This last week was very intense. Not only am I following a course on resilience in traumatised children, but had to face challenging adversity in my own life. While we learn about resilience we learn a lot about those people who are role models: C.J. Huff, Maya Angelou, and many others were mentioned. My own research led me to Dr. Edith Eva Eger and something she said reminded me of my grandma.
That made me construct a picture. Sometimes, when so many things happen, clarity comes in a picture. And this picture was telling me that life repeats itself and twists in circles, yet your rise and rise. There is a rhythm and a circling structure to life that leads you up and up a winding spiral and confronts you with the lessons needed, stirring you to gentle faces of your past when you need them most. Those role-models in resilience made me question myself.
How can I complain about anything when my gran, Hedwig, kept her hope, her generosity, and her kindness despite Nazis, World War II and the greed creeping out of the basements when order and money slowly came back?
How can I be sad and hurt when a woman like Dr. Eger, a survivor of the death march and the concentration camp is dancing for her 90th birthday?
Because adversity is not meant to make you hard. The challenge is to handle your fear, to get through adversity and come out stronger on the other side, not harder. Be courageous enough to have your heart open and flowing strong. Here is the poem that goes with it all:
THE TEACHINGS IN ADVERSITY
It may teach you faith and humbleness
it may remind you of your own prowess
it may be the guide to help and help you change behaviour
to not repeat he errors that you made before
and you err as is the prerogative of humankind
to try, to test, to bend, to find
the truth, oneself, your integrity
because to all in life there is a key
the answer is just beyond the door
the answer is right there in your core
cause all is aligned and you shall find
the answers you seek outside in yourself
don’t buy them pre-made, from the shelf
because you’ll pay a hefty price for a drag piece of advice
adversity can set you free
if you choose not to be
a victim, not to give your power away for free
willingly, obligingly, out of negativity, fearfully
and be aware to take good care of your own integrity
as often we become a victim willingly
because we care and think we can spare
with what the other needs and give of our own free will
a thing and then we have to foot the bill
so the answer to your prayer
is to lift another layerof that what hides your core
to simply be just more
be kind and gentle out of curiosity
see the teachings in adversity
rise to the occasion
don’t hide behind evasion
be brave, be willing, be learning and humble
and trust others to react the same way when you stumble
Life’s lessons are never easy and it would be cheesy to say hurray, bring them on. But I have learned one thing and maybe this can inspire others to find a way to rise above adversity: if you scrap together all of the dignity, kindness and countenance you can muster and reply in an assertive, yet heartfelt way you won: no matter what, you won. As you stopped the wave of hatred and turned it around.
You deserve as much.
Wishing you grace and gratefulness,
Should you need a friend or guidance, here are some resources for you. these books can be found online or in your book store and library – never forget the library when you are in need of a trusted friend, readers are teachers. And books can be teachers, too.
Assertiveness: Dr. Anita Johnston, Eating in the light of the moon: a book for survivors and women struggling with self-doubt and eating disorders this book can be so much more: a true friend for every woman in need of wise guidance.
Resilience: Dr. Maya Angelou (there are some very nice videos on youtube); Dr. Edith Eger – The Choice. And you should see C.J. Huff’s PBS speech, this one was brought to me in the great course on Resilience with Prof. Masten Thank you so much!
Wounded heart, re-open: Schilda, the Fortune Turtle – a great book, even if I say so myself.