Why Resilience Is So Important

Every year, I fly home to Chicago for my nephew Zach’s birthday. Once my lil’ buddy picks his theme, my sister-in-law and I go to town on making an elaborate cake to match.

We have made some pretty cool freakin’ cakes over the years!

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This year, Zach’s theme was video games. (Go figure, he’s 9!:) The plan was to have a video game truck come to the house followed by a sleepover.

But on the day of the party, my niece came down with strep throat. The worst, right?

So of course, some of the moms started to freak out and cancel because they don’t want their kid to get sick. (Who can blame them!)

And we had to put a total kibosh on the sleepover all together.

Now, I know this may sound like just a minor bummer. But to a 9-year-old who is looking SO forward to their party for weeks on end, this was the WORST thing ever!

The poor little guy was beside himself, afraid the party was ruined.

It was heartbreaking because a) it stinks when kids are sad AND b) I knew EXACTLY how he felt!

I felt his disappointment.

It simply wasn’t going as planned. At all.

And damn it, isn’t that what happens to us sometimes, even as adults? 

Things don’t go the way we hoped. We get fired. The relationship falls apart. We suffer a loss or a blow.

And we don’t really get to do that full-on tantrum crying thing that kids do.

I mean, we can, but we mostly hold ourselves back from doing that until we’re in the total privacy of our bedrooms.

And whether or not we actually let it out in that full-on release kind of way, we still feel it.

We feel that loss. We feel that disappointment. We feel that total letdown.

And strangely, somehow, it often feels as though we have failed, even if that disappointment has little to do with us.

But here is what is MOST important about setbacks and disappointments:

RESILIENCE.

Setbacks and unexpected chicken-shit salads happen. And boy do they stink.

But I believe there’s strength in feeling our disappointment fully—and then stepping forward into a new, unknown moment—and it’s all about resilience. This is why resilience is SO important!

If we can make resilience our best friend, we will never EVER be completely stuck.

Resilience allows us to dry our tears and move forward. To smile again, to love again, to act again, to open up again, and to eat our gosh darn birthday cake that our mom and Auntie E made!

When we’re ready, we must help our own selves recover, return back to a state of love, and step forward again.

RESILIENCE.

Learn it. Study it. And live it. Every day.

Without it, we stay stuck in our sadness and ultimately we may miss out on new experiences and all the goodies life is waiting to bring us.

Can you guess what happened with the party?

The video game truck pulled up, the first kid arrived, and Zach was smiling ear-to-ear in no time.

Oh, and the cake! It got our biggest “Ooohs and Ahhhhs” to date from all the kids that were there. Funny enough, it was the least complicated of all those we did in the past. Ha! Kids!

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Now it’s your turn. If this resonates with you, I would love for you to share your thoughts below. Are you someone who identifies with resilience? Do you allow yourself to bounce back?

I look forward to hearing from you!

With love,
Erin

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