“What Is Resilience?”
My family gave me a 3D puzzle for my birthday. I enjoy jigsaw puzzles. This was a new challenge. Once I found the “guide” I thought I was doing great. The pieces each have a number even though they do not go together in numerical order. You have to follow the order provided by the guide. In this case it was 14 then 4 then 36, then 31, and so on.
I was doing fine until I got about halfway. I was trying to hold my masterpiece, a magnifying glass, and individual pieces all at the same time. I lost my grip and pieces went sailing. The worst part was the foundation was scrambled. The foundation is what the puzzle will stand upright on once I’m done. Needless to say, I was frustrated and discouraged. And more determined than ever to finish the silly thing! That’s just how I work.
I changed my strategy. I looked up the number of each piece and set it on a blank piece of paper with the number written beside it, large enough for me to read without the magnifying glass. Instead of holding the puzzle in my hand, I pressed it against the table as I built. It worked! Puzzle done. Princess Ariel now sits above the TV where I can watch over her fragile creation.
As I was preparing to share another story on resilience this week, I thought of my 3D puzzle experience. We all experience difficult experiences in life, just like my puzzle pieces being scattered. Resilience is when we accept those circumstances or scattered pieces and remain flexible enough to learn new strategies for rebuilding.
I hope this provides a good visual image for what I mean when I speak of resilience. Another way to look at it might be to use Brené Brown’s writing in “Rising Strong.” I also found an excellent article on the website for the American Psychological Association about what resilience is and how to practice it. Here is the link.
I appreciate their reference to resilience as a muscle that we can all strengthen with practice. The practices they suggest are to:
- Build Your Connections
- Foster Wellness
- Find Purpose
- Embrace Healthy Thoughts.
Another way to practice is to share our stories. I hope by reading the stories in this blog, you are encouraged to strengthen your own resiliency muscle.
You are also welcome to join in a support group or Bible study as a way to Build your Connections. This fall we will offer a Grief Support Group, a Single Mom’s Support Group and a Divorce Support Group. In these groups we share our stories and encourage each other in our journeys.
As we all struggle with the changes the pandemic has made in our lives, it is more important than ever to strengthen our resiliency muscles.
Blessings in your practice,