Mind & Body

Resiliency, our awesome gift

 | March 31, 2010

I’m often rendered speechless and am awed by the amazing displays of resiliency and courage I see in the world, especially evidenced in these past weeks in the Olympics and the Paralympics. So many, who are faced with what seem like insurmountable odds, are able to rise above them and achieve great things.

There are stories, from every part of the world, of individuals who have inspired those around them by their ability to see beyond their current circumstances and limitations. In Rwanda, a woman’s capacity to rise above her grief and to forgive is creating a new model of community.

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In Montreal, a widow and mother, able to see the innocence in the perpetrator of a crime found the resiliency to create a now international organization to help at-risk youth turn away from violence.

Everywhere we look there is evidence that the choice for good is being made. We often are gripped by the media’s reports of news to the contrary, but are we to give up on humankind simply because some of our fellow travellers on planet Earth are still living in the illusion that might is right and it is our differences that are important? I don’t think so.

Instead I’d rather take heart in the knowledge that we all have, built into us, a beautiful radar system that can lead us to our wisdom and common sense, to the higher road. This brilliant radar gives us feedback in the form of our feelings. If we feel unsettled or uncertain about a situation or decision we need only clear our head and quiet our mind and eventually a solution will appear.

What’s at the core of our resiliency is our ability to choose. When we truly recognize the inside-out nature of life we’re able to see the world differently. We can see the truth that we are the thinker and thus the creator of our moment-to-moment experience.

There are many, many heroic examples of those who have overcome impossible obstacles and who are deserving of the honour and respect bestowed on them. There are also many, many heroic examples of resiliency in everyday life. We all know people who have faced life challenges with amazing courage and grace, further evidence of the profound source of well-being that lies within each of us.

Is it possible to see resiliency as a regular experience? Can we draw on that gift in everyday events? I believe so. As we own our ability to maintain our equanimity more of the time, even when life’s mundane challenges occur, the more we’re prepared for the bigger challenges.

As author Richard Carlson suggested, if we “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” we’re better able to face the big stuff.

Knowing that we have within us the ability to opt for well-being over upset more of the time, the choice seems obvious. We all have a hero in our heart.

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