April 8, 2015

Lessons in Resilience

Written by Rachel Eddins

Posted in Trauma, Grief & Loss and with tags: grief and loss, resilience


lady in hat at beach resilience

Life throws curve balls.

A person loses a job.  A relationship ends.  Someone dies.

The question is, “Now what?”

Resilience counseling can help.

Developing Resilience After Loss

In “3 Things,” song-writer Jason Mraz gives us more than 3 good hints for developing resilience in the face of breakdowns.  He tells us, “There are three things that I do when my life falls apart.”

“Number one I cry my eyes out and dry up my heart.

He acknowledges that life will fall apart.  It’s not a question of if, but when.  Accepting that bad things happen, even to good people allows us to roll with the punches.

Instead of living in bitter protest, we can say, “Loss comes with the experience of being human.”  How will I choose to weather and emerge from the storms of my humanity?

Don’t suffer alone.  Resilience counseling can help you face the loss.

“Number one I cry my eyes out and dry up my heart,” I grieve my loss in all its colors—bitter, angry, sad, broken-hearted, guilty, relieved, even joyous and funny.

I cry when I feel like crying and I stop when I don’t.  I cry about coming home to an empty house, and I cry in front of the dairy case because I don’t need to buy 4% milk.

Express Gratitude

Then, “the second thing I do is I close both of my eyes, and say thank-yous to each and every moment of my life.”  Each and every moment–the crushing blows that teach us how strong we are and the precious moments that are like dew-covered flowers, fragile and fleeting, the gift of life.

I laugh when an empty car is completely filled with the spirit of my husband’s humor, if not his physical presence or even his voice or words.  I’m like Data on Star Trek when Q bestows the gift of laughter on him—I don’t know what was so funny, but it felt good.

Seek Support

“I go where I know the love is and let it fill me up inside.  Gathering new strength from sorrow, I’m glad to be alive.”  I seek out beloved friends and family.

Their support carries me with the strength of steel cables and the softness of a feather-lined nest.  They stand with me and hold me, and they let me grieve and recover in my own distinct way.

Pause & Let Go

“The third thing that I do now when my world caves in is I pause, I take a breath and I let that chapter end.”  I release my past to be my past.

“I design my future bright not by where my life has been,” but anew, “Informed by the past, but not condemned to dwell in it.” (from 12-Step programs)

“Things are looking up.  I know above the clouds the sun is shining.”

First we discover there still is an up.  Then we begin to climb, like a swimmer toward air.  Above the clouds the sun is shining.  Or the stars.

Always.  We just have to figure out how to get there again.

The spring will always come again, bringing new life from the cold, bleak earth—if we are willing to recognize it, and not be blinded by the loss.

Move Forward

“And I try, try, try, try, try, again.” I focus my attention and energy on the new life I’m building.

I do the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual work that it takes to open up again to the risk of loss.  Letting ourselves care again makes us vulnerable, but it also brings back, precious life.

“Things are looking up.  I know beyond the dark the sun is rising.”

If you’ve gone through a loss, illness, major life change or transition, you might be wondering if you will ever make it through.

In my practice, I do resilience counseling, that is teaching people how to overcome the challenges that life inevitably presents. I’m a “poster child” for resilience and I can help you make it through.

Give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to help you!


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