The See Saw of Resilience
A Short piece written by one of our team – Serena McCarthy
Do you remember playing on a see saw as a child? Bouncing up, and landing with a thud. It was thrilling to be bounced up and down and to soar and fall. I also remember feeling very glad to get off the see saw and back on to solid ground. It may have helped that I was usually greeted by my family with a 99.
Life can sometimes feel like that as external forces throw us up and down and to be brutally honest sometimes I just want to get off and need ice cream to make it better.
I also remember getting older and learning that the closer to the middle you were, the less you were thrown around. The ups and downs impacted you less. You were less effected by the up and down motion. I want to do that with my life events. Is there a way that events can be moved to the centre and then dealt with in a more stable moment?
Strategies that build resilience then, give us the ability to take an event or circumstance and to nudge it closer to the centre of the see saw so that its impact on our life is lessened and our healing time is sped up.
Removing the word ‘should’ is a great way to increase your resilience. If we remember that there are no guarantees in life and we are not owed or promised anything then this will nudge the negatives to the centre of our see saw giving us hope that they won’t impact us forever.
“She should have loved me forever, because she hasn’t I am unlovable.” The fact is that she didn’t – when we remove that kind expectation from someone it releases us to see this as a sad moment, not a final statement on our worth or value.
“I worked really hard that should have been better, easier, more successful. There is a problem with me because this should have been different”
-There is always a time to review a project or situation that has been negative but the fact is that tough things happen even when we are working really hard. The should in this situation reduces our resilience and focusses the blame on ourselves. Removing the should and saying like something like “This project didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I have learned a valuable lesson. Next time I will try and…”
I have begun to see life as a see saw, in constant motion, ups and downs. Most things that happen to us are outside of our control. They can have a positive and negative on our mood and our resilience is certainly impacted by them. By removing the should we manage our expectations and increase our resilience.