Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. This trait is a key aspect that I believe all women possess.
This past year has been a journey for me into unexpected territory. For awhile I was calling it the year of tears because I can safely say I have cried more over the past 12 months than I have ever cried in my life. However, I am now rebranding 2017 as the year of resilience.
Resilience and faith in my ability to cope with whatever life throws my way has helped me to journey through a year full of harsh surprises, heartbreak, physical and emotional abuse and injury while still hanging on to an overall positive outlook on life.
A significant part of life is not what happens to you but how you choose to view it. I have learned from experience this year that the mind is a powerful thing and the more positive and healthy you can stay mentally, the more resilience you will gain. Through therapy, support groups and sharing with those I admire most I have been able start to acquiring the strategies I need to cope with the challenges I encounter, whether they be sexual assault or a rear ender. Everyday I am becoming a stronger person who is able to look within myself, listen to my intuition and place value on my own strength.
A few weeks ago, as part of a Christmas giveaway, one of my favourite companies MantraBand asked it’s Facebook followers to answer the question: what is something that was hard to do, but you did it anyway?
This question prompted me to spend time reflecting on my year and how far I have come. All of a sudden I found myself sitting on the bus pouring out my soul in the comments section. It felt good to speak my truth and look back on the hard work I had done and the strength I had shown.
People are always telling me how strong I am and how I can get through anything but I never truly felt my own strength until reading the words I wrote in that comments section. Writing out my journey and reflecting upon my progress has helped remind me of my ability to bounce back and believe in the good the life has to offer me. My answer to MantraBand’s prompt:
Finding myself again after falling deeply in love with an abusive narcissist was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I was always a confident and happy person but the core of my being was slowly and strategically chipped away. I lived a year struggling to differentiate between what was real and what was fake and doubting what I knew to be the truth. I was taught to believe that what was happening to me was love and that I couldn’t cope on my own. Through the abuse I stood up for myself as best I could and slowly found myself again through the love of family and friends. This year has been one of the hardest of my life as I have had to overcome anxiety, depression, PTSD, rape and a very dark moment where I came very close to suicide. However I have come through it all and although everyday is another step on my healing journey I am here and I am discovering myself again and I love the woman I have become. She is strong and she is resilient. Everyday I wear your bands and one of your necklaces and they remind me that I am enough for me and I can rise to any challenge that life throws my way.
Although there has been a lot of learning over the past year there are still many things for me to learn, and that is what makes this journey so exciting and terrifying at the same time. You never know what each new day will bring.
One of the habits that has helped me to hold onto my positivity and joy, through one of the darkest periods of my life so far, has been mantras and so I go into 2018 wearing the sayings I hold near and dear on my body each day.
My mantras for 2018 courtesy of MantraBand:
1. You are enough.
You are strong enough, you are good enough.
Not because of anything you do or don’t, have or have not.
You just are, you are important, you are loved, you are enough.
2. Be present.
Be present, free of past and future, and enjoy this moment, that is filled with love, awareness, peace, and joy.
3. Smile, breathe, and go slowly.
These simple words are the foundation of a happy, calm, and fulfilled existence. Remember to focus on one thing at a time and give it your all. Stay calm, look on the bright side, and keep going. Because it’s all about the journey, not the destination.
4. She believed she could, so she did.
Let these words be your anchor and your reminder that you have the strength and the will to do what it takes. There is nothing that you can’t accomplish if you put your mind and heart to it. Always believe that you can, and you will.