We’ve hit a bumpy patch around here.
It’s not so much life isn’t going well, I just see pitfalls on the path ahead and hold my breath (literally & metaphorically) as the Child hesitates and attempts to navigate around them.
My role used to be the bumpers along the sides of the bowling alley–easily able to keep her safe and ‘in play’— and I’ve now become relegated to spectator (or told about the game long after it’s concluded).
Admittedly not the best metaphor, but one which conjures the clearest image in my cranium.
As a result, I’ve fallen back on old wording.
You’ve got this! You can bounce back! has morphed into my MamaCatchphrase.
Spoiler alert: I’ve vastly oversold the importance of resilience.
Resilience, as most of us know, is the act of adapting or boinging back in the face of a challenge.
We (if by ‘we’ you mean Carla which before yesterday I did) tend to believe the longer we battle a situation the more resilient we are.
We (if by ‘we’ you mean schools, workplacesettings and society in general) reward examples of resilience and, should it not be evident, discuss ad nauseam how to create/instill more.
Watching the Child ‘spring back’ through her world has challenged my beliefs:
Can too much resilience result in banging our heads against the proverbial wall?
In the past I’ve framed resilience as “good.”
I’ve defined it as a trait which is extraordinarily positive and indicative of an ability to cope and be successful in life.
Lately I’ve witnessed immediate resilience is not always a good thing.
Too much bouncing back results not in restoration of spirit, but depletion.
Key, it seems, is to exert effort, stop, breathe/pause/rejuvenate and only after an intermission consider giving resilience another shot.
Resilience, when defined as capacity to rapidly recover from stress or difficulty, may not set us up for life-success.
Can too much resilience result in tolerating situations from which we’d otherwise, even temporarily, walk away?
My new answer is YES.
A modified version of: If at first you don’t succeed–quit.
I now advocate selective resilience.
Still a believer in ‘feeling all the feelings‘/embracing potentially painful emotions, yet (finally) concurrently aware there are times we need to avoid experiencing sentiments in order to continue functioning.
Selective resilience offers the option of snuggling down into the space between what was and what will be and choosing not to be immediately adaptable.
Selective resilience is self-preservation.
- Have you, too, encouraged resilience at all costs for yourself and others?
- Have you, unknowing, practiced selective resilience in your life?