Resiliency, Endings, Laughter and Scariness

In numerological terms 2016 is a 9 year – a year of closure and letting go of the past so that you can make room for the present and the future. Apparently unhelpful friends should be avoided and bad habits should be dropped. Study, contemplation and travel are meant to be favourable during this time.

It certainly has been a year of endings for me – some major life changes, challenges and endings did occur. If someone had told me 18 months ago what would happen in my life over the next 18 months I would have just laughed at them. I did study a bit – Quantum Energy Coaching (QEC), I had some wonderful bucket list holidays and have had plenty of time to contemplate as I seem to have lost the ability to sleep.

I have contemplated resiliency quite a bit. Rod Warner from the Building Reliance Group has done research on how people deal with adversity and in his article explains 7 Building Resiliency Principles.

  • Connect to your purpose and meaning in life
  • Use your unique strengths
  • Maintain perspective
  • Generate positive feelings
  • Be realistically optimistic
  • Persevere by being open minded and flexible
  • Reach out to others

I certainly have used these principles for myself and was doing pretty well – I have had a lot of fun restructuring my life, jumping out of my comfort zone, making decisions, and was feeling excited and positive about my future.

But then one change too many, in too short a time, happened and I ran out of emotional energy. In September my dad was diagnosed with cancer and has subsequently also had a very minor stroke due to the treatment he was having. I lost perspective, could generate no positive feelings, was not optimistic and had no idea who to reach out to. I hugely resisted it – in my mind my dad was meant to stay healthy to look after my mom who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year. I did not want to worry about two frail parents living in a different city. I did not want to have to go visit regularly and spend time in the retirement village with two people who are no longer who they used to be. I very selfishly just wanted to get on and live my newly restructured life.

But we do what we have to do, and in the process someone always comes along to support and impart very necessary information, we learn who to reach out to, we use our strengths, we persevere and we gain perspective.

I am still resisting the situation a bit but have explored what lessons I have learnt in the past few months. The first is that I have realised that I am not the reincarnation of Florence Nightingale. The second is that it is not a good idea to lose your temper (and have a rant about human decency and karma) with one of Gauteng’s large and corrupt traffic officers who is trying to intimidate you into paying a bribe. I had a couple of incidences with intruders on my property in the middle of the year and neither the traffic officer nor the intruders seemed to find me very scary. The third lesson is that it is absolutely vital to continue laughing, connect to your inner child, not to take yourself or life too seriously, and be grateful for all you have in your life.

I then looked for the positives in the situation – on my few trips up to Joburg I noticed wonderful and random acts of kindness and care between our different cultures. I was impressed by the care of the nurses, the concern of a young air steward who could see I was taking strain and every time he walked past me gave my shoulder a squeeze, I saw men helping women with suitcases, old people supporting each other, and I noticed a general sense of connectedness and warmth between strangers. It made me feel more positive about our wonderful country.

I wish you all a restful ending to 2016 – we have ten more days left to drop bad habits – and I need to find out how to increase my scariness factor.