The capacity to overcome adversity…is that what resilience is?
Reslilence makes me think of tender seedlings we put out gradually in the spring so that they can build up their ability to cope with the big out doors and it’s varying weather and other conditions. We want the plants to become hardy, tough, strong, flexible…and to develop deep roots.
In terms of people, is that what exposing us to hardships is supposed to do, toughen up our skin, make us less sensitive? Not sure that’s what I would want. I like being sensitive. It allows me to enjoy so many delicious and curious sensory experiences – it makes living come alive! On the other hand, I could stand to take things less personally at times. How much time and energy have I wasted in getting bent out of shape to only later acknowledge how out of proportion my response was? (retorical question!)
In steps flexibility with the skill of discernment – teaching us through experiences when to pay attention and when to let things slide. Teaching us to bend and sway so as not to break. Deep roots are part of what supports that flexibility.
I see my roots as the values and beliefs that guide and strengthen me – both in times of trouble and joy. My roots also provide a lens with which I percieve and interepret my life experiences. I can attest to the difference it makes when I am able to turn an obstacle or a disappointment into an opportunity (car in garage = time to write; economic downturn = creative sabbatical) vs. when I stay stuck in negative, woe is me mode.
Right now I’m surely getting tested on the financial front: slow year work wise, the Revenue Quebec saga (yup it continues), and most recently a large unexpected car repair bill. Can’t say that it’s been fun but underneath it all there’s a sense of trust – in myself and in the world around me – that it’ll all work out, that I’ll handle it, that this too shall pass. I believe I have the assets and creative mindset to find my way…one day, one bill, one reframe at a time…and so I do!
Perhaps resilience is less about overcoming adversity and more about working with it, greeting it with grace, acceptance and trust. And acknowledging that it will take a lot of trial and error, self awareness and loads of support to find your way!
How does resilience show up for you?