Dr. Edith Eva Eger was only 16 years old when she was thrown into an Auschwitz concentration camp. Her Mother was instantly separated from her and sent to her death. Dr. Eger quotes her Mother when discussing how she survived the hell she suffered.
“No one can take away from you, what you put in your own mind.”
She survived Auschwitz and earned her Doctorate of Psychiatry with a career focused on Vietnam Veterans and understanding the impact of trauma. In a Goalcast Documentary, she asks the question: Why two men who came home as paraplegics could respond so differently? One resiliently moving forward, thankful to God for still being alive. The other, angry at God and devastated.
What is the difference between these two men? Is resiliency a matter of controlling what we put into our mind?
Our team took time this week to talk about the power of resiliency. What does it mean to be resilient? What does it mean to thrive amid chaos? Which veteran are we: the one who rebounds or the one who retreats from life? Do different situations pull out different responses in each of us?
Like the geeks we are, the Google search wars began for the meaning of the words; for the synonyms and lessons in these words we use to describe life.
- Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions
- Able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed
- Origin: mid-17th century Latin, ‘leaping back.’
We then had to question, “What is the difference between resiliency and endurance?”
- The fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
- Origin: Late 15th century from Old French, ‘make hard’.
Words have such power. I ask myself the question: Has life taught me to be resilient or to endure? Am I “leaping back” or “made hard?” Which do I choose?
“No one can take away from me what I put into my mind.” As I approach 2021, I am challenging myself to look at 2020 with a resilient, open-minded, and learning mindset. What has been good about this year? How am I better because of it? What did this year create in terms of opportunities that I might have missed in a more predictable world?
What I choose to put into my mind about 2020:
- I had a home to live in while being quarantined.
- I didn’t have a plane crash into my house this year!
- Both my Mother and Mother-in-law are in safe places to provide for them during Alzheimer’s.
- Working with Darcy has taught me many great things and helped me Stretch to the next level.
- I’ve connected with old friends because I wasn’t on the go so much.
- I’ve spent more time with my dogs, Happy and Camper, than ever before.
- I’ve taken multiple on-line classes and joined a MasterMind group. Learning is Healing!
My list goes on and on. I am getting ready and planning for 2021, excited about opportunities to use my new levels of resilience. I hope you are, too.