Home » All Posts » Resilience Is A Choice You Make

Resilience Is A Choice You Make

To suffer is to be human
To flourish is to be human
Both are sides of the same coin
Of the yin and the yang
Why?
Because without one
You cannot recognize the other

Life is a natural cycle
Filled with ups and downs
Troughs and crests
All a part of the same wave*
So, when you happen to be heading downward
Recognize that it is only uphill from there
When you are on the upside
Count your blessings and enjoy the moment

No state of being is permanent
Because as humans, our emotions morph
Thus all you can do is ground yourself
To appreciate the ride

So, when you suffer
Do not hide it from yourself
Do not repress it
Instead, chase it to the core
Find what it means to suffer
Then pivot to your center
Appreciating that this, too, will pass
Because when you get to the otherside
You will see just how great things can be
Compared to where they were
Because as is life
All things will pass
Will you be there to experience them?

Olaf, the Mile High Finance Guy. Inspiration from Alan Watts, Ram Dass, and the Tao Te Ching.

The past 72 hours have been trying for me. After a long road to recovery from two major surgeries, I felt like I had conquered the world. Then, I ended up in the emergency room twice between Saturday night and Tuesday morning due to a pinched sciatic nerve and severe pain. Fortunately, our medical system has ways to provide temporary relief, and through numbing injections, my pain dropped from a nine to a three.

Today, upon waking, my pain is hovering at a five and staying constant. Luckily, I will be seeing a specialist later.

It is easy to feel sorry for myself and to say poor me. But that is unproductive. Life could be worse, and my health could be worse. Rather than wallowing in pity, I embrace the positives: I still have financial independence, excellent health insurance, and supportive family and friends.

That isn’t to say that I don’t have frustrations; I do. But I know that this too will pass. When the pain hurts, I focus on it and chase it down the rabbit hole.

At 3 AM, when I was in the ER for a second time, I let the pain run its course, and finally, it broke from a nine to a five. Then, with the aid of modern medicine, it subsided to a three. And eventually, it will drop to zero, even if it takes time.

So, whether pain or misfortune, recognize that this is unfortunate, but it is not permanent – after all, nothing is. Embrace and explore what it means to suffer, as when the flourishing comes, you only will be left with gratitude.

While today I hurt, I am thankful. I have financial independence that allows me not to worry when I get medical treatment. Instead, I can focus on recovering rather than missing work. I also appreciate that I have the funds to pay for my medical bills, though I met my maximum out of pocket in April.

Thank goodness for health insurance, even if it is a frustrating system at times.

So, I will carry on, and thanks to my financial discipline and network of caring people, I will recover again and make it through this without added stress.

In closing, what are you currently suffering from, and how are you grateful despite the downturn? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, have a great day!

*Credit to Alan Watts for this beautiful analogy


Mile High Finance Guy

finance demystified, one mountain at a time






You Need An Emergency Fund Despite Inflation
401(k) Investments You Need to Know About
Everything You Wanted To Know About Annuities

2 thoughts on “Resilience Is A Choice You Make”

  1. Olaf prayers for a speedy recovery!

    You are correct that humans have the choice of looking at the positives or negative things during situations. After years in healthcare leadership one critical thing that I’ve learned is, how you respond to events dictates the future. I think it’s important that individuals need to be self-aware before they respond to situations, so they respond appropriately. But responding in a positive manner will always beat toggling down to a negative attitude.

    1. Thanks, Ian and well put! By learning to be positive and thinking through one’s own responses, we can learn to live a better life. The one area I always have struggled with is self-awareness during conversations. I have a tendency to speak in a very fluid manner, and often after wished I had presented my thoughts differently. It is something I have strived to improve on, but I will readily admit that I am far from perfect. Do you have any tips on how to increase one’s self awareness so that they can better respond to situations?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *