Are you a resilient person? What is resilience and why do brokenhearted parents need it? The dictionary defines resilience as the ability to recover quickly from adversity, change, or misfortune; becoming adaptable to challenges and serious losses; the ability to be buoyant. The property of a material that enables it to resume its original shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed; elasticity. Parents with broken hearts are in great need of this quality – this ability to bounce back from the painful experiences they’ve endured. In other words, emotionally, we need to be like a bouncy ball, piece of elastic or a rubber band, able to be stretched but not break or rip apart. Do you have this quality?
Adapting. Bouncing back. Overcoming. Not easy to do. I couldn’t do it. Not for a long time. In the early years of my journey I felt broken and ripped apart – torn into a million little pieces. Some days were so unbearable I wished I had died. I had to dig deep into my character to find a way to survive – to not let it destroy me – to overcome.
There are many ways to overcome adversity, to withstand stress and catastrophe. Resilience is the capacity to adapt successfully in the face of threats or disaster. Threats or disaster. Have you faced these? Have you become resilient?
According to PBS’ online magazine, The Emotional Life, “Psychologists have long recognized the capabilities of humans to adapt and overcome risk and adversity. Individuals and communities are able to rebuild their lives even after devastating tragedies. Being resilient doesn’t mean going through life without experiencing stress and pain. People feel grief, sadness, and a range of other emotions after adversity and loss. The road to resilience lies in working through the emotions and effects of stress and painful events. ”
You’re not born with it. Resilience develops as you grow and mature, learning to manage your emotions. It also comes from developing supportive relationships, as well as other beliefs that give strength and courage. The good news is that resilience can be learned and developed throughout your lifetime. If you haven’t had this capacity in the past, you can become resilient.
The Emotional Life reports, Factors that contribute to resilience include:
- Close relationships with family and friends
- A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities
- The ability to manage strong feelings and impulses
- Good problem-solving and communication skills
- Feeling in control
- Seeking help and resources
- Seeing yourself as resilient (rather than as a victim)
- Coping with stress in healthy ways and avoiding harmful coping strategies, such as substance abuse
- Helping others
- Finding positive meaning in your life despite difficult or traumatic events
- (I would add – getting involved in a support group with others going through similar situations)*
The main factor for me – not listed here – is my faith and trust in God. Through receiving His help and tapping into His strength I have become resilient. I have learned to adapt during times of change and transition. I have recovered from distress and extremely heart breaking challenges. Because Christ overcame, I have overcome. He made me resilient. He enabled me to bounce back. I was stretched, but in Him I didn’t break. You can, too.
These are a few Bible verses that helped me become resilient:
“The Lord is the everlasting God . . . he gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. . . Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
“. . . Weeping may last for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves (helps) those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)