Resilience - The Story of You

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Every year around this time, I get a bit nostalgic, even sappy.  (Shocker.)

I start to scroll through all the memories, struggles, victories, heartaches, and lessons learned.  Without fail, the year at hand proves a very thought-provoking teacher.  Thanks to scarily intuitive portals, it’s hard to escape montages of these memories—hell, Facebook already made a highlight reel of them complete with a companion soundtrack to take us there. 

Throughout the bleakest years of my struggle with depression, my Dad always knew exactly how to encourage me.  He would take me to dinner and we would talk.  He knew good food and deep conversation were the way to my heart.  I suppose I inherited this from him.

He taught me how to zoom out and see the bigger picture as he’d remind me how far I had come—my winding story up until then.  He would stress that God didn’t bring me here to leave me here; no, God was far too clever for that.  He reminded me of my unique story and that despite the pain I was feeling at the moment,  I was being broken open and forever changed in a good way.  One day this might make more sense.  It didn’t then, but it sure does now.  

I’m not sure he used the word resilience, but now I know that’s what he meant: my willingness to show up, fall after fall, to the call of my life.  

I just looked up the definition of resilience and here is what Merriam Webster gives us:

1: the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress

2: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

I especially like the second one.  

Something 2017 has reminded me of in a convincing way is that change is indeed inevitable.  All forms of change, even positive, incurs a loss because when we embrace change, we must let go of something.  

We must grieve loss.  Loss doesn’t occur in a vacuum.  To let go is to change, even if it’s letting go of something harmful in order to experience something better. Whenever we embrace change, we must also grieve what’s been left behind.

As you look back at this fascinating year in your life, I wonder what you'll see?  What emotions bubble up to the surface?  How have you practiced resilience and embraced changed, as fragile as it felt? Did you grieve the losses brought about by change?

No, don’t get hung up on perceived success or failure, that’s entirely too pedestrian for our purposes.  We are talking about your becoming.  Becoming what?  Becoming yours—you belonging to you through the barren drought of testing, loneliness, and doubt. 

It’s about coming to love the quirky beat of your own drum.

I’m leaving you with this Brené Brown nugget of pure gold wisdom,

"True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

Resilience allows your sacred and most authentic self to shine through all those cracks you never knew existed, and in doing so, gives the gift of true belonging.  We don’t get there without a refiners fire to burn off the dull and rusted edges of fear we learned along the way.

Bravo, my dear.  You are here.  You’ve worked hard to get here.  You have a story to tell that may never be read by the masses, but it’s your greatest work of art and one no one can ever take it away.  

Own it. Tell it. Keep writing it.  

It’s high time to celebrate this beautiful story that is YOU.  

Love & Gratitude,