If you’re taking the time to read this, then welcome, welcome, welcome! Please make yourself comfortable. The gaps in my blog writing are not unnoticed by me; my public words go quiet during unexpected times of frequent change. The place of stillness I’ve gratefully found myself in now gives me a clearer moment of reflection and a renewed persistence with sharing my words… That is probably more of a personal statement, not needed to be disclosed by a therapist, but as I tell many of the clients I work with: I consider myself human first. I’m writing this brief passage with the intent to produce a short multi-part blog series called, ‘Built Through Adversity’. The series idea sprouted from the current state around COVID-19 and my noticing a ripple effect along important experiential qualities in mental and emotional health. Here’s to holding my feet to the fire with this writing! Just note, these passages are meant to be brief – just enough to mentally stimulate for you to tap in and do the work on your own.
As a therapist a part of the Austin, Texas mental health community, I’m witnessing great shifts roll through the people I serve, the people I love, and those whom I’m ardently connected with through various pockets of my life. There’s a rise in unemployment or being pushed to work from home, changes in how we collect our food and now break bread with each other. Real hugs are a scarcity. The webbing holding together life as they (and I) knew it, is part yielding and part frayed. These great shifts, founded on this year’s unexpectedly swift emergence of adversity, unearth a wealth of information about our individual experiences and their connection to the experience of humanity as a whole. One piece of this wealth? Resilience.
Resilience is a quality I choose to not rigidly define within my clients’ work. As my therapeutic experiential knowledge about it evolves, I notice it seems to exist in different ways for people by not purely residing in one facet of ourselves. Resilience can be in how we think the thoughts we think or in the emotions we feel. It can be within our felt sense of belonging to the relationships we have or the actions we take to cope with stress. Resilience can also exist in the dreams and nightmares we bravely traverse in slumber.
No matter how we choose to experience resilience, however, what’s important is giving ourselves the chance to recognize our current possession of it. Recognition sparks greater conscious awareness which, in turn, can build a greater recall of memories from long past and moments now where we are expressing resilience. And as I say to my clients during creative moments of healing: “If you’re able to do this now, then you are certainly able to take this with you and do it again when you need it. The tool is always yours.” Repeated conscious effort of recognition is the key! When we take the time to connect to our sense of resilience, we are additionally reminded of the beauty behind our ability to adapt. Adaptation itself isn’t something uniquely possessed by us, yet imagine how strong we must be to find ways – creative and otherwise – to patch ourselves up and flexibly continue.
So on that brief note, please, take a few minutes out of your day to sit and ask yourself:
-How are you showing up as resilient right now? What does it look like to you?
-How were you resilient in your past?
-What qualities and people are most important to you when you’re in touch with resilience?
Thank you for taking the time to read; for any deeper questions or inquiries, please feel free to leave a comment or submit a request on my site and I’ll be happy to connect. See you in part two.