I had my good friend, Kim, over Friday night and we were discussing relationships and life and we got on the subject, you know, of resiliency.

Kim is literally one of the most resilient, strong and independent women that I personally know.

And she’s able to relate to you, ‘cos she has had her fair share of challenges. Just like the rest of  us.

She’s a single mom who has put herself through school, and packed up and headed to the isolation of the North Coast and recently returned to Goose Bay to buy her own house, whilst holding down a job in behavioural management.

She’s a warrior.

Anyway she inspired, in part, the writing of this post. The other inspiration came from the loss of a beautiful and kind soul, who always made me feel special, and the family suffering back home in my home community, and the sheer heartbreak that I am feeling for them.

And some more came from a conversation with a cousin of mine who I’ve recently been in  more contact with. Again, a person who’s life has been struck by tragedy.

So, let’s talk about resiliency.

The first thing I kind of want to say is this, people are resilient. They just are. We were born with the strength within ourselves to handle whatever it is life throws at us.

We were born with the ability to bounce back. We were born to survive and move forward.

Survival is at the core of every gene and every cell that’s formed itself to create you. It’s hard wired into you brain. And if you’re struggling right now, trust in that. Trust in the fact that you were born to survive and you were born to conquer.

Again, this stems back to our evolutionary biology and the need to move forward and proliferate the human species. Personally, I also think it’s built into the power of the human spirit and the human condition.

I have literally seen it all. I have worked in child protection with parents who have lost everything. I have worked with abuse victims, rape victims, I have worked with people who have lost children to the finality of death at a much too early age.

And as far as I know, from any of the literature I have ever read, the loss of a child is the worse loss there is. But I’ve seen these same people pick themselves up and carry on.

I’ve seen reliance.

I’ve seen people that you’d think could never get back up from the pit they’ve fallen into, and I’ve seen them move forward and thrive. Because, well, you have to.

And I’ve been that person. I’ve been chained to the battlefield of depression. And I found the lock and key in hell to get out of there.

Life is hard. It’s really, at times, very, very hard. But even when we wish it could all just stop and give us a second to catch up, it doesn’t. It just keeps going on and on. It goes on.

Sometimes I feel like a house divided against itself. My anxiety makes me want to give up, but a voice in my head is screaming “girl keep pressing forward.”

And I know, without a doubt, some of you reading this are feeling this exact way right now. And I empathize with you. I’m there with you in the very spirit that moves through me.

I’ve lost friends, and family, and loved ones. I’ve lost my own sanity. But I’m still here, and I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how tired I am. And you need to do that too.

There’s an innate ability inside of us all to bounce back. After divorce, and death, and health ailments, and loss, we bounce back.

In fact, there have been scientific neurological studies on people who suffer terrible loss and those who win the lottery that show that these individuals feel the effects of both of those extremities (positive and/or negative) but that, in the end, their life happiness has a baseline to which it returns to. It fluctuates but then it returns.

So, if you’re experiencing unhappiness right now, utter turmoil, gut wrenching heartache and if you’re doing what you need to do to move through it, and even if you don’t, you’ll eventually return to your baseline.

Essentially what I’m saying is, you’ll be okay.

I don’t know that time heals. I believe that what time does, is it allows us to grow the strength we need to deal with whatever has occurred in our lives.

And it takes time and experience to become a strong person. Experiences that we really feel are unfair.

And they are unfair. The world is full of so much love and so much pain. But like my cousin said to me, and he has lost his mother and his brother, “it’s better to have loved and lost.”

You feel the pain you feel because you loved so much. So deeply. So entirely. Remember that.

And trust in the biology that is hardwired to piece you together. Trust in yourself.

You are resilient. You are wonderful and beautiful. Rejoice in the love you’ve shared. Keep your memories close. Keep pushing forward.

You’ve got this. You’ve always had this.

Love always,

Mandy

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