Jonice Webb, Ph.D. shares her knowledge with adults like Demi Tryon, the heroine of "Sierra Sunrise: A Travel Adventure". You may find her words edifying.
One of the most important qualities for resilience is self-awareness, or in other words, knowing who you are. What you like, what you feel, your strengths and weaknesses. Your preferences, needs, wishes and proclivities. All of the positives and negatives, talents and faults, when all held in your own mind together, add up to a full and realistic, gut-held sense of who you are. That self-knowledge gives you strength and resilience, guides and informs you, and gets you through challenges, failures and mistakes.
Sadly, a huge segment of the population lacks this level of knowledge about themselves. A huge segment of the population struggles through life mystified by why they do things, how they feel, and what they want. They give up on pursuits as soon as they hit a snag, make the wrong choices for themselves, and end up doing what everyone else wants.
How did these masses of people get this way? Why don’t they know themselves? Because as children, when they looked into their father’s or mother’s eyes, they did not see their true selves reflected there.
Their parents weren’t looking at all, or were seeing only what they wanted to see, or saw a distorted picture of who their child really was. So all of these children grew up without the emotional attention and responses from their parents that would have told them so much about themselves. All of them grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN).
Can Will, Bella, Jonathan and Sandy, as adults, gain the self-knowledge that they need to be resilient? The answer is yes. But they may need a little extra help and guidance along the way.
So I have compiled this list of 20 questions. Write down four answers for each one. If you can’t think of four on a particular item, skip it and keep it in mind until more answers occur to you. It may take days or weeks to search inside yourself for your truths. Be sure to honor the process and do not write down glib answers that you do not feel or cannot fully own. All of your answers must be real and true.
20 Questions to Improve Your Resilience
List Four Answers to Each Question:
- Things people do that make you angry
- Things in your life that you find the most tedious
- Life events that have helped to define you
- Things that you struggle with the most in your life
- Words that described you in high school
- Words that describe you now
- Things you feel passionate about
- People you love and care about the most and why, for each
- Things you must have in your life to be happy
- People you like the least
- Things people like about you
- Things you are insecure about
- Jobs you think you could do well at and like
- Jobs you would not like or would not do well at
- Skills or qualities that you definitely have
- Things you truly believe in
- Things you’re most afraid of
- Qualities you like about yourself
- Things you’re naturally good at
- Things you’re naturally bad at
You deserve to be known, and loved for who you really are. You deserve to look inside yourself and know, deep down, that all of your qualities and struggles add up to something real and good.
You deserve to look in the mirror and know that you are looking at someone who is strong, someone who will thrive, someone who is lovable, someone who you love.
To learn more about how Childhood Emotional Neglect happens, why it’s so invisible, and how to heal from it, see EmotionalNeglect.com or the book, Running on Empty.