Some miseries or sufferings are self-inflicted and some are just beyond our control. In the end, regardless the cause or a reason life goes on. The sooner we forgive ourselves and accept the better. Because how we bounce back from our tough times ultimately determines how we move forward. As always, easier said than done…to this day I struggle with forgiveness - myself and others. And I foresee this as ongoing battle of mine. 😉 But that’s okay, every step I take it is bringing me one step closer to growth.

Unfortunately, we were not given a guide book on how to react to crisis nor are we always supported. Sometimes crap piles up, and our feelings get so overwhelmed that some individuals more than often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Which I believe is one of the self-inflicted suffering choices you can make. Creating a new problem on top of existing is not your solution. You already know that.

Recently I had an amazing opportunity to meet many resilient individuals. This opportunity was presented to me by Oregon Burn Clinic and by Phoenix Society Organization. This wonderful organization is dedicated to empowering anyone affected by burn injury. Founded in 1977 and it has been a leading national nonprofit organization since. Because our missions are in line, you can see why I became interested in wanting to be part of it.

world burn congress

This year’s World Burn Congress was held in Dallas, TX. I did not know what to expect but I was told that it can be a life changing experience. And to an extent it was. I learned what an event like this does to many that have been affected by burns. It recharges them, myself included. We have all heard of a “sense of belonging”. We all know it’s a human emotional need to be accepted, acknowledged and heard. It’s our inherent desire. All my life I had that sense of belonging through my family but this was an even stronger feel. At first, the sight of thousands of burn survivors overwhelmed me. I was seeing physical pain, a lot of surgeries and recovery days, and unimaginable emotional pain these individuals must have endured. But then I talked to some of them, and felt joy, happiness and understanding. Within minutes I felt in the right place at a right time. Often, we speak of human connection. At this event that connection was instantly guaranteed. To surround yourself with individuals that have visual scars like you makes you embrace your own even more. And once you hear their stories, you instantly find support and comfort and are eager to give the same in return.

I’ve also learned that many of us do not even know how resilient we are. And I think I know why. None of us truly celebrated how far ahead we got in our journey. Take look at your own life. Do you stop and recognize yourself for making this far, regardless of what you are battling with? Most likely not. In fact, you are likely to compare yourself to someone else and then beat yourself down because you are not where they’re at.

Resilience is about how we recharge and keep going not how we endure the pain.

And that’s what I’ve concluded from this amazing event. Burn survivors come (unknowingly) to recharge before they return to their everyday battles at hospitals and with the world. We recharge through sharing our stories out loud, attending classes with individuals that need similar help and assistance. But most importantly we come together to inspire each other.

We should all have something that recharges us from our everyday life. A moment to stop to celebrate and recover before we go back and try again. We deserve it!