Mind & Body

The resiliency of spring

 | April 20, 2011

Although winter is still very ­­­ evident in the mountains, in other parts of the country spring is on its way. Buds are bursting and daffodils are popping up and the miracle of re-birth is unfolding again.

In many ways, spring can be seen as a metaphor for the resiliency that lies within each of us. Regardless of how difficult the winter has been, new growth emerges, fresh and unscarred. Of course there are the earthquakes and tsunamis of life, events that forever change our landscape. However even in the face of what seems like a cataclysmic event, heroic recovery and renewal can occur.

There’s significant historic data and research that supports the truth of our innate resiliency. Just look back through any of the world’s cultures to find stories of trauma and defeat that become stepping stones to greater wisdom and deeper understanding.

What is it that gives us the capacity to be resilient and rise above the “winters” of life—the losses, past hurts, missed opportunities? The nature and power of thought is behind this eternal “spring” that lives within each of us.

We all are thinkers, from the moment of birth until the moment of death. Thousands of thoughts pop up during every 24-hour period. Even as we sleep, they continue as dreams. We’re constantly interpreting every event, every frame in this movie called life. How we interpret each event is dependent on our state of mind, the glasses through which we see life. And here is where we have choice. If we imagine that each thought (whether past, present or future) and the feeling that’s attached to it is our only option and the only way to see a given event, then we’re stuck with that interpretation. If, on the other hand, we recognize that we have a myriad of choices, we can then create a reality that leads us to greater well-being and deeper wisdom.

For example, if we experienced a painful situation in the past, a loss or a trauma of some kind, there are many interpretations available to us. We can continue to carry resentment and even hatred towards the individual or group that inflicted the “wound”. We can re-live the trauma every time we recreate it in our mind. Or we could choose another interpretation.

The potential for a wise choice, a choice that leads us to a feeling of well-being and a sense of calm, lies within reach in every moment. We need only recognize the feeling (our infallible barometer of our inner world rather than of the outer world) and adjust our sails. We can let go of our attachment to thoughts about the past or the future. We can recognize our habits of worry, anxiety, fear, resentment and see them for what they are, simply a reflection of our interpretation of the outside world. Like spring, we can emerge with a fresh new view of life—a view that’s at the same time lighter and yet more profound, that touches us with its simplicity and wisdom. Spring is in the air!

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