Monthly Musing – October 2015 – Resilience
It’s often said
that in times of despair we are able to draw upon a reserve of strength that
will carry us through the darker days.
Recently we have seen news articles showing just that – people who are
prepared to leave their homes and families to try to find a better, safer
life. We’ve seen TV footage of refugees
fighting for their places on trains taking them to places that they don’t know
simply because the idea of staying where they are is too awful to
“despair” you can also read illness, bereavement, fear or any one of those
situations which make you feel as if the sunlight has been eclipsed from life
and will never return. We’ve all had
times like these in our lives and yet to a greater or lesser extent we have all
picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and faced the world again, sometimes
more wary and sometimes braver and stronger.
So where does this reserve of strength come from? What is it that makes
some people get out of bed and carry on whilst others go into a decline? Who chooses who has that strength and for
whom the circumstances of their lives become too much?
For some, it’s
unquestionably a gift from God, but what about those who don’t believe? A lack of faith doesn’t preclude them from
being as strong as anybody else, and whilst they may not have the same belief
that they are not alone in facing their dark days, it doesn’t necessarily stop
them from turning their faces to find the sun.
Perhaps it’s our determination not to let our families or ourselves
down. Perhaps it’s an unshakeable
feeling that there is something better just over the horizon. Perhaps, no matter how pessimistic the
outlook, we are all hard-wired with an optimism that doesn’t allow us to
believe that we can fail. Perhaps it’s
just how some families are.
My husband was
talking to someone recently who said that we all “create the weather for our
children”, meaning that our outlook on life helps to form their outlook on life. Isn’t that a lovely expression? I look at my own parents and I see people who
stood up to fight personal adversity, not hide away in a corner. I see people who would not be stopped by
what life threw at them, and were determined to make the best of the time that
they had. I see people who were brave at
times when I don’t know if I would be so brave myself. For them, the outlook might have been gloomy
from time to time, but they were the type of people who didn’t avoid the
showers but learned to dance in the rain.
It’s not until
we come to reflect on our personal weather forecast that we realise that we
have a choice, for our families and ourselves.
Who chooses who has the strength to get up and carry on? We do.
In memory of my