Resilience is a funny thing.
We talk about it as if it’s a switch that can be just flicked on whenever you need it. Friends and family suggest it as an option whenever we’re going through a tough time like it’s as simple as that.
Having trouble with bullying or harassment? Try resilience.
Struggling with mental health issues. Resilience.
Feeling bad about your body? Resilience, baby.
But realistically, it’s not that simple.
And even strong people fall down.
Because you can be one super freakin’ resilient person who’s handled a lot of negative things with poise, dignity and strength… and that doesn’t mean that you don’t occasionally stumble, fall down and let things get under your skin.
And if you’re a person who prides themselves on being resilient, it can make you feel absolutely awful if in one particular situation, you find yourself unable to feel resilient and instead find yourself feeling powerless and hopeless.
You might feel like you’re letting those around you down because you’re “the strong one” or you might feel like you’re letting yourself down – either way, the pressure to be as resilient as you’ve previously been only makes your negative emotions feel heavier.
We view resilience as this black and white spectrum made of extremes with no room for middle ground, but that’s a fallacy. Resilience doesn’t only exist in extremes, and it’s far more complex than being able to classify someone as either “totally resilient” or “entirely powerless”.
Because slipping over isn’t the same as falling down.
Falling down isn’t the same as crashing.
And even if you crash, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get up again and keep going.
Within every negative situation that requires resilience, you’re growing and changing and evolving in every moment. Sometimes, you’re not growing and you take a seat to pause as you sort through some things.
And just because you’re sitting on the bench at that point in time doesn’t mean that you’re not resilient.
It just means that you are only human. And that you can’t be totally resilient 1,000,000% of the time. And that to keep being resilient as often as possible, this sometimes means allowing yourself to be completely overwhelmed by the negative feelings.
That, that right there, is the exact reason why it’s so important to have a supportive inner circle of people around you who get this. Who acknowledge that although you’re a strong person, you can’t always be. Who are willing to try and make your life simpler and easier and take away some pressure during those times where you just can’t find the energy to be resilient.
Throughout it all, remember this:
No matter what happens, no matter what screws up, no matter how bad things seem… there’s always hope.
You can pick yourself up.
Ask others to help you stand up.
Punch your way forward and keep fighting.
It’s not the end unless you say it is.
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