, be angry, be devastated. Find life unfair, cruel, break down. And when we are down on our knees, what then? That’s precisely when resilience kicks in. Resilience is the ability to bounce back when we are facing challenges. To continue moving forward.
Once the emotional tsunami is passed, I can tap into my inner self and take some distance from the situation. This is resilience. The ability to tap into some positivity when you are at your lowest, to raise yourself up again, to have your entire belief system shaken up and find the ability to recreate another one - one resembling who you are becoming. This is resilience.
These life challenges are opportunities to let go of your old conditionings ( what parents, school, society, and more have told you for years) to build one that corresponds to who you are.
To find resilience, one must look deep into themselves and ask: Who am I at this moment? How do I feel and how do I want to feel? What is it that I need to do to feel better?
Reflecting back on this challenging time in my life, I realise that I had to surrender to the pain that overwhelmed me, allow myself to drop down in order to bounce back again in a way that corresponded to my values and needs.
This showed me the necessity to transform my life. I decided to live closer to my family, and make them a priority. I gave myself more balance between work and personal time to nourish myself. I also realised how important it was for me to feel connected with nature.
If we are able to view our struggles as opportunities to build resilience, then we are taking one big step towards our personal growth and happiness. We then realise that all these struggles are wonderful opportunity to become who we truly are.