“the promise”


mental illness

is a thief

that steals




that is

until you refocus




and cheat the thief

out of his spoils.


-jacquese armstrong






You could take the path of least resistance and then run into a brick wall head on. I have many times because of illness issues. However, I always got up and resumed the race. This is something innate for me. As a person of color, I have a rich legacy of resilience, even within my own family; there are so many stories of overcoming adversity.


Successful people know resilience intimately. There are obstacles; but with Hope, Faith and perseverance, you can get through. You just keep trying until you get “there,” wherever “there” is for you.


There are four considerations that have always helped me after the fall and in recovery. They are four words/concepts that are my mantra for success and getting over life’s disappointments. I call them the 4R’s: refocus, reevaluate, redefine and redirect. Of course, I named them in retrospect because in analysis I found that I resumed my life’s walk the same way every time.


Refocus: Focus in on some positive aspect of your calamity. There is always at least one, even if it’s the fact that you made it through.


Reevaluate: Set your sights on a different goal or a new way to reach the same one. Strategizing is the smartest asset to have in being resilient.


Redefine: Define your self-determination in terms of your new goal. You are the new definition. Focus on what you can do in the future, minimalizing disappointments in the past. “Let go and let God.”


Redirect: Bundle these together and start again. It is important to believe in this new maneuver wholeheartedly and become this new entity you have created and you will experience a rebirth that can only be inspired by the Universal Mind of God.


This concept has helped me survive so many scrapes and bruises and broken bones. But, I’m still going. I try to pass it on in every essay I write. It is my gift from the Universe that I want to give back in hopes people will recover more easily from a fall and forgive themselves for past challenges unmet.