Each of us has a reservoir of strength and resiliency that we draw on when faced with challenges.
Some view this reservoir as a sort of bank account. Its balance is the sum total of our temperament, early experiences, ways of coping, attitudes, perceptions, biochemistry and later experiences. We can either credit or debit this account. Most of us would like to make as many deposits as we can and try to limit our withdrawals to only those that are necessary.
Experiences of joy and connection are major deposits. Experiences that we perceive as threats or challenges (adrenaline-based – fight, flight or freeze) are significant withdrawals.
Experiences that bring us a sense of authenticity, alignment, belonging, safety, support, gratitude, laughter, purpose, curiosity, confidence, love, and passion are deposits – they add to our reservoir of strength and resilience. The more of these experiences we have, the stronger and more flexible and resilient we become.
- Authenticity and Alignment. When you are authentic and your presentation to others is aligned with your internal self; you feel freer, stronger and more confident.
- Vulnerability is the foundation of empathic connection and compassion. As you move more authentically in the world, the more vulnerable you are able to be. The more vulnerable you have the strength to be -the more empathic connection and compassion you can offer and receive.
- Belonging to a community or family of people who care for us creates safety, trust, love, compassion and gratitude. Believing you belong, that you are seen, that you are cared for and your gifts are appreciated is a fundamental building block.
- Gratitude. Gratitude is a deep sense of appreciation for all you have been given – all of the love, compassion, understanding, mercy and kindness you have experienced from others.
- Gratitude also often leads to a wish to be of service, an experience of giving back, or of giving to others. To be of service is, for many people, an experience of a kind of cosmic balance – you have been given to, so then you give. For many others, service also helps to create purpose or meaning.
- Purpose/Meaning. Many of us want to feel as if our lives and work serve a purpose or have meaning beyond our individual, single selves. Believing you are living a purposeful life creates a deep sense of satisfaction, passion, enthusiasm and excitement.
Life brings challenges. We need a reservoir, a reserve to draw from. Continuing to debit an account without paying attention to the need for consistent deposits leaves us tired, burnt out and badly overdrawn.