What Is Your Resilience Story?


Image Description: A dandelion grows in one of many cracks in the mud.

What is your resilience story?

Have you thought about that recently? A story from your life, the life of your family, or your community? It might be helpful to bring such a story to mind – to recall those chapters and moments when we endured stress, challenge, trauma, and loss and made it through.

When we were empowered to keep going. . .

When we gained grit and resolve. . .

When we experienced renewed life, despite the pain we have known. . .

When we gained insight we cannot lose. . .

Resiliency is often totally unexpected, but it happens around us and through us. Certainly, none these forms of growth transform trauma into some kind of collective good. Far from it. But there are times when resiliency accompanies even our greatest pain and brings us through despite what we might have anticipated.

We are living in a time of collective stress and fear. As I talk with people, many are saying that they feel despair and dread. If that’s where we are, I encourage us to honor those feelings.

Alongside challenging feelings, some are facing tangible concerns and threats to their safety. We need to take these seriously and create protective strategies in our communities.

We will be even more empowered to do so if we can remember resiliency. What is your resilience story? Can you call it to mind?

In some ancient languages, the word ‘remember’ does not simply mean that we recall something from the past. It means that we make it present.

Mental health experts tell us that people tend to gain healing from stress, challenge, trauma, and loss when they can put their experiences into a personal narrative. Can we take some time today to tell our resilience stories to ourselves? Can we put their power into our bodies, minds, and spirits?

And one of the best strategies for gaining resiliency is to connect with good and trusted relationships of support and care. Have we told anyone our resilience story lately? There is great power in sharing such stories with one another.

We can consider doing that. And wherever we are and however we’re feeling, we can let these stories guide us.

Renee Roederer

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