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Life in lockdown…

In the quiet of a world in lockdown I am hearing positive stories.  The pull is to be swept away by the horror of what is happening in many countries around the world.  The desperate lack of personal protection equipment for frontline workers, bodies in the streets, the incredible sacrifice of healthcare workers going above and beyond their duty and their physical limits shift after shift. Then there is the death of a favourite musician. The death of your sister’s neighbour and the closer, nagging anxiety and stress for the health of our nearest and dearest. The pain and anguish of a world in chaos… And yet what I choose to hear is hope…

Struggle and difficult decisions led to resilience

I work with expats, families who have chosen to move communities, states, countries and sometimes continents.  The reasons they relocate are always unique to them. A unique fingerprint reflecting their personal lives and where they are and what they want at that time and place.  The reasons I see most regularly and in varying combinations are – for love, for work or for the hope of a better life for their children.  And in their drive for a better life, their passion for their families, their need to lose or redefine important relationship, their hope for a brighter future, they are driven to overcome often staggering adversity and make difficult decisions.

In these many, ongoing ‘small’ and often outwardly imperceptible adjustments there is always pain. Alongside the pain however, there builds a deep understanding that life does not stay the same. That each chapter we write of our life will end.  Unlike someone who may live their whole life within the same community, people who have moved communities often build a resilience that can see them through tough times.  Tough times are often the norm rather than the exception. The pain of saying goodbye again and again to family and friends as you visit your home country for a short holiday. The struggle of a partner to find a job in a new community when moving for their partners work. The pain of helping your children say goodbye to their hard-won friends as they move from their forth school…

Hope…

So, we now see many people with a large reservoir of hope… The migrants who once were held at arms-length in their community now cementing them together with kindness and goodwill.  People around the world helping each other in material, but also in loving ways…

So, if you are one of these people who have endured many ‘small’ pains in your life (or some big ones) it is time for the Resilience Pay Off.  You are now in a very strong position to help the people around you who are struggling.  You know what it is like to lose a friend, to sit with your child who is devastated that they can no longer visit their grandparents or their favourite park.

Is resilience your superpower?

Have you noticed that you are calmer in this crisis than you thought you would be? Have you noticed the temptation to be glued perpetually to every news broadcast and social media post, but understood that doing so will not help you cope? Have you seen other people stockpiling and been caught up for a moment, glimpsing your own hysteria, but stepping back from that and sought solitude to re-centre yourself? Have you noticed the impulse to step up and assist people you don’t even know as they struggle?

If some of these are true for you then yes, resilience is your super power.  Know that you are special. That all the adversity in your life has led you to this point where you are part of the solution.

  • Stand tall.
  • Be proud of the person you have become, having survived and thrived despite the many pains you have endured.
  • Love your family; be compassionate to those around you.
  • Support the vulnerable and spread your love and wisdom far and wide.

If your answer to the above questions is no, and resilience isn’t your superpower, you may know someone who has it, so take your lead from them.  The more we surround ourselves with resilient, calm, capable people, the more we find we are living this way too.

For those of you with this superpower, you are one of the rocks who will ensure what needs to happen happens. When it is all over, you will close the book on yet another chapter and be proud of what you were able to achieve, and the people you were able to help along the way, spreading your love and wisdom.