Cultivating a Resilient Spirit – letting go of numbing and powerlessness
When considering what resilience means for me I often return to the subject of vulnerability and how being truly resilient and knowing the depth of one’s strength and personal capacity and power, one must also know the shadow sides, the depth of one’s vulnerabilities and be willing to show them and show up for them.
Resilience is the capacity to be okay with whatever shows up, and whatever comes one’s way. For that to happen there needs be a sense of self that lends one the capacity to bend rather than break. Resilience confers that capacity to face all our challenging parts. Even the parts we have disowned, that cause us to doubt ourselves, that we may feel render us weak and unlovable, or unprofessional or whatever un-definition one would like to name. The parts, that if we choose to believe their stories, render us powerless to connect with the present that we are engaging with and then indeed have any impact on our future. That is the connection of powerlessness to resiliency. Only once we recognise that our vulnerability is our strength does the fear of weakness no longer scare and frighten us and we can begin to consider letting go of the fear of being afraid itself. In so doing we stop living within the vortex of powerlessness and turn toward embodying a more resilient spirit.
As a small illustrative example, I recently got myself lost on purpose. A new experience for me. The GPS refusing to recognise the address I needed. I knew the suburb it was insisting on giving me was nearby so I decided to go there anyway and see, but of course the office block that it took me to was not the house I was looking for. In getting closer to my target, however, the GPS suddenly could recognise where I wanted to go. In the past I might have panicked or been completely frustrated by this, but I found myself willing to be lost, sort of.., willing to experience the emotion of not quite knowing if I was going in the right direction, and in so doing found myself closer to where I needed to be than I had imagined. Letting go of the fear of feeling fear, letting go of the fear of being out of control, I found myself able to be so much more creative.
As this year of living wholehearted unfolds I find myself ever more willing to just show up as I am. To not constantly offer explanations for my life, for this journey that I find myself on. At times this can be discomforting, especially if those questioning are more used to neat answers. I find myself no longer unwilling to comply, to pretend life is anything but what it is, messy and complicated and beautiful and wondrous. I know I am blessed. I have chosen to step off the beaten path and am still supported in that. I have chosen a life of uncertainty for now and stopped the numbing, and have no real idea what the future holds. Rather than that have me feel fear and powerless I feel anything is possible.
Having not written this blog for a while, being busy with family, traveling and more, I find myself returning to my intention for this year: to write, speak and be from the heart; to deeply reside in that space that no longer is willing to give in to numbing and masking and hiding; to listen deeply within myself and not give in to easy answers but to stay, sit, wait, be, breath, and allow the world to find me. May you give in to that which is already present and be more wiling to bend with it. May your resilient spirit continue to grow through this engagement.
May you be blessed in the Holy Names of those who carry
our pain up the mountain of transfiguration.
May you know tender shelter and healing blessing when
you are called to stand in the place of pain.
May the places of darkness within you be turned towards the light.
May you be granted the wisdom to avoid false resistance
and when suffering knocks on the door of your life,
may you be able to glimpse its hidden gift.
May you be able to see the fruits of suffering.
May memory bless and shelter you with the hard-earned
light of past travail, may this give you confidence and trust.
May a window of light always surprise you.
May the grace of transfiguration heal your wounds.
May you know that even though the storm might rage yet
not a hair of your head will be harmed.