You need to work at it. It’s painful and frightening.
Right now, I’m still in my caterpillar stage, though I’m dreaming butterflies. Monarch Butterflies.
Remember my Emotional Health and Happynomics post?
That’s what I’ve been working on …
Last week, part of my dream about Emotional Health started taking shape.
At the same time, l had a major upset last week, too.
It rocked the foundations of this raw, delicate, fragile new persona and social entrepreneurial business I’m trying to develop. Robbed me of every shred of confidence, of which I don’t feel I have tons of right now ~ for a day or two.
Then, something happened…
Sleep worked its wonders for me…
After some rest and reflection, plus the generous, kind, wise counsel and support of my longtime friends and my family, I began to realize this apparent disaster wasn’t so calamitous after all.
You should know that often, I see things as black and white, all or nothing. In extremes. I know this about myself, so right now, I’m sitting back, waiting, reflecting and consulting.
Mistake-making can be a gift…
You know, I’ve also found that making mistakes (for which I have a genius) or apparent mistakes, then the process of realizing you may have erred in judgment, can turn out to be a gift.
That’s where I am now, and slowly my hope and energy is returning. It’s the struggle that’s the gift here. Yes, struggle. Like the caterpillar emerging from her cocoon. No easy feat, I imagine.
That’s where I am right now.
If you choose to learn nothing else, learn as much as you can about resilience…
Once again, I’ve learned how resilience is the key to the process of coping with the uncertainties of life, with all its stresses and with situations beyond our control. It’s relational, cultural, environmental, “multidimensional,” as defined by Dr. Michael Ungar, the principle investigator at the Resilience Resource Centre at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia:
“In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways.”
Resilience takes practice, but it’s more than a skill set. It’s constant.
I don’t think you can say, “I’m a resilient person.”
Resilience is a process, not a mindset. It’s constantly being tested.
For me, it means slowing down. Resisting the urge to take wild leaps of faith. “Taking a deep breath.”
Impulsivity is exciting, but something dangerous. So, I’m learning to rein back.
All this begins with insight and the hard work I do in my therapy with Dr. Bob. Struggle. Knowing, instinctively, as Therese Borchard so simply and eloquently discussed it here at PsychCentral the other day, you can always “try again tomorrow.” That’s why I love mornings. New days.
A relationship outlived its usefulness, but I learned a lot…
Last week’s setback was a real shock to me. A cushion I was relying upon, suddenly deflated and disappeared. Without any warning. Relationships can sometimes outlive their usefulness, as did this one. Advice I was given simply didn’t ring right for me.
Suddenly, it was clear. It had to stop. I had to strike out on my own. Not alone, entirely. But less dependent. That’s the scary part. It’s also what learning is all about. Trying new things. Being uncomfortable.
Dr. Ungar states in his “model of resilience” that you must have “the ability to maintain a balance between independence and dependence on others.” In my case, that balance had gone awry. It was causing me additional stress. Something was wrong. Now, that something is righting itself.
So, I’m beginning to regroup.
And I will. You’ll see. Stay tuned. Okay.
P.S. Singing Out ~ A Spirit-Lifting experience…
I’m learning how vital work/life balance is to my emotional health. Working at home is deadly. Your work is never more than a few steps away, constantly beckoning you to attend to things. Endless things.
On Saturday night, Marty and I took ourselves to a choral concert downtown. We never go downtown on a Saturday night, but this was important to me. Now, in all honestly, I wasn’t expecting much more than a group of singers, standing there and, simply singing. Julie, a loyal, longtime member of our Coming Out Crazy community, is a member of this group. She has invited me several times. As we’ve never met, I decided to attend.
What a surprise…
This 70-member group of volunteer singers from Toronto’s LBGT community started in 1992, a fraction of its current size.
They really know how to put on a show. They don’t just stand and sing, they dance, they mug, they perform, they clown, they kibbitz. They’re so talented and have so much fun, in short, they’re sensational. First rate. Five Stars!
I was so “high” following the show, I didn’t recognize myself.
This was a spirit-lifting, knee-tapping, laugh-filled, emotionally-affecting, entirely entertaining evening that winged us away ~ the theme that night was flight.
These singers raised the roof top off the church where they performed, charming and enchanting us from the first moment they marched onto the stage.
So I leave you with that. I needed that emotional lift and nothing I could read or sit and watch or think about or intellectually process could reach me.
Singing Out did.
They touched me. So, thank you, to this non-profit group of dedicated volunteers who found more than a chorus, one chap remarked, when he joined. Their inspired and inspiring artistic director, Jody Malone’s personal motto is, “If you’re not having fun, it’s not music.”
Well, Julie and Jody, we had more fun than we’ve had in months. And watching you have fun making music together the other night made this evening “rock” for us. I didn’t stop smiling and bopping with the eclectic rhythms all evening. Heartfelt thanks. We flew home, and we’ll be back for your next concert.
Photo Credit: Gregg M. Pasterick
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Last reviewed: 13 Jun 2011