Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia (n). The quality of being persistent; steady or firm adherence to or continuance in state, course of action, or pursuit that has been entered upon; especially (of persons), a more or less obstinate perserverance; perserverance notwithstanding opposition, warning, remonstrane, etc.
Given that the words stubborn and obstinate are often used negatively by parents and others when we are children it is interesting to note that in fact they are positive traits and, in my opinion, lead to resilience later in life. This week along with a colleague I supported a young girl aged eleven who had lost all sense of resilience and was no longer able to "tough it out". She had literally shut herself down. Spending the day with her at the hospital and seing her slowly come back to engaging and making contact with others was someting I will not forget.
I found myself remembering an earlier time in my life when I had attempted suicide - I was nineteen at the time. The suicide attempt was a culmination of loss and self loathing from being raped three years earlier. Working in the theatre an older man tried the same thing, he was not successful but I shut down. Was this all I was to the world? Dying seemed like the best choice and yet, underneath I didn't want to. I wanted to survive and I called for help. The human sense of perseverance, reslience, our will to survive is greater than the acts which seek to destroy, stamp out, suppress and oppress.
At fifty five - birthday this past week - I am surprised how much the memory and impact of the rape still has on me. That tears still well up as I rember saying please stop and feeling so defenceless. Yet, my will to survive and triumph far surpasses that experience. The story that I tell myself - the stories that we tell ourselves are the stories that make things happen differently or the same.
This journey, is the opportunity to change the story to rejoice in resilience, in stubbornness in obstinacy and re-name them tenacity, perseverance, strength. An opportunity to recognise the courses of action as a path to a better destiny, one that is fulfilling, meeting the needs of our soul and rejoicing in who we are - each and every one, each and every day. In the words of George Elliot "It's never too late to become the person you might have been."
There may be historical events in your past which are too horrible to think about. If these events are constantly in your thoughts, it is time to get help and stop permitting the past to be the story of the future.
Exercise - Positive re-naming
Create a keepsake box - see http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-make-a-keepsake-box for instructions how to do this. Inside the box place index cards with happy and positive memories from your past or, if that is too hard, select positive messages and motivational sayings, photographs of how you wold like your life to unfold and put them in the box. When something good happens, however small, say thanks for that and write it down and put it in the box. Also post your thanks on http://thanksxamillion.blogspot.ca/ use your name or be anonymous.
Being satisfied that where I am right now, is where I am meant to be
Thankfullness for a birthday - even though this number was a challenge!
Two good 5k walks last weekend and another planned for tomorrow
Writing and recognizing I needed a break
Not getting to curves
Chocolate binges :-(
Feeling depleted after helping others and taking longer to recover