Building Spiritual Resilience

In this blog we'll take a closer look at what Spiritual Resilience.

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you deal with it is what makes the difference." - Virginia Satir

Hi it's Beverley here. The words of C.S. Lewis ring so true for me!

In my previous podcasts, I shared 2 hidden secrets to help overcome anxiety; building resilience by the renewing our minds and discovering our life purpose.  In this post, I will look more closely at spiritual resilience, something that gives our lives meaning, direction, strength and hope.

Resilience

Firstly, what comes to mind when you think of, or hear the word resilience?

Here are a few definitions I love, you may have heard of:

  • Bouncing back, Bouncing forward, Bouncing upward
  • Doing better than you’d think given the circumstances
  • Mental toughness and flexibility
  • Being able to handle difficult situations
  • Coping with adversity
  • Being able to maintain high energy levels
  • The capacity to recover quickly from life’s difficulties

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Edison

Maybe its definition can somewhat be found in the story of Thomas Edison and his inventions. His inspiring story forces me to look at my own life and champion my clients to rise above their challenges, regardless of the setback or opportunity at hand.

Despite of Edison's challenges with "failure" throughout his entire working life, Edison never threw in the towel.  Amongst his many attempts to succeed, he encountered tens of thousands of "failures". His determined mindset and resilience produced some of the most amazing inventions of the early 20th century, such as the phonograph, the telegraph, and the motion picture. Can you imagine what our world would be like if Edison had given up after his first few failures.

Like Edison, resilient people don’t dwell on failures - instead they acknowledge their situation, learn from their mistakes, and they move on. This doesn’t mean however, being ‘tough’. You can be resilient and still have emotions such as anger or sadness when something goes wrong, but it means not allowing yourself to be overly affected by these emotions, or being able to move past the negative and get on with things.

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." - Thomas Edison

We are all ordinary people! However, every one of us has extraordinary possibilities,  strengths when we make extraordinary decisions. We all stumble and fall from time to time, but each of us has the capability to get back up and carry on.

So What Is Resilience?

Resilience is an attitude, which enables us to keep pressing forward through life’s obstacles and remain being positive. It is our ability to successfully absorb negative life events; to adapt, and to continue tackling life tasks in the face of challenging conditions. This is resilience!

As one writer also says,

‘The resilient ones have the ability to recover from life’s ‘slings and arrows’; the resilient ones have the capacity to adjust to the misfortunes and stresses In life.’ Robert J. Wicks, Spiritual Resilience: 30 Days to Inner Strength

The name of the game is RESILIENCE, sink or swim in this 21st Century.

There are many forces in our world that creates isolation and can contribute to anxiety, worry and fear or trigger our experience of stress.

How resilient are you?

Regardless of how resilient you are, the good news is that resilience be learned. Whether you’ve been resilient in the past or not, you can build resilient skills.

If we can be calm, focused and connected in our response to adversity, we can become resilient.

It’s important to note however that resilience fails when we experience adversity and it leaves us emotionally closed, and preoccupied with floods of worries and fear.  

So, how resilient are you?

Btw, if you're self-employed or considering employment, take this quiz to find out if you have The Top 10 Traits Of A Resilient Entrepreneur here.

Make a decision now to Be Unshakable!

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Napoleon Hill

Look around you, do you know anyone that seems to bounce back quickly from stressful situations in life?

Why is it that some people are naturally able to bounce over adversities, while others really have to work at it?

Well, resilience is a personal journey and it starts in the mind – how we choose to see our circumstances. I cannot determine whether your glass is full or half empty. Only you can! We all don’t react the same to traumatic and stressful life events.  An approach to building resilience that works for one person might not work for another. We all use varying strategies. Here are a few common areas for building resilience:

  • Psychological
  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Occupational
  • Spiritual

Can you identify any key areas you need to strengthen and improve to live a more resilient life?

While there are several strategies to build resilience, I have found one area, which stands out amongst the rest - Spiritual Resilience Why? Because it moves and expands into all the areas of our life and our awareness of this grows in time. 

Spiritual Resilience

What do you think of when you hear the words Spiritual Resilience?

You may have automatically thought of religion, like many other people however, this is only one of many ways to exercise spiritual resilience - not the only way!  It is important not to confuse spirituality and religion.

Spiritual resilience is our relationship with something greater than ourselves or with a spiritual foundation.

Spiritual resilience can be built upon guiding beliefs, values or a sense of purpose that provides us with direction in life. In times of major crisis we wake up to this spiritual realisation.

As one writer says,

‘spirituality is a state in which we are connected to God, Nature, each other, and the deepest part of ourselves.’

This can also include our involvement with community, charity or other forms of service.

Let's use a simple illustration to explain this…

Life can be messy, perilous, and challenging. At times, we are stretched beyond our limit, bent over by incredible burdens, compressed by worries and anxieties.

Imagine (or perhaps you’re even in the face of adversity in this present moment) you’re in the midst of a major crisis such as a family disaster, marital breakdown, an employment dispute, financial bankruptcy etc.

  • How does your body respond?
  • Who do you shout out to for a miracle, an answer to prayer?
  • What or who do you turn to when all strength and hope is gone?

 As we see from the evening news reports across the world on the aftermath of a significant unpleasant event, increasingly, people react by holding candlelight vigils and a moment of silence, as people seek to make meaning of what has happened.

In the words of Donald Meichenbaum, co-founder of the cognitive behaviour therapy school of psychotherapy and professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo, "You don’t need a psychologist to document how readily spirituality is used".

As the Greek philosopher, Socrates says,

‘When someone’s spiritual resilience is strong, they have a strong sense of purpose in their existence and strength in times of crises’

So what am I saying here?

Our spiritual life is the integration of all that makes us who we are! When we exercise this, we are brought back into the present with a calmer and focused connection with ourselves, which give us resilience against adversities in life.

With the right guidance, during difficult times, and periods of confusion, pain, and stress, we have a unique opportunity to develop a relationship with God, someone and something greater than ourselves.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we each have been given a unique purpose in this world. It’s critical that we recognise this and live a life that honours that purpose.

Given this powerful opportunity…

What could you accomplish if spiritual resilience became a stronger pillar in your life?

What could you accomplish if spiritual resilience became a stronger pillar to manage adversities in your life?

What could you accomplish if spiritual resilience became a stronger pillar create better balance, joy and fulfilment in your life?

Whatever your hopes, spiritual resilience will lift your spirit with its supernatural ability to help you feel more connected and more hopeful in these tangled and tense times.

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 40:29

Say Aloud: Spiritual Resilience gives me the power to stand strong like a rock and enough to strengthen others.

SUMMARY:

  • Resilience is a mindset, which enables us to keep pressing forward through life's obstacles and remain being positive.
  • Spiritual Resilience is our relationship with something greater than ourselves or with a spiritual foundation.
  • During painful periods in life, we have a unique opportunity to develop a relationship with God.

Spiritual resilience can be built upon guiding beliefs, values or a sense of purpose that provides us with direction in life. In times of major crisis we wake up to this spiritual realisation.

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About the Author Beverley Anderson

I'm Resilient Bev, a Personal Transformation Coach for people reinventing their lives after 40 for fulfillment and freedom. When I'm not running my business, I love spending time with my 2 adorable children and husband, developing my coaching skills and giving back. My purpose is to help you refocus and create the freedom and life you deserve. Read more about my story here.

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