How do you deal with tragedy or adversity in your life? Do stressful situations completely throw you off course? Why do some people have an easier time adapting in the face of adversity, tragedy or trauma, while others fall apart?
In the Experience Life magazine, Jessie Sholl introduces us to Victoria Ruvolo, who has been no stranger to adversity. After 2 of her brothers died in separate accidents, and her own miscarriage, she now faced another huge challenge. On her drive home from her niece’s piano recital, teenagers in a stolen car threw a frozen turkey through her windshield, leaving every bone in her face broken. The doctors didn’t have much hope for her brain function, and her ability to live independently.
Victoria was not willing to let this stop her.
With a devastated face, and a questionable future ahead of her, Ruvolo had plenty of good reasons to sink into anger and depression. But she didn’t. Instead, even as she was still undergoing a series of reconstructive surgeries, she told herself, “This moping isn’t going to get me anywhere.”
She spent her time in recovery learning more about the boy responsible for the ordeal. She realized that he too had faced much adversity in his life, and decided to convince the judge to get him a lighter sentence.
Against all odds, she returned to work within eight months, was living on her own, and speaking regularly to at-risk youths about ways to improve their lives.
How did Victoria Ruvolo bounce back so quickly, and what character traits are necessary to build skills which enable one to endure hardship?
Resilience refers to our capacity to deal with discomfort and adversity, but it’s not just a reactive skill set. The same characteristics that make us resilient are traits that enrich our lives.
– Darcy Smith, PhD
You too can build resilience, which in turn will lead you to a happier, more fulfilled life.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will learn some necessary tools to building resilience.