And yet I'm finding that even with the hardships and overall socially negative mood, there is hope. We are, overall, a resilient people. We endure, we work, and we survive. We have hope that things won't always be this way - that's what keeps us going sometimes. I see people helping each other in parking lots, or stopping to talk to a little child. I see smiles and sharing at the parks I take my kids to. And I see things that money could never buy, like cerulean blue skies and fields bursting with the color of wildflowersa or the smile of a child and the music in the wind.
Resiliency, in my field, essentially means the ability to bounce back and thrive. I, like all of us, face situations that feel overwhelming. For many years, I was passive and simply gave up and let things happen. Not anymore - I'm going to not just bounce back, but I will thrive. I'll admit I'm scared at times. I'm scared of failing, of financial ruin, of not being good enough - things we ALL feel at one time or another. AND, I'm not going to just bounce back, I'm going to thrive. I am NOT going to let these things stop me.
Resiliency is as much stubborness and determination as anything else - we decide that we are NOT going to let the "tough times" win. I have an "art journal" that I've kept for the last few years - many pages say, "I AM going to get through this," "I am smart enough and prepared enough to do this," or "I'm NOT going to give up." It's not very artistic, but it IS a creative expression of my will and my resiliency. Remaining hopeful in the face of unrelenting discouragement is hard, but not as hard as surviving some of the situations that my friends, clients, and co-workers face. I try to remain hopeful not just for myself, but for them as well.
These are tough times - and honestly, I use every trick in my therapist's bag of tricks to get through sometimes. That's also why I'm sharing them with you - even if they don't cure all the problems, they can help you cope or feel better and have hope in the face of everything that's hard, tough, and discouraging. I go back and read some of my favorite self-help/inspirational books - stuff by Sark, Jennifer Louden and books like "Feel the Fear - and Do It Anyway" by Susan Jeffers. Another favorite is "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser. I talk with other people who have been through what I'm facing - it helps to know it CAN be done, and HAS been done. It might be tougher right, and there might be more obstacles - but it's still possible.
We are a resilient people. And we don't have to go it alone. We can be there for each other - and it doesn't have to be therapy. It can be a smile, or a "good job" or an encouragement like, "I know you can do this." It can be a compliment, or an understanding - we don't HAVE to get mad when the checkout line at the store takes forever. We can tell the cashier, "it looks like you've had a long day. I hope it gets better." The power of each other is us, folks...we can choose to help each other, or not. I can tell you, though - it's a lot easier to hide than it is to stick our necks out, AND it's a lot easier to be resilient when we're there for each other.
We don't have to go it alone - that's a powerful statement. We are NOT alone, and we won't BE alone. There are people who care, and there are people who want to help. Sometimes reaching out and asking is the scariest and hardest thing - we're risking rejection and hurt when we do. And...we don't have to go it alone. Seriously - say it: "I don't have to go it alone. I am NOT alone." It's a powerful, inspiring, comforting thought. And if you're feeling alone - write me. I know what it's like and I'll write back. You - yes, YOU - are not alone. Really.
That's what the power of each other is all about.
Please Note: The content on this blog is intended for informational purposes only. This is not therapy, and if you wish to work in therapy, please contact your local mental health agency or your physician for a referral.
If you are in crisis or danger, please call 911 for immediate help. Please, again, realize that seeking out help really IS a sign of strength and not a sign of weakness. You don’t have to be alone in facing these things – there are people who care and who will help. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org