Life really is both sides now. It is happiness and sorrow, love and loss, triumph and setbacks all at once.
I learned this lesson as a longtime cancer caregiver where every day was like being in the already and not yet, somewhere in-between remission and recurrence. Any moment can move us from one side to the other.
May 21, 2001, began as the most joyous day of my life. That’s the day I became a mother. I had twins, a daughter we named Rebecca, and a son, Casey. More than anything, Brett and I hoped that the trauma of his cancer diagnosis and treatmentwould remain in the past. Not even the twins’ premature birth could dampen the excitement we felt for the future.
Later that day, Brett and I napped together in my twin hospital bed. We were in a groggy stupor when his cell phone rang.
“Hi, Dr. Balmaceda,” Brett said, as if he’d been struck by lightning.
He was silent. Dr. Balmaceda, his neuro-oncologist, had news...
I know what you're thinking. Yeah, right. Who, after all, is grateful for challenges and welcomes adversity?
Some people are luckier than others, that's a fact. But at one point or another, most of us will be felled by a challenge so crippling it hurls us to our knees. A health crisis. A personal loss. A business setback. A moment of clarity when we realize we aren't where we wanted to be. It doesn't take much.
While the challenges themselves feel significant, what matters more is how we respond to such disruptive circumstances. In other words, we needn't be paralyzed. We might feel that way, but feelings aren't facts. And we have more power than we realize at even the hardest moments. We do.
Here are three things you can do to build your resilience when faced with challenges:
1. Think of another time when you were confronted with an obstacle that felt insurmountable. How did you...
When was the last time you chose silence over chatter?
Maybe an object of beauty rendered you beyond words, or a silly argument, or even just the nonstop press of life.
A friend shared her own story of resilience and "enough words" during a car ride with her teenage son. From the sound of it, he was being a typical teenager, asking for a pricey getaway to see his favorite team when his parents had just purchased expensive tickets for him to see the team in their hometown. "He acted so ungratefully," my friend said, that I just told him, "I don't know how to respond to you at this moment so I'm just going to be quiet."
That took courage. And the kind of reasoned decision making that is attainable only when we allow ourselves to say, "enough talking." Sometimes we're so quick to react with words that without meaning to, we create full-blown arguments. I'm certainly guilty of this.
Reasoned decision making is one of the four pillars of resilience I teach...