Nine Lives

Nine imageIt is believed that cats have nine lives because they supposedly always land on their feet.  This myth has been applied to humans too especially when they have cheated death.  However, this phrase can also be utilized when a person survives some other type of catastrophe i.e. loss of job, divorce, death in the family, etc.

What makes some appear to have nine lives and others just don’t?  A lot of it has to do with resiliency.  Not everyone can recover quickly from change especially if it is monumental.  Those that seem to be more resilient than others seem to have some similar characteristics. One characteristic is that they find an outlet that they are passionate about and can “lose themselves”.  Usually it is something creative like painting, or in my case, theater.  For others it might be more meditative like yoga or tai chi.  Regardless, this activity serves several purposes – it is a time for you to focus on yourself and it is something to look forward to each time you are scheduled to do this activity.

Another distinction is that resilient people tend to be positive even in the face of dire circumstances.  They remain upbeat even when things are at their worst.  They remind themselves that others are in worse situations than themselves and they realize that they will get through it.  They have a “never give up” attitude and find ways to move forward.  They usually are religious and/or spiritual and recognize that some things are out of their control; they assure themselves that they will get through it.  They fully understand that after every big setback is an even bigger transformation, and each difficulty they face is a stepping stone to a transformation.

Helping others is another characteristic of resilient people.  Even though they may be burdened with their issues, they still find a way to assist others less fortunate.  By coming to the aid of others, it makes them feel good about themselves and also that there is a ray of hope for others that may have not been there before.

Although resilient people face a lot of their challenges on their own, they also have a good support system.  It may be just one person but that person serves as their sounding board, motivator, and champion.  These supporters do not pass judgment but are there to assist in finding solutions and offering help when needed.

Lastly, change is scary and when it happens suddenly, it is imperative to face the fear.  Resilient people may admit that they are scared but then they deal with it head on.  They put that emotion to the side and start to devise a plan on how to deal with it.  By having small successes on this journey, they become more confident and their resiliency grows.  This serves them well when the next thing comes along.