UU Lent 2020 – Day 42 – Resilience

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” – Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” – Gever Tulley

“It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment.” – Bram Stoker, Dracula

A Recipe for Resilience by Margaret Weis

The Strength of Water by Jamila Batchelder and Molly Housh Gordon

Excerpt from Rising Stong

“Storytelling helps us all impose order on chaos—including emotional chaos. When we’re in pain, we create a narrative to help us make sense of it. This story doesn’t have to be based on any real information. One dismissive glance from a coworker can instantly turn into I knew she didn’t like me. I responded to Steve so defensively because when I’m in doubt, the “I’m not enough” explanation is often the first thing I grab. It’s like my comfy jeans—may not be flattering, but familiar.

Our stories are also about self-protection. I told myself Steve was blaming me so I could be mad instead of admitting that I was vulnerable or afraid of feeling inadequate. I could disengage from the tougher stuff. That’s what human beings tend to do: When we’re under threat, we run. If we feel exposed or hurt, we find someone to blame, or blame ourselves before anyone else can, or pretend we don’t care.

But this unconscious storytelling leaves us stuck. We keep tripping over the same issues, and after we fall, we find it hard to get back up again. But in my research on shame and vulnerability, I’ve also learned a lot about resilience. For my book Rising Strong, I spent time with many amazing people—from Fortune 500 leaders to long-married couples—who are skilled at recovering from setbacks, and they have one common characteristic: They can recognize their own confabulations and challenge them. The good news is that we can rewrite these stories. We just have to be brave enough to reckon with our deepest emotions.” – for the whole excerpt click here


“With its unapologetic focus on black women “Lemonade” is equal parts “testimony service” and Sunday morning worship. It celebrates beauty and resiliency, as any good, uplifting worship service in the African-American Christian tradition should do. But the visual album doesn’t shy away from the trials and pains experienced by those women who may not get a chance to speak or to lead on Sunday morning, but who testify about their lives on a Wednesday or Friday night.”


What’s in your way?

Sometimes resiliency isn’t about what we do right but what we do wrong. Sometimes we undercut our own resilience. The below article lists some of the things that trip us up. So make some time this month reading through the article and identifying which of the 13 is in your way. And then take one step – large or small – to remove it from your life.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

If you are feeling brave, you can even talk with a family member or very close friend and ask them which one is getting in your way.