Candace J.P. Smith, Creator of The Suchy Much, offers her riveting insight on what it means to be resilient.
Resilience is a word that becomes etched onto your soul when you’ve fought for the life you currently live. It’s the decision to wipe your face in the midst of war. It’s the determination that sickness will not steal your last breath. It’s the “set your face like flint” when the wave before you is larger than you’ve experienced but you will yourself to see to the other side of it.
Resilience is also the mother sitting bedside holding her child’s hand and telling them it’s ok to let go. It’s the man that decided not to pull the trigger because he wants to believe that there’s freedom on the other side of his depression. It’s the person that was violated, told they’d be nothing, or would never be loved and decided to live and love, not out of revenge, but out of a fierce knowing that the person that tried to break them is a broken soul themselves.
Resilience, lovelies, is why I am able to share my thoughts on this profound word with you today. I’m a fighter. Always have been. I believe I always will be. I have fought the luring, counterfeit-peace of suicide when I was in deep depression because feeling nothing seemed better than drowning in the razor-sharp edges of my choking emotions. Though the definition of this word speaks of “recovering quickly from difficulties,” I believe it starts when you first decide to not just survive, but live.
It’s very much choosing to reach for the vision you see in your mind that you currently don’t see in reality.
My story is one of several decisions to learn to live again when everything in my life yelled for me to lie down and die. In those moments, choosing life was one of the hardest decisions. To be honest, I needed a lot of help figuring out what that would look like for me. Yes, I’m a Christian, let’s just put that out there, but that in NO WAY means that I was able to simply “pray the pain away.” I think that’s dangerous rhetoric and anyone that spews it either hasn’t dealt with their pain or hasn’t gone through anything—as of yet—that seemingly broke the core of who they are.
I have an incredible tribe of friends that, at one point, sat bedside and made sure I took my meds while I sobbed until I fell asleep. I went to professional counseling. I took a week off from work and processed the gamut of emotions that stemmed from sudden illness to the revelation I was no longer dying. I had family-friends that spoke into my depression after I held my fiancé’s hand until his final breath. My mom bathed, fed and clothed me until I could function again. All this to say, being a Christian does not mean you don’t need help from those around you, be it intimate or professional. Yes, I prayed and fasted and read, and then I reached out or leaned on those that loved me.
You see, lovelies, resilience is not a pull-yourself-up-by-your-boot-straps mentality. It’s very much choosing to reach for the vision you see in your mind that you currently don’t see in reality. It’s also allowing others to step into your story and granting them the opportunity to walk your story out alongside you. That means being resilient is a culmination of small choices to take a step towards beauty. Your healing. Your peace. Your stability. Your healthy relationships. Your Best Life.
I believe we all have the innate ability to be resilient, it’s in our blood. We are strong because our Creator made us so. We are a people that were created to be strong, together. Each step we take with each other towards our “beauty” will always birth in us that sweet and poetic word: Resilience.
Candace J.P. Smith is a dancer, speaker, writer, singer, and advocate for women. Catch up with her and The Suchy Much on Instagram. You can also find more information about The Suchy Much in my November 2018 interview with Candace.