Resilience

Today’s theme is resilience. I wanna make sure we take a realistic approach, because I think we are going to need some resilience in the coming days. All of us.

Resilience isn’t something you develop in a vacuum. Or on a desert island…although I think there may be a palm tree connection here, and I’ll get to it in a minute.

Resilience is a type of toughness.

Resilience isn’t resistance (which we all know by now isn’t futile but is pretty dramatic.)

Resilience doesn’t mean that challenges, difficulties and even bad things don’t happen. It’s not denial. It’s not ignorance, and it’s not bliss.

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. It’s springing back in spite of bad things happening.

In a human context, resilience is the ability to experience difficulties, admit them, process them, recover and adapt.

We’ve been having a lot of wind and rainstorms lately, resulting in a lot of downed trees and limbs – especially oak and eucalyptus, neither of which is known for being flexible.

Then there’s the palm tree. Have you seen the images that come out of tropical storms, where there’s fierce weather blowing all around a grove of palm trees? The trees bend and blow, maybe lose a frond and some coconuts. But after the storm, the trees are back standing tall. They bend, but they don’t break.

That’s resilience (and the tie back to the desert island.) The palm trees return to their original position. Standing strong.

Most times. Like any metaphor or analogy, there are exceptions…the things that break the metaphor, or the palm tree in this case. But still, I like to think that I am resilient enough to carry on (with metaphors and analogies and hyperbole and and and.)

Okay, seriously. I know that there are some tough times ahead because there always are.  I’m not predicting any kind of crisis, just being prepared for life’s ups and downs. I want to face them with resiliency.

How do I learn to do that? I’ve been through many tough times before, so I know what works for me. My experience is that the key is not to just react (unless, of course, there is an emergency that needs attention) but to take time to acknowledge what is happening around me, allow myself to feel what I’m feeling, process the emotions, allow for recovery, think about how I want to respond and adapt accordingly.

Ugh, that sounds like it takes patience. Yup. It does. And a little bit of work. And a lot of optimism. Maybe even some humor.

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and many colors of light,

Maggie

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