Last month we focused on Brené Brown’s second guidepost for wholehearted living: “Cultivating Compassion”. For the month of December, we transition to the third guidepost: “Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing & Powerlessness”.
In this season in which we move into literal darkness a midst holidays focused on the theme of light, I find it fitting that we should be reflecting on what it means to have a resilient spirit. Our spirit is often characterized as that light within us; resiliency seems to speak of keeping that light from burning out.
From my personal experience, when I think of resiliency the first image that comes to mind is the people of Haiti. I have been blessed to go on multiple trips to Haiti and have witnessed firsthand how despite the adversities of poverty, natural disasters, and cultural trauma, the Haitian people continue to build, to live, and to love. They demonstrate strength and perseverance. They are resilient.
What speaks to their resilient “spirit”, however, is not just their ability to keep going but how they carry themselves as they do. It’s hard to characterize an entire society and obviously there are exceptions, but in my experience, Haitians are a joyful, vibrant, and faithful people. In circumstance that I can only imagine inspiring the worst in humanity, they remain rich in love and hope. This, I believe, is a demonstration of their resilient spirit.
Likewise, Brené Brown talks about this resiliency of spirit entailing both resourcefulness and the ability to seek help (resilience) and the belief in connection towards others and a power greater than ourselves that is grounded in compassion and love (spirituality).
How we cultivate this resilient spirit may be different for each of us. Perhaps it’s in allowing ourselves to feel the full range of our human emotions instead of numbing. Perhaps it’s in doing an intentional exploration into our own sense of meaning and purpose. Perhaps it’s in setting goals for ourselves to inspire hope while trying to believe that we are actually capable of meeting them.
In whatever way you feel called, this December team members and clients alike are invited to explore how you can cultivate your own resilient spirit.
In other words, how might you keep your light burning a midst the darkness?
Thank you for sharing your light with us here at Water’s Edge!
Nikki Holm, Chaplain, MA