Monday, June 16, 2014

Bouncing back

I recently saw this clip of an athlete from several years ago who got back up and won her race after literally falling on her face. I went through so many emotions as I viewed the footage. There was immediate shock and concern when she fell. Was she okay? Then once she got back up and started making up the distance, I found myself rooting for her. I got chills as I witnessed her extraordinary ability to get back up and finish…and not just finish, but finish and win.


 
This is the definition of resilience- the ability to rebound and to bend and flex without being broken. I believe we all have this inherent quality inside. We all possess the ability to conquer our challenges of life. Yet, some people realize the gift they have inside and others do not. What makes the difference? I’d say it’s a matter of tenacity.

We all have something we hope we never have to face…something that we think would absolutely destroy us if it came to pass. For me, it was betrayal, rejection, and abandonment by a loved one. And despite my best attempts to safeguard against that deeply feared trinity, they happened anyway when a relationship ended badly a few years ago. I won’t lie. I went to a very low, very dark place. It was the kind of despair that puts you in the fetal position and makes you want to fall asleep and not wake up. But even when the pain was excruciating, something in me kept going. Giving up wasn’t an option. It was like my spirit saw my life beyond the moment and spoke to me to get back up. The steps were wobbly at first, but as I kept moving I gained stability. Then as I stabilized, I felt a fighter rise up inside. I refused to let that moment, that person, that loss knock me down and keep me down. I was going to overcome it because that’s who I am.
That’s what resilience is to me…that, “Oh hell no!” attitude toward obstacles. We all have a fighter in us. Sometimes the fighter lays dormant inside until just the right moment when we have to show ourselves and the world what we’re made of. Now hear me, it’s not about going out and seeking pain and trauma to endure. Truthfully, if you live long enough difficulty will probably find you without you looking for it. What I mean is try to get to a place where you embrace all facets of life- the abundance and the lack, the joy and the sorrow, the love and the loss. Whatever you’re facing today, you already have everything you need to overcome. But you have to keep moving. Even if you’ve fallen down several times, get back up. Get back up and finish your race.

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