The Power of Now: Resilience as a Way of Life
Welcome to Easter 2.0! In the Christian calendar, the season of Easter lasts until Pentecost, which happens 50 days after Easter. This season presents us with a chance to expand on the message of Easter and dig deeper into the meaning of death and resurrection as a daily practice and meditation.
We invite you join us in this daily practice by introducing several topics in our blog series that you can use as a starting point for self-examination and growth. I love what Krista Tippett said about the inner work that we are invited to do right now:
It is a great gift to yourself and also to the world….to get settled inside yourself, to know what it is to befriend reality, to figure out how to stay soft.
This brings us to our first topic, resilience.
When I first encountered the whole idea of resilience and before I really understood the concept well, I thought that people who were resilient somehow had magical powers to get over adversity or a disaster in way that didn’t touch them significantly, that they could dust themselves off and continue on their way as if nothing happened.
Of course, now I know that resilience doesn’t mean being so tough that nothing touches you or having some magical powers to remain unscathed by pain or adversity. Actually, the real meaning of resilience is our ability to bounce back from adversity. What that means is that when something terrible happens, we need to let ourselves be touched by pain and stress rather than avoid it. We need to feel the effects of what we are going through fully. We also need to pay attention to our own response to the crisis and assess how well we are coping at any point.
The difference between those people who are resilient and those who are not, is that the resilient people find a way through that pain and work on healing from it. If we ignore the pain, we are never going to heal from it and it will demand our attention in other ways.
In his interview with Brené Brown on her new podcast, Unlocking Us, David Kessler, a researcher on grief, said that if our feelings of grief are ignored, they will demand to be seen in other ways, sometimes very unhealthy ways, as we may become bitter, angry or turn to substance abuse to numb the grief. Brené and David reminded us that we are going through a collective grief right now, so paying attention to our feelings, giving them voice and a place to be processed and healed is a crucial part of our self-work right now.
That is what resilience is all about: allowing yourself to be fully present to your thoughts and feelings during a crisis, naming them, and processing them in a healthy way (get help if needed!) as well as paying attention to your physical needs for sleep, rest, and nourishment. These are the basic building blocks of resilience. Remember that you don’t have to do it on your own. Now more than ever, we are realizing our collective need to support each other through the crisis of Covid-19. Resilience is becoming a way of life.
If you need additional help, check out the information on Support Teams that we have on our website. Support Teams are an invaluable way in which we can care for one another, understanding that the resilience of each one of us depends on our collective resilience, how we care for one another’s needs and community.
For further study:
David Kessler: Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief