The Bumpy Road to Resilience

I was at the dentist recently and asked him to look at one of my exceptionally sharp teeth.

I told him I kept biting my tongue and asked if he could do anything about it.

His response felt perfect:

“If I smooth it down for you, it will become too sensitive and hurt more. But, it will naturally smooth down over time and won’t be sensitive or hurt….so we will leave it alone.”

I nodded along, while my mind immediately began spinning his words into a life metaphor.

In my mind, it became this:

If I try to make the path easier and smoother and avoid all the pain and obstacles, I may end up hurting more. I may end up unprepared for life. But if I let time and experience naturally smooth the rough path, I will be prepared and have the tools I need.

You see, I have struggled with how to reflect on 2020.

I know it is important each year to reflect, but I just couldn’t do it up to this point. Somehow, this idea from my dentist helped me.

I realized this last year wasn’t meant to be smoothed out for me. It was meant to be exactly what it was…sharp and jagged and painful.

But as I continue letting it naturally work out, I can feel some of the bumps smoothing away.

It will not go as fast as I want. It will look different than I imagine.

But in the end, the path might be a bit smoother and me a bit tougher.

One definition of “resilient” is being able to spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.

Typically, this definition is reserved for a substance or object…not a person.

However, this resilience is the kind I want.

After the bending, stretching, and compressing of the last year, I want to spring back.

So I wish you all a Happy New Year!!!

May we all find ways to smooth some of the bumps and find resilience.


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