The Incredible Quality My Former Patients Possessed
In my professional experience as a radiation therapist, I had the pleasure of meeting and treating people who were fighting cancer. These amazing people taught me so much wisdom as I would listen to their day-to-day stories about their lives, loves, and fears.
Being able to treat them using radioactive technology as they withstand the side effects demonstrated to me that they collectively shared one quality- Resilience. This quality was not just originating from a physical sense.
Resilience is the ability to defy harmful and shattering life experiences. Surviving the daily rut and experiencing disappointments in love and work always has been part of the living journey. Add cancer diagnosis received from a consultation and treatment routine into the mix and life takes on a different level of devastation. This is where resiliency is important and the resilient people I treated were aware of this.
Resiliency doesn’t mean that a person is not affected deeply nor ignores the feeling of inner devastation; it means a resilient person can deal with their losses and are able to recover and thrive once again. Here are the top three qualities that these resilient people possessed as observed in my experience:
1. Adaptability can be learned.
They are multiple parts to recovery after a heartbreaking event like having a support system and the ability to bounce back and resume having a life. Resilient people believe that is something larger than us. They don’t succumb to numbing themselves amidst pain; in fact they do the opposite.
They look for constructive and positive ways to direct their upsetting feelings and emotions. These activities can include exercise, meditation, hanging out with friends and family and using their creativity. They also know how to ask for help, are flexible and realize that they are not victims of their circumstances.
2. Fearless to feel.
People who are resilient know how to take an “L” or their losses. They express their fear and anger just like everyone else but they bounce back from those lower vibratory energies and go through them with strength. They don’t complain or deny their feelings. It seems as though, they embrace it with their whole being. Within it, they find solace, compassion strength and wisdom as intangible gift for having to go through the turmoil.
3. They respect the balance.
When life gets hard, it is so easy to want to throw our hands up and give up. It’s commonplace to doubt one’s ability to get back to some sense of normalcy. Resilient people understand that accepting that bad with the good is necessary towards recovery. They understand that rather than wallow in the negative empty space, they go to the gym, pick a book or call a friend to chat. It doesn’t come from a place of staying busy or a place of ignoring the situation. It comes from a place of understanding that their lives need to be in balanced.
What was astounding about these patients was that in the face of turmoil, they refuse to accept that cancer would defeat them. Their inner strength unveiled itself at the face of adversity yet they were in pain as beautifully human as they are. Their scars were their badges of honor and each one told an inspiring story.
They taught me that this was not an obstacle or a setback but just a part of their journey; a part that was possible to endure and that in itself is true resiliency.