Posted in Coping, Depression, Grief, Inspiration, Life, Personal Development, Positive Thinking

Resilience – What To Do When Life Knocks You Down

What Is Resilience, Do You Have It, And How Can You Get It?

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.” 

Mary Holloway

Resilience is that indefinable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back at least as strong as before, and quite possibility better, stronger.

A large portion of the population is likely at any given time immersed in what could be considered a life altering experience. How we respond to it defines us as a person.

We encounter something that shocks us and knocks us down; takes us to our knees and overpowers us. We are left with a feeling of disbelief, a wave of grief, or seismic depression. How can we move forward when we are filled with doubt and despair?

It does not matter what event it may be. There is no need to put a name to it. Life is full of such experiences, and there seems to be more of them every day in this crazy world we live in. Each of us will, at some point, be overwhelmed by mind-numbing pain or hardship. Each of us will respond differently, and what we feel is the best we can do at the time. Some of us may choose to accept a new normal and not be able to move on. Others will not accept that and will fight back and be stronger as a result because of their resilience.

Resilience is not a superhuman ability. It is hard work and requires a sustained effort. The length of time needed to get to a new normal will vary, and be different for each person. Your mental outlook before this experience will help determine how you handle your adjustment, and the length of time required.

The type of person you were, and how you responded to any event, good or bad, will affect how you handle your response now. People who previously had a positive outlook and optimistic attitude should have an easier adjustment. If you can self regulate your emotions, control any powerful feelings, and impulsive responses, it will help you lower the level of stress you experience.

If you were a positive person previously with confidence in your abilities, that would help you to plan for what needs to be accomplished to be able to move forward. Your problem-solving and communication skills are important and will help you adapt to what may be an altered new life.

Part of being resilient is maintaining your connections with your support group; the people you turn to in times of need. You can turn to your close family members and friends, as well as any groups you are part of such as a church or social group.

It is essential to accept that change is part of life. Life is a continually evolving event, and includes good and bad. It may be difficult to accept the changes that result in a significant shift in your everyday life.

It may not be easy to accept what happened, and it may appear to be insurmountable, something you cannot handle. It is imperative to look beyond what happened to the possibility of the future, the potential for the pain to ease, emotions to calm, and healing to occur. Look for small improvements and focus on them and look for additional ways to move forward.

Goals are a part of life, big or little they are important. They were important to you before, and they are even more important after a negative, life changing event. They should always be an important part of your life.

We learn the most about ourselves in moments of stress and negativity. Like it or not, when we experience challenging events, we are faced with difficult decisions. Decisions we thought we would never have to make. Our perspective changes. We gain a sense of purpose and confidence we may not have had before. We place more value in our relationships and appreciate the value of how we spend our time.

As with everything in life it is so important to maintain a hopeful outlook and keep everything in perspective. Visualize what you want to achieve, focus on the positive, and do not dwell on the fear and negativity.

Always be aware of your attitude and include taking care of yourself. Feed your body and mind with a healthy diet and exercise your body to maintain your energy. It can be helpful to write about your feelings when you have experienced stressful events or to practice a soothing activity such as yoga or meditation.

If you feel overwhelmed and are finding it difficult to find your way out of the trauma, look for help. Find a support group, or talk to a professional, to help you move forward.

Life is a journey, and it is full of ups and downs, with some unexpected obstacles along the way. It is good to have a plan for what you want to do on your journey. It is also good to understand that there may be a fork in the road, or an unexpected cliff, where we have to take a different path. We should plan and be prepared for those too.

 “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who do not. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.”

– José N. Harris

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.

Posted in Bigotry, Coping, Death, Grief, Killing, Political, Tradegy

When Tragedy Strikes – Mass Shootings In America

Photo by Vladimir Palyanov on Unsplash

We all have expectations. There is a picture in our head of our perfect life. Those are our hopes and dreams.

As we experience each day, there is a rhythm, like a song we hum in our head. It is our life moving forward as we planned it. Each day fits inside our plan with some minor variations caused by the unexpected. Those small bumps that happen but they are minor. Nothing too eventful. We make some adjustments and then the rhythm continues.

Until that changes.

We don’t plan for those significant events that can come crashing down on us. The nasty events that are part of life, no one plans for them. We acknowledge that there is always a possibility of something life- shattering to hit us and obliterate us, but no one ever thinks it will happen.

When it does,life as we know it is gone, changed forever. There is no rhythm, the song we hummed in our head is over, it is out of tune, and there is no longer any comfort in it.

As I was beginning to write today, I was drawn to this topic. I did not understand why. It was making me uncomfortable. There have been no tragedies or life-altering events in my life or anyone close to me. I had no reason to write about this, and it was off topic of anything I would choose to write.

I was uncomfortable enough that I was contemplating deleting what I had written and start over. So I decided to take a break. I went outside with my dog and cat for a walk.

When I came back inside, my feelings had not changed, so I made a cup of coffee and decided to play a computer game. I felt I needed to understand this. As I was casually playing the game, my thoughts were weaving in and out of this writing topic. Then it dawned on me. I can put a name to it.

Two mass shootings within 24 hours. One in El Paso, Texas and one in Dayton, Ohio. It is overwhelming, and I did not realize the impact it was having on me.

How do the families of the victims cope? I cannot get my head around it. How do you adjust to it? This tragedy takes me back to Sandy Hook and the disbelief I felt that day. I was awash with grief for the parents and the siblings, other family members, and for the community. Sadness and grief overtook me then and again today.

I choose not to offer ways to cope today for these families or their communities. There are better people than I to take on that enormous task. I can only offer you my grief and my love and depth of feeling. Words do not suffice today.

We cannot let this continue. It has to stop. It cannot become our “new normal” as I heard questioned last night on the national news.

How have we come to this place in time? Why is there so much hate? Why the urge to kill those we do not know? Why are some of us so intolerant?

We cannot eliminate hate, but we can soften it, educate and change some people’s perspective. There will always be killings in some form or another.

It is time for change, and it is up to us. It is our responsibility.

There is one thing we can do. We can demand, as is our right, to ban any form of an assault rifle in the hands of any individual. These guns were created and designed for use by the military. That is where they belong.

An individual does not need a mass killing weapon.

I firmly believe that all assault-style weapons should be made illegal and confiscated.

Unfortunately, our President and the members of Congress, in particular, the Republicans, have not accepted their duty to do so.

Mass shootings should not be a political issue, but they are. The politicians are a large part of the problem. Those with their hands extended, accepting the money from lobbyists, in particular, the NRA. It should not be a money issue, but sadly, there will be money made.

It is not a mental illness issue or a hatred issue. It is not a glorification of violence or about troubled youth watching video games.

This is a moral issue. It is a compassion issue and a love for humanity issue.

It is bigger than any one individual. This is about all of us.

By not addressing the ability of any assault weapon to kill multiple people very quickly, we are showing to the world that Americans have no moral compass. We can save lives. Why aren’t we? Pass the damn law.

Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. But that’s unacceptable. As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t ‘too soon”. It’s much too late.

Ezra Klein

As always, thank your for reading my blog. Have an uneventful day. I wish you all well.