Is it true that we learn the most from our struggles and hardships? That when we are happy not much resilience is being built? How I wish that was not true!
But if it is true, and we find ourselves happy, then let's be happy! Let's not be those people that can't enjoy life, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. No one diminishes their sadness by rationing their happiness. Such is the business of fools. Having said that, whilst you are happy, remember to build the strength of your character. For the night comes soon enough, no matter how sunny the day.
And with that my friend, how about we start delving into our lessons as discussed in last week's post? I give you this week's lesson...
Lesson 1 - Fortify yourself in your quiet moments. When things are peaceful, build your fort.
When we are triggered, we tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to things. An outburst here, a screaming match there, shouting at that sweet little rugrat who is quite positively driving you insane, falling apart at the slightest inconvenience. Moments during which, with hindsight, you wish you had responded instead of reacting.
There are also the big wobbles, the punches that knock the air right out of you when you least expect it; because life, hey. Often times too, the knocks just keep coming, one after another. Before you can regroup and refocus, you are dealt yet another unpleasant pile to sift through.
"I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow out of life." Henry David Thoreau
What I now know, from this past year, is that having the mental fortitude to navigate challenges and remain objective during the process is crucial. Don't catastrophise, don't give up your power by blaming external factors, don't bury your head in the sand and wish away the problem, and goodness gracious, don't assume things will always be that unpleasant!
"At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honourable as resistance, especially if one had no choice." Maya Angelou
It helps a lot to have the means and tools to navigate your way out of challenges, or where necessary, stand steady whilst the passing storm rages. This could be meditation, religion, exercise or something else. The common thing is this: have your system in place before you need it.
A dear friend of mine recently posted the following on social media:
When her storm was raging, she knew instantly where to turn for help. She had VERY specific tools to hang on to. She didn't need to start digging around for potential solutions. She had her fort standing solidly.
How is your fort? I'm keen to hear how so many of us fortify ourselves, oftentimes without even recognising those copying mechanisms as such. Let's connect in the comments and share thoughts on how to build those forts. If the past few years have shown us anything, it is that we cannot take our mental resilience for granted.
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With all my love,