Last blog I talked about how I was seeing resiliency in a whole new light. It’s not just about habits and self care. I believe, while all these things help, it’s about who we are as a whole. It’s about the emotional, social and physical health of ourselves. The world we encompass, whether we are at work, with family or enjoying our favorite things, contribute either positively or negatively to the resilience we have.
Never have I seen this more true than I do right now. For example, bring up masking and a vaccine and you either have a friend or someone who seems to be putting up walls. Whether you are in a leadership position, a shift worker or a mom sending her kids off to school, we all have these two topics on our minds. I had hoped we could take the topic in smaller doses and then get on with life at hand, but the polarization of beliefs are jeopardizing relationships and taking up energy. It can just about put us over the edge.
The shift between friends and faith have occurred as well. If one person stands on their beliefs while another one stands upon the same beliefs for the opposite discussion there can be division. Who is right? What is right? Where is God in all of this? The loss of faith comes more quickly when there is a loss of trust with humans. Maybe it’s just my experience, but it’s exhausting and difficult to want to engage with previously trusted friendships or even our spouse.
Everywhere I look it seems the world we know is in crisis. The internet and world businesses have created places across the globe to feel like the other side of the world are our next door neighbors. We are closer than ever, yet don’t we seem further from each other sometimes? Emotions are already at a heightened level so gather around a group who is upset, on edge or ready to moan about everything and our ability to rise above drastically gets harder.
For example, work stress has taken its toll and you are feeling less and less inclined to get to work in the mornings. You decide to grab drinks with a friend after a long, terrible day. You find out, quickly, that happy hour is more like vent hour and you both leave feeling discouraged. Sure, you are in similar situations, but you feel less likely to get up refreshed the next morning.
Maybe your marriage is in crisis and you can’t seem to find a breath of fresh air. You call a friend who has been there for you through thick and thin only to listen for an hour about her falling apart marriage. Sure, similar hardship, but does the camaraderie create a resurrected desire to figure things out and start fresh?
Who we are, and who we are around, matter. Our bones, the stuff which comes out when we are at our worst, shows us what we are made of. Everyone has moments of grumpiness and seasons of grey and gloomy skies. Everyone handles hard things differently, but our ability to get up again and endure comes from two things. Having good bones to support us when we are down and the people we surround ourselves when the times are tough.
The reason people in the helping community (nurses, firefighters, etc) become bonded together is because they go through unspeakable things together. One thing will affect one person while another thing affects someone else. We have learned to be there for reach other because we all need to come back to work. I am strong when a friend is down and out after a rough shift. My coworkers understand when my tone is short because they see the day I am having and come along side me in support. The relationship goes both ways.
That’s the kind of relationships we need when it comes to resiliency. The relationships which remind us to get back to what matters; to pick ourselves up again and to show up even when it’s hard. Finding like-minded people to do life with can only enhance this ability to be resilient.
I’m not encouraging you to throw out friendships who might not agree with you. We all need to learn to understand others and grow together. I am encouraging you to know what friends to incorporate into your resiliency practices. Which friends encourage you to take care of yourself while challenge you to see life in new ways, through new opportunities and in new strength. Lean into those voices and do the same for them.
As we keep learning what it means to be resilient, let’s keep digging into who we are as individuals and as groups of people. Let’s get an X-ray to see what our bones are made of and figure out how to strength ourselves at our core so we can have a stronger foundation when the rough seasons come. The people we listen to and do life with do matter and can strengthen us when our foundation wants to waiver.