I have always said I was born and bred in chaos. I am the adult child of recovered alcoholics and have learned to get back in the saddle again and again throughout my 42 years on this planet. Although Hollywood isn’t calling for a movie deal on my life’s story, it wasn’t always easy. I find myself freaking out more about the little things I can’t control versus the potential impending catastrophe hurling my way.
My behavior got me thinking about the definition of resilience – the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties a toughness. (dictionary.com) The American Psychological Association identifies that resilience is the ability to adapt to stress and adversity. I have looked at being resilient as a coping mechanism, to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I think that was because until the age of 10 that was the way I was conditioned to live my life, I didn’t know any other way.
I am proud of my parents, they found peace with their addictions, and are actively working their sobriety programs for over 30 plus years. As a teenager my dad shared with me a saying that his dad shared with him “Never give up.” That phrase resonated, it stuck, and it is somewhat of a motto I live by today. My mom is an incredibly strong woman and has also taught me to journey on. Her story is amazing – rising out of a tough childhood situation and building a life, a family that she really didn’t have before. There is one thing I know about my parents today is that - they get it done. They are made of tough stuff. I am proud to be their daughter.
My mom and dad have taught me about forgiveness and about coming back stronger than ever. They aren’t perfect and nor am I. I think it is important to embrace the humanness we all have. Now that I am a mother, I can understand love on a whole different level. I look at my son and now I see the why behind what my parents have done for me.
My current challenge is to shift the paradigm of failure. One of the ways to build resilience is to create a lens that failure is feedback, an opportunity to learn, make changes and proceed on.
At the barn one of our common phrases is “Proceeding On…” – it means we are moving forward even though it is hard, we are sad or mad. The horses show us how to be real, how to embrace our current reality, how to shake it off and move on. They teach us how to let go and be.
For more information on building resilience here is a great article: