At times you get knocked down. Life is like that sometimes. You’re humming along, minding your business, and something or someone knocks you down. Even those who seem to live the most charmed lives will not escape this. It’s just the way life goes sometimes.
I can’t help the fact that when I get knocked down, I stay down for longer than I’d like. I’m built for the initial fight, but not for endurance. If something knocks the wind out of me it often takes me a long time to heal from it, longer than I am comfortable with. The one thing that I can say, though, is that I get up. Eventually, after a protracted amount of time, I do get up again. Sometimes I am scarred by the experience. Sometimes, I am left with a deep sense of sadness, resentment, or loss. Sometimes, I foolishly allow someone’s lack of decency and integrity to take purchase within my heart, which, is just plain idiotic of me. What most don’t understand, however, is that inside this tough, gritty New York shell is a very sensitive person. Too sensitive to not be as tough as I am on the outside. It is my gruff exterior that allows me to keep on fighting when circumstances conspire to make me quit. It is the quick temper and the even quicker tongue that keep me from being indelibly marred by the thoughtlessness of others. It is essential to my being. Like the lotus flower, though, I eventually rise from the mud of anger, sadness, even depression, and show my face to the sun again.
I say all of this to say that recently, I was knocked down. I had to deal with a circumstance that left me feeling defeated. And while I would’ve liked nothing more than to turn my back on the situation and walk away, I have grown too much to let others adversely affect me to the point of self-sabotage. I have a wide enough self-sabotaging streak within me already, thank you very much. I don’t need help from external sources. What I would like to remind you, my sisters, is to not ever let anyone or anything knock you down and keep you down. You are human. Situations will arise that will cause you pain, setbacks. But don’t you dare let them beat you. Get back up the very second you feel enough strength to stand up again. Take your first wobbly steps toward feeling solid again and keep standing. Nothing is more important than your ability to bounce back from setbacks, be they emotional, physical, or financial. Not only is it important for your life, but for the lives of the little ones watching you. We are our children’s most important teachers, and what could be more valuable than to show them that no matter how long it takes to get back up, the getting up is what counts most.
If you are in a sad, scary or dark place right now I understand. Trust me, I do. Hunker down, gather your strength, and the moment you feel strong enough to stand, do so. Resilience may indeed be something that you are born with – but it is also something that you can develop; and teach.
Issa Mas – Single Mama NYC