Three years ago I found this resilient little plant buried under a scrubby bush.
The plant reminded me that we don’t have to go looking for resilience. We just have to clear the trash out of the way.
Realizing I had found a 30 year old Rhododendron, I removed the bush that was choking it to near extinction. I worked appropriate material into the soil and and took other steps. If you have any interest in growing plants, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has a nice article. When done, I waited.
In the course of the last two years it has grown to be the size of a healthy 5 year old plant. In another 3 or 4 years it will continue to grow quickly. You see, it has a deep root structure because of its struggle to live. Struggle can be a real asset in life.
You may already know this about yourself and resilience.
When you remove a bad habit or experience healing in some part of your soul, you begin to grow like this rhododendron. You have developed deep spiritual roots because you have struggled.
When we have new realizations, we experience broad ranging disruptions. Though we can use meditation as a tool to helps us gain new insights, we can also use it to help the process of personal growth. As it says in Paul’s letter to the Romans:
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom 12:2
Resilience is a matter of cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit by clearing the ground of our soul, then wait. The Spirit will do its work.
If you have had a recent breakthrough it is often helpful to take time daily to clear your mind. Just allow what happens to happen.
Sit quietly. Set aside your journal and your prayer list for about 10 minutes at a time once or preferably twice a day. Simply remember the words from Psalm 23, “still waters.”
Breath in and say “still” to yourself. Breath out and say “waters.” Just focus on the sound of our breath going in and the word “still.” Then focus on the sound of your breath going out and the word “waters.” Let whatever thoughts, memories or images that come flow through your awareness like leaves in the breeze. If you are a busy, busy brain type person, you may want to reflect on the difference between directed thought and attentive thought.
Once you have mastered the art of attentive thought, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Over time your thinking will become clearer with no conscious effort. Clarity just happens. Our minds are both adaptable and resilient. We need only clear the trash out and invite the Holy Spirit in.