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Remembering Resilience

Updated on October 24, 2013

The definition of resilience: “The ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune.”

I am pondering the concept of resilience today because of the assassination attempt on Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, last Saturday in Tucson, Arizona. If you have heard the news, you will know that she was shot in the head at a grocery store, along with thirteen others who were shot. Six of those people died. She is being resilient. The bullet went in one side of her head and out the other and yesterday, she opened her eyes for the first time since she was shot. She also moved her hands and feet today. It’s going to be a very long road back to full recovery for her, but she most definitely has a resilient spirit.

So many times in our lives, we feel as if we will fail to overcome. Whether it is sickness, changes in our lives, or misfortune of some sort. Some years, it seems like we can see nothing positive about most days within that year. We feel as if the “light at the end of the tunnel” is a train coming at us from the opposite direction. Fear not, people, fear not. Trains can only go one direction at a time and most of the time, we aren’t standing on the tracks in the middle of their path!

Resilience is the part of us that we refuse to let be crushed. The spirit part of us. I have spoken in past articles about spirit being energy and nobody can destroy energy. Thank goodness for that!

Resilience is the determination, the will, the unmitigated tenacity to never, ever let life’s rough spots defeat you. Some people let anger motivate them. Some people let their innate strength motivate them. Others let their resilience raise them above the waves, demonstrating the other part of the definition of resilience: bouyancy. It’s symbolic of a life raft, keeping us from drowning in circumstances sometimes that seem beyond overwhelming. It’s also symbolic, in my mind, anyway, of a sponge. Sponges are bouyant, are they not? They soak up all that water and hold onto it so they can float instead of sink. The holding onto what is trying to defeat you is definitely not good, but you haven’t ever seen a sponge sink to the bottom of the sink, now have you?

I believe with all my heart, that we are never given anything we can’t truly handle. Even severe circumstances like rapes, beatings, abuse, homelessness – all these circumstances seem unbearable, unconscionable. Some people handle it differently than others. Some choose to have a “victim” perspective and they hold onto that “role” most of their lives, believing that if they do, others will feel sorry for them and help them. Others choose to strive valiantly towards overcoming their adversity. They choose to be a shining, positive example for others to emulate. Neither one of these examples is right or wrong. They are just different perspectives on the same sort of experiences.

What I am getting at here is that we all have a free will. We all have a mind of our own. We all have choices about our actions as well as our thoughts and perspectives. All of life is subjective. Life is exactly what you choose to make it. Change your thoughts, perspectives and attitudes about your “life happenings” and watch your entire life happen in a totally different way. Trust me, I know this to be truth. I know this from first-hand experience. Life was never meant to be a rose garden, but we all have within us the empowerment to see it a little rosier than we might have seen it previously. It’s all in the resilience of the spirit.


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    • Lene Lynn profile image

      Lene' Lynn St. John 6 years ago from Glendale, AZ

      afrykanqwin, Awesome! SO glad it helped! I will be reading some of your articles now, as well! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I really appreciate it!

    • afrykanqwin profile image

      afrykanqwin 6 years ago from knoxville,tn

      I love it!!!...What I needed :)