Sunday, May 21, 2017


             "Resilience is bouncing back
                   from personal adversity."
                                     Option B- Sheryl Sandberg     

I really don't know where to start. It seems like forever since I have written on this blog. And so, so much has happened.

In the midst of a very busy quarter, and planning for a huge Spring Communication Conference at the college, I realized that I had committed to do a talk at the conference. Granted, I do a talk at every conference, yet this time it was about a topic that wasn't a topic I generally am asked to speak on. Comfortable topics abound. Conflict Management- check. I teach a class on it and love sharing about it. Gender Communication-check. Same scenario.

Yet this time I was asked to speak on Resilience...
a topic I knew very little about from an academic perspective. I was a new learner when it came to the topic of resilience.

Yet God always has a way, doesn't He! He knows what I need to know before I even know I need to know it.

When I was asked to speak on resilience, by a group of college students, amazingly I was smack dab in the middle of reading Sheryl Sandberg's amazing book:

         Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience,
        and Finding Joy.       

I was simultaneously reading another book about The Science of Happiness that had a major section on resilience.

After starting both books I could hardly breathe since the topic was so close to home, so close to my heart. I remember saying to Bert, you know that resilience thing? You know how I have always thought of myself as resilient? Well, I pretty much have decided that I know nothing, or at least very little, about this topic. And I think it's fair to say that it is very important."

And then as God (not luck) would have it, students
honored me by asking me to talk about that which I need to learn.

Perfect! (and I am not being sarcastic here).

And so I read and talked and read and cried. I knew
there was so much I needed to learn, for my students, for the conference goers, for myself.

Here are just a few of  the things I took in and talked about at the conference:

1) Resilience is bouncing back from personal adversity.

2) There are several "myths" about resilience:

* Myth #1: People are either born resilient or not
born resilient. Resilience is personality based.
In truth, while some people have what we call
"resilient personalities," anyone can be taught to be more resilient.
* Myth#2: Only young strong people are resilient.
In truth, resilience is not age-dependent.

3) There are six tools to help you "grow" your resilience:
* Feel your grief, do not stuff your feelings.
* Have active optimism (where you not only think positively, but make a plan for how to achieve the result you want.)
* Positive self-talk 
* Finding support from others
* Get help from others-faith, counseling, journaling
* Reclaim your joy

I then talked about my resilience "role models"-
those dear folks who have taught me so much about resilience. 

They are:
Bert (my beloved hubby), 
Vicky Westra (my dear friend and soul sis), 
Mattie Stepanik, and 
my students at SCC.

I could hardly get through talking about both Bert and Vicky, and seeing their pictures on that huge screen, without falling apart. So I just let the tears flow.

I am not done learning about resilience, but I am so grateful to God for leading me in this direction. His mighty strength is what has held me up the past few weeks as the health of one of our dearies has been tested. His strength has held me up as I have heard about Vicky's latest medical procedure. 

And as I journal and pray and ask others to pray, I am reminded that even in the toughest adversities, I can build resilience and find joy because of His love!

God Bless!
Love, Linda

1 comment:

Vicky said...

I was led here, right here, to begin a little Monday morning "work" on gaining some stamina, and staying out of bed for as long as I can. The words I so needed to see! Being optimistic is one thing, but having a plan is what helps you hold yourself accountable to achieving some progress maybe, or even reaching a goal. I have no doubt, I could be a part of your class and learn so much from you. I do already. You are hands down one of my favorite teachers and I love that the tears flow and you just keep on going. I'm beyond honored and humbled you'd share about me- and that you used Bert, and Mattie, too!

My prayers continue for your family, and am so happy to have started this week off with this treasure from you!

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