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Showing resilience in 2020

Reslience

We hear a lot about the importance of resiliency these days; a pandemic makes you think about such things.  I have long been interested in the factors that make one person resilient and the next person fragile, when confronted with the same life stresses, so the recent public focus on resiliency has been a subject I’ve followed.  Once you start to look, you can find examples of resiliency everywhere.

On November 22, 2020 I snapped this photo while looking out the window at my home office:

resilience winter

While I knew winter wasn’t here to stay permanently, it sure looked like we had seen the last of the flowering plants for the season……except that I couldn’t have been more wrong!

On November 28, 2020, a resilient pansy reminded me that you shouldn’t count out the little guy too soon:

resilience flower

This flower is a pansy.  For some reason, pansy has become a pejorative term to refer to someone who is weak, or a sissy, or afraid to take risks.  The Urban Dictionary says pansy refers to one who lacks courage or one who backs down from a challenge.  After seeing this beautiful bloom, a week after that cold and snow, I now know there couldn’t be an insult that is more off base.  By mid-December, there were several more blooms that had sprouted, notwithstanding the weather has been well below freezing each night.

All of this made me reflect on my own clients and how well most have generally fared during this pandemic.   It got me wondering why?  If you accept that resiliency comes from dealing, successfully, with hardship and strife, it starts to make sense to me.  For many of my clients, pandemic or not, how much worse could it really be?  Many are already isolated and cut off from their friends and former workplaces.  Many are already confronting financial pressure, being unable to work at their old jobs.  They have already been dealing with many of the challenges that the rest of society was oblivious to, prior to the pandemic.  To be sure, it has been hard to have massage therapy, or physiotherapy, or even surgeries canceled, but for the most part, my clients have been able to take it in stride, often better than others in society who weren’t facing their struggles.

I have come to believe that my clients’ struggles, pre-pandemic, gave them the tools needed to survive these very strange times.  Through their personal hardship, the pandemic restrictions have actually been less awful, not more awful.

So – to all the pansies out there:  Go and conquer the world.  You are our leaders and we need you to show us the way forward.

Andrew Murray

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