The funny thing about resilience is how clueless we are about what it actually means. It’s like that snooze button on the alarm clock. We keep hitting it, delaying our day by 10 minutes at a time. We think we’ll find the strength to get out of our warm blanket finally and make up for lost time but 11 times out of 10 we end up being late. No amount of kicking ourselves can actually make up for the lost time. We end the day cursing ourselves that even though we made it through the day, we could’ve done so much more if only we’d have left the comfort of that blanket in time. We sleep making a promise not to repeat this shithousery next morning and yet there we go again the next day with the same hit-snooze-and-curse-yourself-later routine.
Resilience according to us works the same way. We’re being punched in the guts and yet somehow think we can take it a bit more without the need to course correct. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right? So as long as the punches aren’t of the KO variety, inaction is the best action. We sort of become comfortable under the shower punches that’s hitting us from all sides. The pity and sympathy we get acts like that warm blanket we never want to get rid of. This state has its own concessions. We’re not judged due to our personal battles, the expectations others have from us are nonexistent at best and low at worst. No one bothers holding us accountable, because hey! Don’t you see we’re already overburdened? We’ve grown to convince ourselves that fear, or plain laziness, is what is misunderstood as Resilience. In all of this we don’t ever realize the abyss we’re falling in, and how we’re closing the window of any hope to pull ourselves out of this. It could well be hilarious had it not been such a horror story of misery.
Resilience isn’t taking in punches without questioning the status quo because it brings with it some comfort that seems like a blessing in the storm. Resilience is me working on a plan to stop these punches once and for all, while taking some, avoiding some, and blocking some. Resilience is working on myself with a plan that shows improvement when executed and is independent of all the hardships I’m going through. Resilience is not accepting all the bullshit that is happening around me, yet trying to make sense out of it all and figuring out a way to make my next moment better than my present one and incomparable to the one before that. Resilience is pushing away the pity and sympathy of my well wishers and holding THEM responsible for pampering me to the point of making me a weakling. Resilience is me turning MY life story around – bruised, bandaged, battered, but a boisterous tale of victory against all odds.
It’s a no brainer what we need to do. The short term pain vs the tremendous long term benefits this turn around can bring is incomparable. All we need to do is just stop thinking about the warmth of the blanket or worrying about the coldness of the floor when we first step on it or the water when it splashes our face. Instead try to imagine the freshness of the early morning that awaits us, and the convenience of all the time we can have at our disposal. The first thing in turning it around is making this a habit, these tiny acts of rebellion that we do against our own inertia. This is how it starts and true resilience surfaces. It then becomes a mission to take on even bigger challenges, with more risks and rewards and this habit becomes an obsession until we’re no longer at the mercy of the false comfort inducing punches but can really take the battle to the enemy. It is that sweet culmination that brings its own satisfaction and rewards. The key is to count the small joys you get out of your rebellion and plan for bigger ones. No one will promise you the turn-around in a day.
It might be gradual, but it will be bloody glorious.