"Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living." Unknown
You may recognise this quote if you've been at one of my Resilience workshops, or from my blog last year about my husband’s MS and how it has impacted our lives. I wrote it straight from the heart, the words (and tears) flowing from years of putting a brave face on and never really showing my vulnerability, except with close friends. Sharing it was hard for me to do, but has been a huge turning point as it has connected me even more to my own experiences, the good and the bad, the joys and laughter as well as the fears and sadness.
On a recent family holiday, my resilience was challenged again. As well as many lighter moments of laughter and fun, the harsh and cruel realities of Alan’s illness were in full force. He has very limited mobility, severe fatigue, pain, and lots of other debilitating symptoms which affect him every day. I’m passionate about supporting him to lead a fulfilled and happy life, and most of the time it comes naturally for me to have a positive, optimistic attitude. It's helped a lot by Alan's amazing positivity and resilience. And sometimes I have to accept that there are compromises and sacrifices, things that can’t be worked round.
I was frustrated and upset at times, when I didn’t have the strength to push his wheelchair, or the road was too bumpy or steep, despite my determination to help him get around so we could enjoy everything we wanted to do as a family. There were times when he was in pain, exhausted, or not able to walk much at all. Watching the man I love suffering on a daily basis can be so hard, but just being there for each other is a great comfort to both of us. It's also been amazing to learn Reiki to help Alan "recharge his batteries" (as he puts it!) and actually give some relief to these horrible symptoms.
Sometimes you just have to admit you need help. We were very fortunate to have the fantastic support of our family, both practical and emotional. It was the highlight of our holiday appreciating and accepting this, and just enjoying ourselves no matter what challenges came up.
While we were away I didn’t dwell on it too much as I was so present and in-the-moment. Since returning home, I've had the opportunity to reflect on it a bit more. Something has become clearer about my own resilience: being open and accepting the emotions and thoughts that come when difficult stuff happens helps me to ‘get back up again’. This realisation gently settled into place when I had more time on my own, and it felt like a really healthy thing to take the time to check in with myself. Noticing how I am responding to the situation without judgement and simply sitting with it gives me the freedom to let go, and somehow it feels like a healing process that flows naturally when you go through it with a state of openness and curiosity.
I believe there can be different levels of resilience at various times in our lives and being mindful and self-aware is critical to personal growth and wellbeing. This helps us to smooth out the bumps in life and still be in touch with reality. Ultimately, that's how we can thrive and live a fulfilled life.
Without exception, the clients I’ve worked with have found that they are stronger and more resourceful than they thought they were. A friend recently shared a clip about what it means to hold a space for someone. I found it really moving how much it emphasises the power of just being there and listening, sometimes in silence, and how this can empower others. And what a privilege it is for me to be able to do this on a daily basis.
Would you like to re-connect with your own resilience and feel empowered to work towards your goals? Complimentary consultations are extended to 45 minutes until the end of this month. This gives you an opportunity to explore your needs, experience coaching, and find out how I can support you. Please contact me for details.
Also check out my events page for workshops coming up soon.
I hope you can join us!