Another Element of Resilience
Separated parents raised me, and after a while, I was separated from my brother too. Although the rupture, I had love, the separation marked my entire life. I have read many documents about Resilience. I believe that I had identified all the elements in my childhood that helped me to become the woman that I am. To start Positive Psychology class and start with Resilience, I realized the connections between other variables to understand more the importance of this concept in our commitment as parents and workers at the companies to build better communities and a better society.
Always I knew that my parents loved me, but they were not affectionate. I belong to the middle-class family; my separated parents forever took care of my brother and me, giving us the basic needs. The kisses and hugs were few. My parents were serious, they never joke, and my mother exalted the discipline at home.
Despite their separation, they continued with good communication. My mother recalled us to write a letter, to call or to send a card for Father’s Day. My father used to live far away from us in another city. My parents never told us bad things about each other. My mother continued with the relationship with the political family, and I received love from them. Feeling loved by at least one person gives us another factor of Resilience, and I had them all.
When we are children, we need somebody to play. We understand the importance of discipline, but we miss a person who brings us the confidence to talk about our feelings and opinions. We need the freedom to express ourselves without judgment. That person was my godmother. She is still alive, she is a wonderful woman, and she has been present since I was born. She used to be an oasis among my days of loneliness. She always heard me. I could talk to her about different topics during my childhood and my adolescence. I used to be a shy girl, and I had two episodes of sexual assault, but I never told her. Nobody knew about that. To have at least a person to hear from you and have guidance contributes to having another element of Resilience.
Another remarkable woman was my grandmother from my mother. In adverse situations, she always said: “Every cloud has a silver lining.” When my brother passed away in a car accident, I heard my mother complaining about the phrase of my grandma, she asked her for kind, and comfortable words but grandma repeated her citation. It was the first time that my mother complained about her. On that occasion, I had no idea the deep meaning that the phrase was.
My grandmother on my father’s side was cardinal in my life. On Friday afternoon, and after I finished my homework, I could call her to announce my visit to pass the weekend, and she never refused it. She never said no, and she never showed me a signal of rejection. To arrive at her house, she received me with a big and long hug. She has no custom to hug, but I could hug her without restrictions. In the hug, I felt all her love for me. To feel loved, to have different demonstrations of affection, and to have a good relationship with our family gives us Resilience, and I received a lot of love.
When I was a little girl, unconsciously, I learned to take advantage of adverse situations. My father lived in Cartagena (a city on our North Coast in Colombia). From my parent’s separation, I remember my vacation in Cartagena, sharing excellent times with all my family. In my memories, I took the positive side of that situation, and it was a wonderful time with my uncles, aunts, and cousins. I used to travel to Cartagena for many years, and it gave me another way to learn, strengthen emotional ties to strengthen my Resilience.
When I was a girl, my mother was struggling, but we never were hungry. My mother was twice without employment in her entire life. Although she had no job, she was never defeated. From my mother, I learned her strength, her discipline, and her tenacity. She was very organized with her budget, knew how much she could spend, and always had the right balance in her savings account. My mother never complained; she was always a proactive person. She used to say: “God will provide,” and God all the time did it. She had a strong faith, and she transmitted her devotion to us. Her faith empowered her, felt strong, and noticed confidence. Besides, through her faith, she found the wisdom to solve any issue in her life. Attached to something larger helps us to develop our spirituality and give us Resilience.
On May 8, at work in our usual conference call to follow up, the pandemic, the chief operating officer, Martha Stuart Williams, reinforced that it was necessary to show more compassion and kindness for our coworkers and home health aides. In this time, when everybody is struggling with their adversity, it is imperative to give more humanity than before when we usually call them. She stressed that I was kind by nature, and she was grateful to me. I was very proud of myself for that distinction. Since more than ten years ago, I have been practicing to identify my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. My personal goal is to be aware of them and improve them every day.
I realized that to be grateful, to learn from adversity, and to practice mindfulness have helped me to raise my level of consciousness and to be aware of my responsibility in this world. Who I am today is the result of the mix from the different experiences in my life. I have learned from all the people who have been part of my life, and they helped me to build my Resilience. I got the filter from them the best thing from each one. To be kind, warm, and have the habit of seeing the positive side is my character and my fingerprints, and I am thankful for it.
After five decades and my experience in the education and health field, I reinforce the importance of Resilience. Learning and applying this concept is essential to raise healthy children and society. The parents have the responsibility to build strong bonds and relationships. The family helps us to enhance our abilities when we are children or even sink us, hence the importance of conceiving children with love. Since babies, they need to feel the love and to receive the necessary care to be healthy. Also, it is vital to have unambiguous communication with them.
The work of teachers is essential. In several cases, the teacher becomes the only person to give support and guidance to the students. We could avoid many cases of infant abuse and be suicidal if they would have a person to receive Resilience.
Also, over the phone or in-person, you can develop the ability to hear and understand the other person. You can become a resilient person when you show kindness, and you can be that person who provides Resilience for your heart. Your sense of humor and ability to look for different options for solving a problem will help your clients or patients feel better. We can all develop the ability to see the positive side of life, for the benefit of others and our enrichment as human beings. This real thing will contribute one more element of Resilience.