Resilience is one of the most powerful words in the English language. Its meaning traverses the most inexplicable of paths. Ultimately, forging through a given journey with power and purpose.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is resilience. Almost anything on this earth worth doing takes time. Maybe you’re passionate about something that requires skill, such as sports, playing an instrument, or enhancing your reading comprehension. It takes time to perfect your craft, whatever it may be. Of course, there are those individuals who are born with immense talent or physical prowess. Lucky them, right? However, nearly everything in life is earned. You can only get so far on talent alone. It’s why the saying hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard exists.
You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t put in the effort necessary to get better at what you enjoy doing, the potential of said talent goes unfulfilled. With that being said, no matter how gifted you are, life will humble you real quick. We’ve all had moments where we felt on top of the world. Better yet, maybe you just felt comfortable, which is a great feeling, only for your entire world to come crashing down to a screeching halt. Perhaps you lost a best friend, or you got into a bad car accident. Maybe you foreclosed on a house or suffered a debilitating injury that kept you from doing what you love. Either way, life’s variables will inevitably impact you and the outcome of your life. Yet, how you let those tragedies alter the trajectory of your life rests on your shoulders.
What I am describing as unpreventable is pain. Pain and life go hand in hand. Pain is a constant in life that is unavoidable and will always remain present in one way or another. Pain has the power to be all-consuming if we let it. Moreover, we can keep pain at bay through one way and one way only by building resilience. How do you build resilience? Well, oddly enough, by dealing with painful circumstances.
The older we get, the more we experience life. Many of us encounter tremendous uphill battles the moment we are born. A child born premature faces one of the most significant struggles he or she will ever come up against, the fight for life. The same goes for a cancer patient who is waging an all-out war against chemotherapy. The fight for life remains supreme as one of, if not the most punishing of battles life can throw at us. When a child gets through their premature battle and blossoms, or a cancer patient fights tooth and nail until they’re diagnosed as cancer-free after five years in remission, something magical occurs. It starts with understanding,
“Your pain never goes in vain.”
There is a reason behind the pain. Better yet, a purpose. Think about it; if we never faced any trials and tribulations in life, we wouldn’t know how to react when the inescapable reality of this life and its uncertain traumas hit us. Additionally, we wouldn’t fully appreciate our blessings. Rather than taking the blow and fighting back, we’d succumb to every hit and fall to our knees. There’s a purpose behind the pain. I would never say anyone should have to deal with pain. In all actuality, no one should. But that viewpoint stems from living in a perfect world, and we reside in one that is far from that. Our world is broken, filled with horrific words said and unspeakable acts being taken every day. But contrary to what our imperfect world leads us to believe, there’s beauty in our resilience.
Everything you’ve ever gone through. All the pain, suffering, heartache, and agony was for a reason. That reason paints a bigger picture, and that bigger picture is your purpose, which starts with having faith. What’s fascinating is when you speak with cancer survivors, many of them view life in a different light. Much of them no longer sweat the little things, embracing life and all that it entails—soaking in every second and living each day as everyone should, which is in the moment. It’s because their pain forged resilience, and their resilience sparked a new outlook.
People who have the most perspective on life tend to have experienced much hardship. It’s no secret that the ones who sit back when their world is unraveling, jaws unclenched, with a look on their face that screams this isn’t my first rodeo, understand that this too shall pass. It’s not false confidence; it’s “I’ve treaded these waters before.” It’s the reaction I’ve seen my parents have when something unbelievably tragic happens. It’s because their resilience shines through when push comes to shove. Resilience is a critical component to leading a happy life, and I, too, have built some over the years.
Through many personal catastrophes, I’d felt I stood nothing to gain. Little did I know that I was building resilience through many of them, which helped me persevere through even more harrowing experiences. Resilience is defined as having the ability to recover from difficult circumstances quickly. The all-important word in that definition is quick. The more you deal with hardships, the better and more efficient you become at handling them. If one thing is for sure, it’s that life’s dramatic ebbs, and flows will never cease. Each time you deal with a painful period in your life, you must
“Grow through what you go through.”
By getting through each subsequent difficulty, you become a more stable, resilient version of yourself, able to manage whatever life throws at you with a greater perspective and deeper resolve.