Sunday, June 11, 2017

Resilience capacity

Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings - Trying to maintain one’s emotional well-being and stay positive is a challenge in a world caught up in a perpetual state of disruption. How, in the face personal upsets, do we maintain our resilience capacity?

Wise advise comes through bits of classic literature. I’m ever so glad for those lines of poetry that float to memory from High School. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,” Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1895, “or being lied about, don’t deal in lies; or being hated, don’t give way to hating …”

Some cast this poem aside as typical of Victorian stoicism, but I sense wise advice for dealing with life’s inevitable challenges. Kipling, a child who knew what it was like to be treated harshly, encourages us in times of Disaster as well as times of Triumph, to never give up our thinking and dreaming.

“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve you long after they are gone; and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’”

We come to acknowledge how it is that life goes on, even in spite of hardship. What happened is a reality, but as we carry on through that reality, we can develop skills that help us look into the future to find glimmers of hope.

The poem “If” was written by a 30-year old poet in the paternal style of his day. But through it he was passing encouragement on to his daughters.

Whenever resilience is required, the formula remains the same. Our resilience capacity is best honed when we interact with others who can support us, validate our experiences and empower us. Story-telling and real-life examples enrich our understanding so we are able to accept the challenges and discover ways of moving forward toward beacons of hope. We can feel ourselves blessed indeed!

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