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In the name of Resilience; “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”
Nature amazes me. When I am pulling weeds in the garden and struggling with deep strong roots; when I discover a seed finding itself a little resting place and claiming the opportunity to grow; or every Spring that I am blessed enough to witness the revival of life, I am struck and mesmerized by the power of resilience. But it seems that the more nature tries to show us the way, the more we press our eyes shut in denial. Gratefully not always though and not all of us.
I was 10 when the revolution happened in Iran. Overnight I experienced changing from shorts and mini-skirts to “ hijab” and overall covers. It was like waking up to a very different dream on a different planet. Choices were limited for a 10 year old whose private Catholic school was now a public school, all the nuns having chased out of the country. A fast forward of blending and adapting. Hardly time to get your head out of the water and breathe. The change in my social network, in my family and friends was radical. Like a musical singing a wake up call louder and louder. But would anyone wake up?!
I started fasting 16 hour days in the heat of Summer. I covered up in “Chador”. I stayed up all night during the months of Mohharam and Ramadan as it was dictated by religion to pray to Allah for forgiveness of the guilts a 10 year old had not even committed. Our once professionally maintained pool turned into a fish pond growing algae. The gardener that cared for a manicured yard with fruit trees and rose collections was fired and substituted with weeds of neglect. No break: War started. How would life change? What’s the best response? Adapt? Fall Apart? or Arise?
Falling apart was almost never an option for me. I have all my life been a student of curious observation and choice. Falling apart closed the door to future options and I had enough reminders of taking that path around me. Adaptation, offered a temporary sense of security and chance of survival. But the end of that alley was not a place my spirit could rest at. I didn’t know what makes the elastic band be stretched so so far and yet pull itself back together but I sure had its qualities in me! I chose to recover and grow through every bend in the road, to jump higher as the blocks were raised and and to stand up taller every time my roots were axed down. Resilience was the answer. Believing that one can always make the choice, to take the chance and create a change. I lived and breathed “resilience” and not only did I survive but I managed to be the pathfinder to many who didn't believe “ it’s possible”.
Yes! It is possible. It IS possible to learn resilience. It IS possible to change one’s brain chemistry. It IS possible to develop new ways for the body to respond to change and to stressors. It IS possible to become who you want to become! The yellow brick road seems to be scary and un-passable but the rewards of the adventure are invaluable. The secret key is already in your hand. If only you crack the door open…..