Why our own innate resilience is key to the art of not falling apart

Christina Patterson understands loss.

The journalist and broadcaster often talks about how she has survived cancer and is the last remaining member of her family, having most recently lost her brother.

“I am,” she says, “the end of the line.”

Yet she still finds ways to celebrate life with her love of the arts and her relationships with others.

Christina documents her story of loss with honesty and eloquence in her book, The Art of Not Falling Apart.

I enjoyed her writing but also admired her resilience, a topic she discussed as a guest on the latest edition of the What I Believe podcast from Humanists UK [pictured above].

The knockbacks she has survived in life have, she explained, built her sense of resilience. She has not only overcome them but gone on to build a career as a freelance writer and commentator.

We don’t all have Christina’s resilience.

It’s hard to bounce back when life sends a curveball. It’s hard to stand up again when events conspire to knock us down.

It feels even harder to remember that now as we draw to the close of a year that many people would probably rather forget.

But we do bounce back. As Christine reminds us, there are fleeting glimpses of beauty in even the darkest skies.

She finds it in poetry and nature; others will locate it elsewhere. The secret is to grasp it wherever you find it.

After all, she says, loosing her entire family has only strengthened her resolve to keep on embracing life.

She says:

We’re all trying to work out what really matters to us during this pandemic. There is certainly something to be said for reminding us how short and precious life is.

In my role as a civil celebrant, I meet people who are living with loss.

It’s raw and painful but, as we work on a eulogy about their loved ones and gather to celebrate their lives at a civil ceremony, I see their resilience shine through.

Christina Patterson’s writing helps to remind us resilience is hard-wired into all of us — we just need to let it flourish.

More about The Art of Not Falling Apart.

Liked this? Read also: How to share your story for Grief Awareness Week.

 

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