My name is Cole Ian, I am a survivor of child abuse and domestic violence. I struggled for a long time with depression, self harming, and had several suicide attempts in my life. I found no hope, until I came to know the Lord Jesus. Although there are many ways to find recovery, hope and resilience. I found what works for me by implementing these 10 key points that I am about to share with you.
I learned that In this world there are moments of complete despair, moments when perhaps hopelessness takes over and darkness can consume the very existence of who I believe God created us to be. We get lost in our identity, trying to figure out who we are and what God's plan is for us. Perhaps we lost a loved one or maybe we are trying to overcome trauma from abuse. In times of hurt I myself felt confused, questioning my faith, wondering if the Lord was with me, or am I all alone? In the book of Deuteronomy 31:18 It Says the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” There is Hope but how can we create resilience in times of struggles, times when we may find ourselves so busy and consumed with life? I found what worked for me, which has helped me with my hurts, hangups, and habits .
- Have Faith: In times of trouble we are growing stronger when we have faith. Without faith there is no hope, without hope there is no faith. James 1:2-3 says Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
- Be positive: When we are struggling sometimes it is difficult to think positive. Sometimes even the simple things such as a getting out of bed can be difficult, be nice to yourself. Look at the positive things in your life. For examples. I have a place to sleep, I have food, I have my children, friends or family etc. Even in the mist of the storm we can find something positive in our surroundings even if we do not see or feel it..
- Use your life experience: Your life experience helps us learn, when we learn it, apply it to your life. When you apply life’s lessons you're not continuing to live your life in the same cycle of repeating your mistakes.
- Self Care: Without caring for yourself You can not care for others. Take time to relax, read a book or take a bubble bath. Find something you enjoy that helps you to relax and just live in the moment.
- Have a sense a humor: We all need to laugh and even in moments when things seem to be so out of control we need to take time to laugh. Find the humor in your situation. Laughing decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, this improving your resistance to disease and can even reduce pain.
- Support: We all need a support team, someone we can trust, to share our hurts, hang ups or habits. When we have the support it helps build our confidence, feel positive about our role in one’s ability to make healthier choices. Having support has shown to reduce the psychological and physiological consequences of stress, and may enhance immune function.Social networks, whether formal (such as a church or social club) or informal (meeting with friends) provide a sense of belonging, security, and community. So gather a support system.
- Find a sponsor or mentor: Having a sponsor or mentor helps to keep us honest and to be accountable for our actions. When you're honest with yourself and others we build strength of character that will allow us to be of great service to God and to others.
- Be A person of Action: Nothing can get done unless you do the work. Work is exhausting, maybe it is your job, taking care of children or perhaps it is recovery work from trauma. What ever is the struggle, if you do not do anything to resolve the problem, the problem will not get better. If you want success and to be in a better place in your life, doing the work helps you get there. Dreams are not made by not applying action. If you have a dream then pursue it, it is the only way that a dream can be successful is if you do the work.
- Be Open to Change: Rumi said “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. When we seek change in ourselves we will have a better understanding of who we are and what we want. Change can be difficult but also it can be healthy. When we are willing to change behaviors we can reduce stress and by reducing stress we can make healthier decisions. Healthy decisions will help avoid physical and emotional issues. Being willing to change can create happy living.
- Love others: In Eph 4:32 Jesus said Love one another be kind to one another, forgive one another as I forgive you. Loving people can be so rewarding but not only do I believe this,but scientist for years have stated that love gives us health benefits such as lower risk of cardiovascular disease, due to the fact of low stress relationships, it can lead to a longer life and helps beat cancer. Love can bring joy and hope for the future. When we love others, it brings a sense of peace in our life.
Creating resilience is accepting you past struggles, hurts, and mistakes, learning to move forward even when you feel you can not. Reminding one self that feelings can be tricky and unpredictable and sometimes we have to use our intelligence not our feelings. Elizabeth Edwards said it best “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.