January 30, 2020

Resilient Women During Medical Procedures Pt. 3: Thriving in the Waiting

By Pamela Larkin
Mental Health & Wellbeing

This last blog post within the Resilient Women with Medical procedures series is titled after a poem from one of my favorite authors, Morgan Harper Nichols. Thrive Within the Waiting is a poem that acknowledges the hardships of waiting while still offering encouragement about the ways you can expand. My hope is that you experience strength, hope, joy and faith in the waiting.


I don’t know if anyone has said this before, but you never know how strong you are until you come face to face with your weaknesses. Or, maybe it’s been said that courage is not true courage, until you approach or “conquer” your fears. Your strength, resilience, and self-efficacy is a by product of those moments when you are caring for your physical health. Consider this question, in what ways are you stronger than yesterday?


Joy is a feeling of great pleasure or happiness. It may not be high on your list of emotions that you are currently experiencing, but it is true that seeking joy or having a sense of humor is a component of increasing your resiliency. It is okay to take it in from outside sources. Is there a comedian that you enjoy? A food that brings a smile to your face? A painting that makes you giggle? As I shared in the last post, particularly if you are struggling with depressed feelings, you may need to rely on an outside influences to create joyful feelings.


One of my favorite Christmas Hymns is “O Holy Night.” Particularly the line that expresses, “a Thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices.” Hope is a feeling of expectation and a longing for something to happen. Waiting increases or highlights our longing for something. The longer we wait, the more urgent or important thing we are waiting for becomes. Even as time passes by, the longing doesn’t decrease, it’s just that discouragement and disappointment have joined the party. This is where hope is important. Hope says, just one more procedure…hope says don’t give up. And hope is something that can be borrowed from someone else. So, who in your corner can help you have hope? Is there a song that ushers in hope? Wherever and whoever it comes from, cling to it.


Meaning making and purpose is another component for living a resilient life. During this time of waiting, what meaning or purpose are you clinging to? What is giving you hope? Is it the fact that you are growing stronger that encourages you during this time of waiting? Is this experience helping you to connect with others who have gone through similar struggles? What is this teaching you about your faith in yourself, others, or God? Who or what do you find yourself turning to during this time? What questions does this raise for you? Have you come to any answers or gained more clarity? What may seem meaningful to you during this period of waiting, may not be the same hope you’ve rested upon before. That’s okay.

Meeting with a counselor can help you to identify your strengths, joy, hope and faith during this period of waiting. There are so many ways to approach waiting, why not do so in a way that you can thrive? I’d love to meet with you!

Thrive Within The Waiting

It is okay to take time
To process
The weight of changing things,
And it is okay to not be sure
Of what the coming months will bring,
But may you know that even here,
You are much more than those things
And there is still room to come alive
And thrive within the waiting


Written by therapist Pamela Larkin

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