This image really struck me as the tree seems to be thriving, despite its very precarious home! Some people also seem to be able to bounce back from difficult situations with no trouble at all, for most of us though, it is much more challenging.
Building resilience is a big theme in psychotherapy, we work with clients who may have have suffered difficult and challenging events in life. As a result they may have lost the ability to cope and ultimately their trust in the world and others. Their ‘Inner Critical’ voice may be unduly harsh, undermining self confidence and making them withdraw.
So how do we develop our resilience and restore our ability to cope?
Put simply, it is a slow and very gentle process; we notice the language we use with ourselves, softening our attitudes and giving ourselves a break. We listen to our needs and act on what and who makes us feel good and supported.
Slowly we can emerge from this dark place and step by step, day by day find a way through. In a way building resilience is not about building strength, is it about building flexibility and self acceptance of our vulnerability.
Instead of saying to ourselves, “Its time to pull yourself together”, its about saying “You have been in tough places before and it has passed, the time will come again, let’s hang on in there!”. Resilience is about knowing your qualities and strengths and calling on them when you need them.
Being in counselling can help with this enormously as we work to remind our clients of their inner grit and ability to overcome, alongside supporting them to keep going.
In the words of Pink Martini
“You gotta hold on, hold on through the night
hang on things will be alright
even when it’s dark
and not a bit of sparkling
sing-song sunshine from above
spreading rays of sunny love”