Today’s post is by Brenda Buckwell
I like the sound of the word “Resilience.” It has a ring that resounds within my heart. Could that be more than a ringing? Could it be a powerful Presence, which resides at the very center of my being? But not just my core of being; could it be that place of God-shaped emptiness within where the Holy Spirit of God resounds through joy-filled and difficult times of life?
We all reach our limit of what we can do and circumstances with which we will live. In moments of discouragement, disillusionment and despair, resiliency is needed for new possibility to be lived. What if we gave up at the first sign of difficulty? We could easily become stuck in a habitual rut of low self-confidence, trapped in financial confusion, or living in the cracks of broken relationships. Low resiliency affects our spiritual life just like it affects our physical health.
At our lowest points, weakness and germs invade the body and spirit. To combat this low resilience, we can exercise, eat good nutrition, and enjoy community. It takes intentionality to build resiliency, both physically and spiritually. We have choices. Will we be intentional? Challenges in life invite us into deepened search for God.
Have there been times in your life when you wondered if you would make it through the difficult moments?
What happens if we turn that question around: “During difficult times how have you wondered about God? About possibility?” By turning to wonder, God reshapes perspective. There is power in looking for possibility. Resiliency transforms negativity into opportunity. This then adds value to our own personhood. We are not tossed and blown around by every whim of perspective and event of emotional life that comes our way. Confidence opens before us as we are empowered through unseen hidden grace of Divine presence and love.
As resiliency expands within us, we become more compassionate with our self, which often leads to greater compassion for others. There are many emotional and psychological techniques that can be learned to increase resiliency. However, for me, all the techniques return to the sacred center of our lives where the God-shaped emptiness within us yearns to be filled by Divine empowerment and Holy Presence.
When I look quickly at the word “resilience,” it is easy to overlook a letter or two within the word. What if the second “i” were to be dropped out of “resilience?” That would leave us with “resilence”
Re-silence! What a great way to think of resilience. Resilience by this definition is to pause, taking a silent time to wonder and center again our self within God. This intentional silence is a pregnant pause filled with new life possibility. That is the greatest foundation of resilience: catching our breath of God’s Holy Spirit within any circumstance of living.
Resilience is a process. It is learning from events that may feel like or appear to others as “failure,” when what is really happening through the process of resilience is redefining value. When we approach our shortcomings or difficult moments with an attitude of opportunity, strength of spirit is kindled. Ministries of contemplation and spiritual direction increase resilience. Through spiritually forming ministries, our core center becomes even more like the Divine spark of life, which was in the beginning of our life, and resiliency has the opportunity to empower, encourage, and cause us to seek another way through the thickets of life.
How will you intentionally seek to increase skills of resilience for a lifetime of joy?