The Deep Roots of Resiliency

February 25, 2015

No matter how confident we may feel, external attacks to our ego still happen. We put our blood, sweat, and tears into an outcome, in which we feel confident and proud, and there are those who do not see the outcome as we do. Depending on your Egostrength, you may experience a sense of invalidation, shame, or diminished self-worth in response to negative feedback from others, especially when we have placed value on those providing the feedback. The reality is that both negative feedback and intentional invalidation hurt. 

 

When we acknowledge and accept the pain we experience, we give ourselves permission to feel. The more experience we have with our own feelings, the more comfort and control we feel in their presence. Powerful feelings that are interpreted as negative prompt us to run away from them. After all, we generally respond to two things - pain and pleasure. We are instinctively programmed to get away from and avoid that which brings pain. On the other hand, our instincts also tell us to seek out and embrace that which makes us feel pleasure. On the surface, this sounds logical and beneficial. Underneath the surface, however, we learn that our responses are actually far more complicated. 

 

Running away or avoiding pain at all costs leads us to making quick, impulsive, and sometimes irrational choices. Imagine an enclosed room with only one light. When the bulb in that light burns out, it no longer works for us. Darkness is scary. The unknown causes our imagination to wonder. The senses upon which we have depended are now skewed. Our instinct may be to remove the dead bulb, because it doesn't work anymore. This step is a great start, but simply removing the bulb still leaves the room in darkness. We have to replace the dead bulb with a new one; one that works. Grabbing the closest or first bulb we notice, out of fear and avoidance of the dark, may not lead to the result you want. Another dead bulb changes nothing. The room is still dark. A night light won't fit, and a flood light is too bright for the space, causing you a headache (more pain). You want to be sure to choose the best light for your needs in that moment. This choice requires time and space. In order to access this time and space, you must, first, grow comfortable with the darkness. Yes, this state is unpleasant, and you certainly do not want to be here forever. Neither do you want to be back in this state sooner than expected by choosing an incorrect light. When we are comfortable with the darkness long enough to make a healthy decision about the bulb we need, we are able to take steps in the right direction, and eventually bring light to the room.

 

Our egostrength, or ability to withstand discomfort in ourselves, allows us to be resilient in the face of pain and unpleasant experiences. The more we use and practice resiliency, the deeper our roots grown, and the easier we access it. Resiliency can by internal strength, and can also come from a strong network of close peers and/or family. However you find strength, be kind to yourself, and allow this strength to grow without shame or judgment.

 

Take care, and peace be with you.

 

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