So the Giants won the SuperBowl. Oh what a game it was. What a night it was. My late husband was watching over them. I knew if he got them to that big game, that final test of greatness, that he would help them win it all. Yes, he helped Eli Manning escape the hold on his jersey. The Patriots couldn’t hold him back. And he helped Tyree catch the incredible catch of the day in those last few minutes. I know my late husband watched down over those big husky players and directed each of their winning plays.
I so wanted him to be here with me to celebrate his team’s success. I jumped up and down. I cried. I screamed. It was such an unbelievable win.
The word resiliency strikes a cord.
Resiliency. It is fitting that the word used to describe this winning team that rewrote history is the word resiliency. The team that was a wild card. the team that everyone thought would not beat the perfect Patriots, the ‘resilient’ Giants did it, they did it.
Resiliency. It’s also a fitting word to describe my family’s life this past year. My late husband was resilient. He fought an incredible fight the last six months of his life and he bounced back continually after each infection, after each battle, after each crisis, until he couldn’t fight the good fight anymore. Then he passed on that strength to his favorite football team, to his Giants to help them get to the championship finish line, to win the SuperBowl (and he passed on some strength to me too and to my kids as well).
Resiliency. It is the attribute that I need right now. Am I as resilient as that Giant team, that Giant team that rewrote history yesterday. I don’t know. Maybe I could be if I tried really hard. Maybe I could be resilient. I know my late husband would want me to be resilient.
How to emerge stronger after loss
As Sally Harvey from UC Davis says: ‘”Resiliency is the ability to face horror, tragedy and loss, and to not only continue, but in many cases to emerge with new strength and wisdom. It is the ability of an object to regain its shape after compression or stretching.”
I’ve faced tragedy and loss and I’ve been stretched and compressed. Now I have to work on emerging with new strength and new wisdom. It’s going to take time. Time to rewrite my future. Time to be like the Giants. Time to execute my plan to attain my own SuperBowl in life. And like Eli Manning, once I do it I’ll want to do it again and again.
So what is it I have to do to be a resilient person?
Here’s what SH Harvey says. I like what Harvey has to say. He says that:
– The resilient person says I can and I will rather than I can’t or won’t.
– The resilient person sees change and misfortune as challenges to be met rather than as insoluble problems.
– The resilient person welcomes the future rather than wishing for the past.
– The resilient person doesn’t bounce directly from tragedy to optimism, they must go through the process of recognizing and acknowledging their feelings and work through them in order to move on to what needs to be done.
– The resilient person is very good at recognizing and accepting problems; analyzing problems; defining options to resolve the problem; choosing the ultimate solution; and implementing the solution.
The good thing is these skills can be learned. (So glad these skills can be learned. I have a lot of learning to do. Better sharpen my pencils, ‘m going to need an entire box of #2s for all that learning that I’m going to do.)
Tips for becoming resilient after loss.
But where do I start? How do I start to be more resilient. Luckily Harvey has more tips for me. Harvey says:
1. Do not stop at either/or options. Any problem has numerous solutions. Get them down on paper and do not judge them in the first rebound. (I like this suggestion. It is good for me to write things down especially with my memory lapses.)
2. Focus on the choices you have, not only the ones you cannot control, e.g. following the breakup of a relationship we often focus on how to get the mate back rather than how to take care of self. (Well Harvey, I don’t think my mate is coming back. Nope. I can’t get my mate back so I better learn how to take care of myself, my WHOLE self.)
3. Remember that no matter how painful the crisis, there is something to be learned that will help you to cope better and rebound faster another time. (I realize that I am learning from this crisis. It is really painful so it’s a good thing I’ve always wanted to be a life-long learner or this would be even more painful. Ouch!)
4. Take care of yourself with diet, exercise and time for friends, family and fun. It is difficult to bounce back with a body and mind that are too worn out to function. (I better get to sleep I have a lot of work ahead of me to be resilient. It’s going to take some time. I think I’m up to the task. Where are those rubberbands? I’ll show those rubberbands what resiliency is all about. Time to stretch but first I need some sleep.)