Resilience. When I looked up this somewhat unfamiliar word it said : the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. An ability to adjust easily to misfortune or change. Toughness.
I've often heard people talk about children being resilient. From my personal childhood experiences, this seems very true to me. Children seem to hold an incredible capacity to adapt situations. The opposite would be hard to handle since as kids, we ar not often given choices. Whether our family moves to a new city and we have to follow and learn to make new friends, whether our parents get divorced and we have to accept the new dynamic it involves, whether we lose a parent or a sibling at a young age and we have to carry on through life, children often have the capacity to move on. It doesn't mean wounds are healed and no trauma will challenge them later in life but in the moment, they have the capacity to keep going.
I never really thought about it but twenty years into my mother's death and I can get the feel of how resilient I was as a young teenager. Surrendering myself to life and its teachings. Covering my skin and heart with a coat of toughness so I could laugh again.
I don't know if I was born to be tough because I had chosen a path this life that would bring challenges. I don't know if I became tough. I even didn't really know myself that I was being tough. But life keeps on teaching great lessons and when I think about it, I realize that all Women hold an amazing amount of resilience within themselves. I am so deeply humbled by women's strength despite the obsolete ideas our society sometimes try to instill. How resilient is a Woman who gave birth to her child. How resilient is a Woman who smiles and cries as she holds her baby and forget in the instant all about the hours of painful laboring and pushing. How resilient is a Woman who had to have her belly open in order to let her baby into this life and yet cries tears of pure joy as she hold this precious life she's created. How resilient is a woman facing miscarriages, trying again. How tough are we.
When I waved my man good-bye last fall at the airport, holding our boy in tears while his baby sister was napping in the stroller not knowing her papa was leaving for at least four month, I wasn't sure how I was going to make it. I wasn't sure I would have the strength it required to care for our babies on my own. I realized I had told him that I would survive but all in a sudden I was doubting myself. Our families live on the other side of the planet. I really was on my own. When he went through the gate and we had to stop waving at him, it was dark outside. I had to get ourselves into the car and drive away holding my own tears back. I wasn't aware of what would happen then. Resilience. It kicked right in. Like a best friend knocking on the door, unexpected. We had made a conscious choice. Life had given us an opportunity to grow and move forward. Everything felt right. We were where we were supposed to be and life had already taught me that through the biggest challenges, we could grow tremendously. From this day on, I did not think about how long it was going to be, such thoughts would have been the doorway to being miserable for months. I lived one day at a time, one week at a time. It was hard. Exhaustion truly was a bitch that took me down a few times, wondering how I would make it through the day. Resilience had my back. I shed tears more than once. I tried to reach out to friends which was something new for me but I realized that people had no idea what I was going through. We all get busy. This itself was a great life lesson. I had no other choice than being tough. With everyday that went by I felt more empowered than the day before. I allowed myself to feel proud. I allowed myself to stand up for me and my kids. I allowed myself to cry. I allowed myself to embrace my imperfections. I allowed myself to be unapologetic for being who I am because I knew I was where I was supposed to be, being a Mother and being the best I could be at it. Being spontaneously so resilient helped me navigate one of the loneliest time in my life. The Holiday season wasn't easy to navigate on my own. Waking up on Christmas day was tough. But again, day after day I was able to see the beauty in all of it. Day after day my faith kept growing. And while some may hear this as some kind of hippie-woo-hoo talk, our angels have given me the extra strength I needed, every time I needed it.
It was a profound experience. One I was meant to live to realize how strong of a woman I am. We make choices in our life everyday. We have the power to shape our reality through our decisions and through our thoughts. Cultivate negativity and you will have to carry heavy weights on your shoulders on top of everything else. Cultivate positive energies and life will keep on amazing you everyday. I allow myself to feel weak some days. I allow myself to be withdrawn from social circles sometimes so I can funnel my energy where I need it most. I allow myself to have one on one time with my own thoughts to keep track of what's happening up there. I have learnt to acknowledge resilience as a friend so I can make space for it in my life when I need it.
Our man is home as I am writing. I am slowly gaining some weight again. I get to take shower for more than 2 minutes at a time. I get to sit and eat diner. I even got to go windsurfing on my own yesterday. I have learnt to be grateful everyday for the littlest details that make life so yummy.
He will go away again, sooner than I'd like but this is our reality right now. The one we chose. I am a Mother. He is a hard working Father. We are going to laugh and cry and laugh and cry. But every time our children burst into laughter, I know we must be doing some things right.