Resilience: Meantime

Quite often in our conversations, we used the word; meantime as a bridge. “I know I need to…but I’m not ready; so in the meantime…” The meantime seems to connect the past and the future. At times it feels like a holding pattern. It might even be a pause between what you are doing and what you are planning to do. Yet more than that, it often connotes a better action to follow; a better place than where you are right now.

So, here is a question I haven’t heard from anyone. What are you doing in your meantime on your way to the life you want? Your resilience totally depends on your meantime experiences. For some of us the meantime is a short pause so we can catch our breath before we shine again. For others the meantime is a place to refuel our physical or emotional tank before we merge into life’s four lane highway. Yet for others the meantime can become a place to hide, a place where we are in the unending “about to…” mode.

The meantime can be a place to prepare for resilience, yet it can also be a place that kills resilience.
The people who surround you in the meantime are very important on your path to resilience. If you are surrounded by professional “meantimers” who keep you warm and comfortable, you’ll be there for a while. If you are influenced by individuals who are still moving while in the meantime, you too will move with their positive flow. While in the meantime, it is important to take a careful look at those who are walking with you. It’s also important to listen to the words they are saying to you.

The meantime is filled with contradictions. In the meantime, gale force winds blow both ways and your trajectory depends on which way you’re leaning. If you just stand there and do nothing, the concentric forces of the winds will help you stay in one place. However if you’re grouped with those who are on a positive movement you’ll be on your way to resilience.

The things you do while you’re in the meantime are instrumental in either building you a comfortable spot right there or a highway out. While in the meantime you can’t always trust your feelings because the meantime has a way of really messing them up. While in the meantime you must develop faith in a power that’s greater than yourself. I’ve discovered that God is that power for me as I’ve traveled through the “meantimes” of my life. In that space of faith I’ve learned to “act-as-if.” With the support of those I’ve surrounded myself with I’ve learned to trust my next step and take it whether I can see the road or not. Every forward step on the path of the meantime is a step toward resilience.

Life is filled with spaces called the meantime. Each of them make you stronger. Each of them give you more energy so you can become more resilient. You can’t afford to stay for too long in any of them, you must keep moving no matter how you feel. And you cannot do it alone, you need a fellow traveler or two. For some it may be a coach, for others, it may be a mentor and for many it may be a prayer partner. The paths of the meantime are too treacherous to venture alone. To grow in resilience you need the meantime and in the meantime, you need more than you.

Resilience: Joy

We are entering a season when we will be hearing a lot about tidings of great Joy! However both you and I know that not everyone will experience joy during this holiday season. I’ve often wondered why joy is such an elusive thing to so many.

Joy is an integral member of the resilience family. If you are heading toward resilience, joy will be on your path. Unfortunately some have mastered so many ways to avoid joy. So, why is joy such an important component on the path to resilience? Let’s define the word first.

The dictionary defines joy as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. This definition of joy suggests that on the road to resilience you must find exceptionally good things to smile about. I might even stretch this definition by suggesting that true joy is an inside job. Instead of waiting for exceptionally good things to just happen, you can create them.

The first step in creating joy is to get rid of the joy stealers; worry, stress and fear. Over the next few of weeks, I’m going to talk about these joy stealers specifically. For the time being it is important for you to realize that if they are part of your walk, you’re being robbed of your joy.

These three amigos often unite to reduce your quality of life. They’re your invisible enemies that slither their way into your life and become the unwelcome visitors you can’t get rid of. They tend to like each other’s company and they love to live in your head for free. The longer they stay around, the harder it is to get rid of them. The scariest thing about these three is after a while you can’t tell one from the other and soon you can easily lose yourself in their world of make-believe.

If you’ve ever met someone who’ve been taken hostage by these three, you’ll see their sad and depressed gait a mile away.

Joy doesn’t just happen. It’s a decision against these three imposters and a planned life that expects great delight and happiness caused by the creation of exceptionally good and satisfying experiences. Over the next few weeks we’re going to explore how to do just that on the road to resilience.

Resilience: Worry

Worry is a main joy stealer. Did you know that worry is blind? That’s not an original thought with me. I’m borrowing it from a favorite author of mine. In other words, worry can’t see where he’s going. Worry totally depends on you to give him sight and to lead him anywhere you want to. Worry doesn’t really care where you take him. Worry has no life without you. Worry cannot survive without a host and if you’re a good host, he’s going to stay with you for a very long time.

You and I know a few people who make worry their constant companion even though worry doesn’t contribute anything to their existence. Worry is a taker, never a giver. Worry takes a lot of brain space. Worry saps a lot emotional energy. Worry slows you down physically. Worry changes your whole attitude towards life. Yet worry contributes nothing positive to your daily struggles.

So why do people hang out with worry? Basically worry is the greatest pretender. Worry will pretend to be concerned about you when it’s not. Worry will make you believe that he has the solutions to your challenges when he does not. Worry will fill your head space with so much unnecessary information that you’ll be confused and running in circles. As you do that more and more, worry becomes more powerful and takes over more space.

Worry’s greatest antidote and challenger is hope. We will talk about hope next time. For the time being let’s just accept the fact that worry is not your friend. Worry can’t help you become resilient. To be resilient you have to lighten yourself and let go of the burdens that life leaves behind. Worrying about these burdens bring more weight on you. No one functions well with the extra weight.

To be resilient is to be free of worry. Remember that resilience was defined as the art of being able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed. If you’re encumbered with worry you can’t spring back. Worry will have you stuck in its grip and you won’t be able to move.

Resilience has a lot to do with having the courage to show up just the way you are and allowing others to see you just the way you are. Worry will take away that courage and turn you into a pretender that wants to hide. Once you’re alone, worry becomes your dominant force and there’s room for nothing else and no one else. Worry is your enemy.

Right now, take a leap of faith and verbally say, ‘goodbye worry!’ It may sound or feel weird to do that. Bu there’s power in self-talk and self-messages. The more you say that audibly the more power you’ll be taking away from the pretender called, worry. Goodbye worry!

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life… Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Jesus

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