Resilience. What is it?
I went driving today. To the Clare Valley. Great wine country full of quiet. Full of backroads and quirky little eateries. Antique shops and wineries. Gum trees and lorikeets. It is around 1.5 – 2 hours from the city, depending how you drive. Enough time to do some thinking.
It is wonderful watching the vines, full of autumn reds, yellows and oranges, or maybe already bare, gnarled fingers reaching along wires. They have survived the drought. Survived the severe frosts of several years ago. Survived a record hot summer.
And the gum trees, solid and ancient. Each with its own spirit, reaching to the sky. Sheep and cows munch on the grass beneath, sheltered by the trees. Seeing green grass after so much parched soil for so long was so very very good.
Resilience is another one of those things that I sometimes work on with my clients. As a generation, as a culture, we rarely talk about it. It is like a dirty word, and I am not sure that I understand why.
Granted, it is hard to define. I am not sure that in my uncovering of the word, of the concept, I am there yet. You know that I like to think about these things… to strip off layers of meaning and get to the essence.
It has to do with your ability to cope. With the good things that happen to you, and with bad things that happen to you or around you. The ability to put things into perspective. The ability to remove attachment from the emotions of the thing, the event, the happening, and to deal with it with grace.
The more that I have looked at resilience and the experiences with the people that I work with, I find that a strong sense of Self is important. Of knowing who you are and what you are here for. Of your role in life. Then the strength comes from within, and is not dependent on what happens around you. The winds of life become just that – something to be lived through and dealt with. Without letting go of who you are. And retaining your spirit.
One way to start the journey to Self is to answer the question – Who are you? And then ask it again – No, but who are you? And you keep asking. Until you peel off the outer layers of You and discover the inner layers of You.
Spend a moment thinking of those who are having a hard time at the moment.