Strength & Resilience

Strength & Resilience

Strength & Resilience

Once upon a time thinking about these two words would’ve seen me picturing a man in the armed forces.  Head held high, muscles bulging, sweaty yet exhilarated from the recent task he had navigated and defeated.  Well that would’ve been several decades ago and, thankfully, more recent years have allowed us to, firstly, visualise a woman in that position just as much as a man but the sphere of these two words has broadened dramatically in recent times.

For many years now, when I think of strength and resilience, I believe they are perfect partners who who don’t always show up at the same party at the same time. Yet each of them relies on the other and, when present together, quite astonishing things happen.

Take a look at these two little poppets.  One is my daughter, the other, one of her first friends at Infant school.  This photo is nearly 13 years old and shows two little girls doing exactly what they should be doing – having fun in each other’s company and getting super excited about an ice cream sundae.  Life for them both stayed that happy and content for a couple of years more.  Then things changed for them both…

Bullying at school, not quite fitting in, being on the edge of what was going on.  All these things when children are young have such a negative bearing on their self esteem and worth and can, in some circumstances, lead to more serious effects.  Their lives went very different ways yet had a deep rooted and common thread which involved serious mental health challenges, medication, therapy, lack of support, great support and sadly tragedy.  These little 5 year olds had no idea what was lying ahead of them but, with innate strength and determination, despite the terrible twists and turns many of us will fortunately never face in life, they mastered resilience. 

Now these two adults draw upon both qualities to keep themselves on track and happy.  They are both sharing lives with people who love them, are doing their best work and most of all are incredibly empathetic and accepting angels who always try to see the best in everyone.

Be like these two…. I know I am trying to be.

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