Resilience is a Muscle

by | Nov 13, 2019 | Blog

Resilience reminds me of beautiful flowers that grow out of the cracks in the pavement. Finding fuel and sustenance where others may find none. Growing tall and mighty, showing their brilliance to the world.

There’s a certain elasticity to their being. Finding and working with what’s available.

If they were trying to force something more out of the situation, out of the earth as it is, there’s nothing more there. Force wouldn’t yield any results.

Just like the flower growing in a seemingly odd place, extended families and holiday gatherings are a microcosm all their own.

There are those who will never bend or give an inch. Unhappy sorts who typically express their frustrations with aggression. It’s not always overtly displayed, but it sure is felt, sometimes as soon as a person walks into the room.

Swinging to the other side of the pendulum, those so pliable they acquiesce to another’s wishes while dismissing their own. Equally unhappy people who express themselves passive-aggressively. Equally felt.

Many of us have played one or both roles at times over the years. When we don’t know how to express what’s going on within us, the energy oozes out of us. The unhappiness is felt not only by us but by those around us.

Things change, we work through things, life ebbs and flows. Yet there are those who become so attached to being angry or playing the victim that they never change. They don’t want to. They’ve become addicted to the energy of the role they play and it feeds them.

We can’t make anyone bend and become more or less pliable and we certainly can’t make someone take responsibility for their actions, or our frustrations.

This is where resilience comes in.

Resilience is the act of rebounding.

Think boomerang. With muscles. And boundaries.

On a sheet of paper, draw a circle. In the body of the circle, write all that you desire to experience during holiday gatherings. [You may also extend this to include things that make you happy, that you desire to have, do or experience in your life.]

Outside of the circle write those things that are by invitation only. These may include having a conversation about something from the past in order to clear the air, or a surprise visitor. [Again, you may want to extend this to other parts of your life.]

Think of this circle as your own portal that allows in only those chosen experiences. By being specific about what you’ll allow in, it wards off the things that are undesirable to you. It reflects your will on an unconscious energetic level.

And the boomerang? When you encounter people on either end of the pendulum, rather than taking on their energy as you may have done in the past, the outside of your portal is your deflection and their energy boomerangs right back to them.

Their emotions were never yours to take in the first place.

This is also where we take responsibility for the energy we allow out of the portal. Building our resilience muscle by standing in our own space and not pushing it on to anyone else. It’s not theirs to take either.

Review your portal daily to remind yourself of what you’re embodying as well as what you’re not. It won’t be perfect on day one, just like the flower pushing its way out of the crack in the pavement. It’s a learning process and a muscle to be built.

In all cases, no matter where you are, standing tall and mighty, while being that beautiful flower and radiating your brilliance.

Stephanie B. McAuliffe
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