By Sally Bartolameolli & Kim Siongco,
Seasons of life, uncertainty, and an unexpected pandemic can feel as though a rug has been pulled out from underneath us. Perhaps it has.
Life is full of uncertainty.
The original title and topic of this article was Resilience, Uncertainty & Grief; grief because my partner of 20 years unexpectedly announced that he no longer wished to be married. I am sorrowful, in mourning, and riding the waves of grief.
As a teacher of how to move through losses to ultimately arrive at gratitude, I know that right here, right now in the midst of my full and fractured life, I must access resilience and grit from within. Gratitude awaits, but the journey is rigorous.
Inevitably there will be a conclusion to every relationship, and well, we have only two options: physically or metaphorically die within the crumpling of the material left around us or develop resilience and grit.
I choose resilience. I choose grit.
Resilience is defined as bouncing back quickly from difficulties, developing toughness, and the ability to spring back into shape. Psychological resilience uses cognitive and behavioral tools to return to the pre-stress state, protecting oneself from long-term adverse effects.
I think it’s more than protecting yourself. When we seek a spiritual solution to life’s most challenging events, and surrender to the highest service of all, acknowledging our powerlessness in each situation, which by the way, is the only path to our own personal empowerment, we find clarity, peace, and wisdom.
In this place of courageous relinquishment to attachments, we have choices that keep us flexible, resilient, and able to move within the undulations of unpredictability.
Resilience requires the paradox of releasing control, so that we have choice to act with control. I don’t know about you, but often when adversity strikes, I yield to blame, resentment, and struggle. In considering letting go, I come face to face with fear.
When I recall past experiences where my own resiliency emerged, I am reminded that letting go is a powerful spiritual practice that emancipates me from attachments and opens my mind and heart to possibilities only existing in the unknown.
Grit, as defined by Angela Duckworth (2018)
Angela Duckworth is the world’s leading expert on “grit,” the much-hyped ingredient in personal success. As Duckworth defines it, grit is passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement, with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way. It combines resilience, ambition, and self-control in the pursuit of goals that take months, years, or even decades.
“is passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way.”
In all honesty, I still seek recognition. We are all in process and growing. Within my own limitations, I remain committed to accessing grit and acting with my own agency in a focused, productive way.
Below are introductory practices to build resilience and access grit. We call them practices because attaining perfection is unrealistic. We can, however, take it one day, one hour, or one moment at a time and access internal resilience and grit, especially in uncertain and difficult times in our lives:
- Utilize emotionally available resources capable of listening with detached compassion. Support groups and individuals assist us during transitions, whether these changes are initiated or thrust upon us. Grief, feelings of unworthiness, shame, (imposter syndrome), and insecurity may surface. Being able to discuss these feelings and thoughts, without being given advice or without being shut-down allows the grief to transition through us quickly. Ask for help when needed.
- Participate in spiritually and soulfully enhancing rituals and activities. This is not necessarily about religion, although we may find nourishment in religious activities. I am speaking about self-care behaviors, practices that inspire us and joyfully fulfill us.
- Breathe deeply. During stressful times, we may hold our breath, an unconscious fear of living into the next moment. When we learn to befriend our deep breath, which unites body, mind, spirit and soul, we find a deep peace within.
Grit and resilience are needed during the most challenging times in our lives, giving us permission to grieve, seek help, and choose behaviors that nourish us through difficulty. From here, we align our energy and produce the specific results in our lives. In the process, we are self-compassionate, develop resilience along the way, and learn to access passion and grit to manifest our dreams and achieve our goals.
At LORA Bridges we empower transformation for the purpose of building bridges.