Social scientists say that resilience is our ability to bounce back. While this seems quite true, I have a hunch that spiritual resilience is about an even deeper connection that can help us survive a killing season. Like a tree bent by prevailing winds, how might resilience help us stay vitality alive in body, mind, and spirit even after terrible adversity has shaped our life? Where does this power reside in individuals? And what’s the role of community in recognizing and sustaining this essential force?
The Acoma Indian poet, Simon Ortiz, writes: “The future will not be mad with the loss and waste /though the memory will/be there/: eyes will become kind and deep, and the bones of this nation/ will mend after the revolution.” I understand that he’s saying that though terrible things have happened, we will not go mad when we remember them. And there is the possibility that the force of our resilience will help us find compassion, and with it kindness and pliability. And when we flex and bend we’ll survive. We will heal into a new wholeness after this great inner revolution of the spirit, this great transformation, no matter what else is happening around us.
This makes me believe that there’s a relationship between resilience and reverence, and I want to explore it in my own life. How might we each recognize and honor resilience in our self? And how do we respond when we encounter the shape that resilience has taken in another? How do we support resilience in community?