“Resilience isn’t how far you bounce when you hit the floor. It’s how you use what you’ve got left to work with to make something great.” – Author Unknown
There’s something in our hearts that comes alive when we hear a story of courage, valor, and impossible odds. Hence, the latter part of the quote above gives us a much more meaningful definition of resilience than the first sentence, which speaks of resilience as if it were a passive act. Resilience is, in fact, active, creative, and inspiring—what will you do to make it work with what you’ve got?
When you’re in the middle of grief, loss, and fear, it can be hard to see what it is that even remains for you to work with. Especially when all that grief and loss and fear has been a longstanding companion due to dysfunctional relationships and daily hardships. How do you even start to rebuild?
Building Up Strength for Change
If I were to try to run a marathon next weekend, I would definitely not even come close to finishing it. I do consider myself a runner, but I have not run consistently in months, so all I can run right now is about a mile. I would be totally overwhelmed to even think about what it would take to run a marathon.
But, if I decided that was a finish line I really wanted to cross, I could do so with a few months of dedicated training. I would have to create a plan that would allow me to gradually build my fitness, strength, and endurance. I would have to change my daily habits, my eating, my behavior, even my vocabulary. I would have to discipline myself to keep adding just a bit longer distance, a bit more weight, and better fuel every day.
I know none of it will feel natural or normal or good. Well, the part about being done with the daily workout and sitting in the hot tub would feel good, but all the rest would be hard! I would have to fight against my desire to sleep in and my lack of desire to put in the energy to train. If I really wanted to change, I would need to keep my focus on the goal to cross that finish line. But, by starting where I am, building a little bit every day, and consistently training to run, there’s going to come a point where it all feels more natural, normal, and good.
Learning to change is much the same—whether it’s character, behavior, thinking, or habits. You have to decide what your finish line is, and then build the plan to get there. Start with where you are; challenge yourself to add a bit more every day and stay disciplined. You may need to change the thoughts you think and the things you tell yourself. You’ll have to make a plan to deal with the distractions and obstacles. Be ready for none of it to feel very natural until you’ve developed the neural pathways for it to become ingrained.
Finding Your End Goal
To decide what your end goal is, brainstorm a bit. What do you want to change? How do you want to show up in your world? What would you like your marriage or relationships to look like? What does “healthy” look like? If you were living your best life, what would look different? What could you do for your life to look more like that?
As you think about how you want to show up in your world today, consider your attitude, your character, and your influence. You have a right—and a responsibility—to live out who you are created and called to be. What are your gifts, talents, and abilities? How do you long to influence the world and reflect the light of Christ? In what ways are you sabotaging that mission in your own head? What would be different if you weren’t getting in your own way?
Change is hard. But we were not created to stay stagnant, complacent, or trapped in fear. We were created to live, with the capacity to be in grief and still reach for joy.
We at the Marriage Recovery Center want to help you develop a training plan for effective change! To learn more about the programs and services we offer, contact our Client Care Team here or call (206) 219-0145. We look forward to hearing from you!