I’ve recently found myself being tested on my resilience as both a business owner and as a human. And if you know me even a little, you’ll know that I don’t particularly differentiate between the two anyway, because we’re all human 100% of the time, regardless of whether we’re at work or not. We don’t suddenly change species when we cross the threshold into the office!
Anyway, slight tangent. Back to my point…
Resilience is something that I’ve noticed to be a key part of my daughter’s mainstream school education. I don’t recall this being something I was taught at primary school, but then I may not have been aware of it. However, it now seems to be part of the early years curriculum. In some ways this is wonderful, but in other ways it saddens me that we even need to teach children this at all.
As a child, I grew up in a World where society taught me that I was wrong. From an age as early as I can remember, I always liked boys. But the general consensus in the 80s and 90s was that this was something to be ashamed of. Particularly coming off the back of the AIDS crisis. When you have this engrained in you, it doesn’t matter how much your logical mind tells you it’s nonsense, or how much you’ve worked on your resilience, your subconscious mind still resonates with that scared little child.
Throughout my adult years I’ve battled with confidence, acceptance and people-pleasing, as well as defensiveness, aggression and being over-opinionated. All of these are reactions that come from my fearful inner child. A child that was never safe to be himself. I’ve been bullied both as a child and as an adult, and there are even times that I’ve been the bully too. Again, all symptoms of not feeling safe and accepted as a child. And believe me, none of the actions have ever gotten me anywhere I want to be.
There have been various incidents throughout my adult life where my inner child has been triggered. From judgey family members at my wedding and a best friend turning their back on me, to negative comments on Facebook or people no-showing to a commitment, and everything in between. I often find I spend a lot of my time feeling misunderstood and/or wondering why people can be so disrespectful. And that shit keeps me awake at night!
Now I’m great at preaching “What other people think of you is none of your business”, “Don’t take it personally” and “That’s just their shit”…but that doesn’t stop me from feeling triggered or upset, and then seeking to either fix it in favour of the other person, or challenge it to my own detriment. I have really strong morals and bucket loads of integrity, which often leaves my standards so high that I just seem to set myself up for constant disappointment. I clearly have too greater expectations of others.
Perhaps if I were to have been taught resilience as a child, I may be a little less sensitive to this stuff. I may have better coping mechanisms and I may not keep myself awake at night worrying what other people think or why they behave the way they do.
However, the true question is, why should I have to be resilient at all?
Maybe if we lived in a World where people were less judgey, where people were more respectful, and where people took responsibility for their own shit, then maybe we wouldn’t need to teach resilience.
Maybe the answer is simply to teach children to be kinder to each other. To teach them tolerance and acceptance. To teach them to love.
Call me a dreamer, but this is my hope for the World. That we all just fucking get along!!
So next time you think about making a snarky comment on social media, or judge someone for their choices, or simply not bother to adhere to a commitment, then please stop to consider that it could be the very thing that keeps people awake at night.
💛 A little more respect.
💛 A little more integrity.
💛 A little more love.
These are my 3 wishes to end the need to teach resilience, and these are 3 things I hope to ingrain into my children.