Resilience is a great quality to have, so what is resilience and why do some people bounce pretty fast while others struggle? We’ve just come out of the Christmas period which can be a tough time for some. Let’s face it emotions run high at that time of year and many struggle.
What is resilience?
- The power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity. (Know how that feels?)
- Ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. (This too!!)
It has something to do with bouncing which I guess is why a wise friend of mine, John Smallwood, calls it bounce day. It is the moment when you’ve hit the bottom and the only way is up! The problem is not everyone bounces!
It’s about adaptability
Psychological resilience is an individual’s ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of social disadvantage or highly adverse conditions. Adversity and stress can come in the shape of family or relationship problems. Of course health problems, workplace and financial worries, also take their toll.
I’ve experienced some of my own adverse conditions and stress in recent days which has culminated in the severing of a long standing relationship. My grandfather would often say “The one thing you can count on in life IS change”. The choice to sever the relationship was not mine. In reality this relationship has been on life support for sometime. It still “feels” awful and it appears irretrievable. The only thing left for me to do is take responsibility for what there is for me to own , learn the lesson and move on.
How did it get to this?
Often we end up where we end up by default and not by design. The irony is that “default” is most likely to occur in the “little moments” of misunderstanding when a lack of forethought regarding how the other party might think, feel or react about any given subject or occurrence might have made a big difference. One misunderstanding leads to the other party feeling hurt or threatened which leads to another. Unspoken and or unmet expectations pile up. Both parties gather evidence and become positional. Before you know it the situation turns to custard and there is no turning it back.
Time to reflect…
Reflecting back I think this is at least in part what happened in my situation. The relationship had a history of being rocky. I could have had a contingency plan for the communication going off track. I could have cut the communication sooner so as to diffuse what always had the potential to become volatile. Unfortunately, I had no such plan and went in cold without having given any considerations to that happening. I had a lose intention for setting up a meeting and the truth is I was winging it and I paid the price!
Where to from here?
Despite the decision to sever the relationship not being mine, there is still the reality of it to deal with. I have two choices. 1. Resist and attempt to change the situation, which is impractical. 2. Accept it adapt to the new circumstances and move on. I am choosing to accept and move on without being hard on myself for what I did or did not do. I can have compassion for the other party as well. There is a beautiful prayer known as the Serenity Prayer that makes a difference in times such as these:
“Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971)
We are all doing the best with what we have
Tomorrow is another day and I will do better next time. Here is a suggestion for you; find your Festive Season experience reflected in this you print out this prayer and pin it up where you can see it. Forgive yourself and whomever else and move on.
PS. If you need someone to talk to there are services available.