Spring is here and in Oklahoma that can mean several things. Around here, April and May bring many tough dates to mind with severe weather, tornados (May 3rd, 1999; May 8th, 2003; May 20th, 2013) and the anniversary of the Murrah Federal Building bombing (April 19th, 1995). These are dates that stick with Oklahomans whether you’ve lived here your entire life or just a handful of years.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing. One thing I love about this state is the people and their resilient spirit. In the wake of a traumatic and tragic day for so many Oklahomans, it was easy to spot the compassion, care, and unity that was born out of such a dark day. It’s hard to look over the history of Oklahoma and not find threads of resilience woven in the fabric of who we are. Buildings may be blown up, tornados may leave paths of destruction, but one thing has remained: we always get back up. Not only that, but we come back stronger and more united than before.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines resilience as:
1) The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
2) The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
I love this definition and what it can mean for us as human beings. The definition does not say that we are not effected by trials or struggles. It does not say that we don’t fall down sometimes. No. What it says to me is that if I allow myself to bend and sway when times get hard, I will find that I am stronger than I could have ever imagined.
Maybe you have found yourself in the middle of a dark time. Maybe you feel like you’re about to break. Perhaps it’s storm season in your life. I encourage you to be mindful. Root yourself. Practice flexibility. Remember that you are a resilient being that has the capacity to spring back into shape. Talk to your friends, your coworkers, your neighbor. Ask them about a time of resiliency in their lives. If you’re looking for something more tangible, make a trip to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Walk along the reflecting pool. Touch the Survivor Tree. Remember those lost and those who stepped up to keep us moving forward. Be inspired.
If you are struggling to spring back into shape or recover from difficulties, please reach out for help. You are not alone. Together, we are stronger. I would be more than willing to partner with you on a path to resiliency in your life.