Resilience: “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”
One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my photography business is one I was not anticipating to learn when I first ventured to be a photographer almost 7 years ago : Resilience.
For those of you who don’t know, I went through a bit of a health crisis last year. In a 7 month period, I had a battery of several medical tests, 6 CT scans, surgery to remove an organ, a biopsy and 7 deaths among family, friends and colleagues. The crap definitely hit the fan all at once and it left me staggering under the weight of it all happening at once.
But it was in that moment that I asked myself if I was going to throw in the towel and give up or if I was going to get back up again and keep going.
That’s where resilience came in and became a close friend.
It’s easy to say I’m thankful for life when all is going well.
It’s easy for me to follow my dreams with gusto when it’s smooth sailing.
But what about when the waters are rough?
What about when everything doesn’t play out the way I’m expecting it to?
Do I give up or give it more?
I’ve said a certain quote for a long time because I really believe in it:
“The crap of today is the fertilizer of tomorrow’s dreams.”
Resilience is a by-product of believing that things will get better and that belief propels you forward to keep trying. It’s letting life take it’s punches, but not allowing it to take you down for a full TKO.
When life gets tough, will you give up or will you give it more effort to keep pushing through and keep going and growing?
Because my surgery happened during my busiest time of the photography year, I was not able to photograph for awhile, which was super hard for me because photography and being a photographer is a part of my DNA–it’s almost like life for my soul the way that oxygen is for the lungs.
I learned that a part of being resilient is being flexible. So, I took on a part time temp accounting job to help me through the time that I couldn’t photograph. I was tempted to believe that my business would fall apart while I was recovering and that that was the end. But while I was lying in bed, I allowed my heart to dream and plan. I prayed so hard during that time and asked God to give me a fresh vision for the business He had given me and He did.
The circumstances were discouraging, but resilience keeps you moving forward. In faith, it believes for the best and that things will get better. Some of my favorite sojourners of resilience that I listened to on Youtube for days (because they helped to keep me encouraged) were (and are) Nick Vujicic, Earl Nightingale and others who have been through difficult trials, but overcame them. Dancers with only one leg. A singer badly burned but not letting her outward appearance diminish her vocal talent. A surfer with only one arm because a shark bit off her other.
I learned that resilience is not about circumstance, but about attitude.
It’s a conscious effort to make the best of hard situations and grow from them.
I can see crap or I can see fertilizer.
It’s made from the same stuff, but used differently, depending on how I decide to use it.
It appears that I made it through that very difficult time and while I don’t know what the future holds, I am grateful, not so much for the trials themselves, but what I learned from them and how I can now use those things to encourage others in their own trials.
If you’re facing something very hard and feeling alone and asking where God is in all of this, know that this is only a season and that, even though these trials seem unending and extremely difficult, you will come through the other side stronger. By having a positive attitude, the fortitude to keep going and a determination to make something good from these difficult circumstances, you will be even more ready to be strong in this life and you’ll have a greater impact and influence on others.
The crap of today is the fertilizer for tomorrow’s dreams.
Make something beautiful from the not so beautiful.
Don’t give up. Give it more.