Minister’s Mind: Resilience

According to Psychology Today:
Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

This month at Tree of Life, we will explore the possibilities of resilience and how to grow more resilient as individuals and as a community. What brings us hope? What is worth failing for?  What do we need to bring back energy and enthusiasm when we’re feeling low? What vision and mission are compelling enough to get us back on our feet when we fall?

Successful people and congregations are not perfect. They make as many mistakes as anyone else and face difficulties and crises.  The key to success is not avoiding hard times and mistakes, but learning how to persevere, heal and restore ourselves to health and happiness.

One of the myths of resilience is that we have to do it alone. “Get up, dust yourself off, and keep going” is part of resilience, but it’s not the only way. Getting a hand up, being supported and cared for while any bruises heal, and moving on together is just as reasonable. In fact, supportive community is one of the best predictors of resilience.

At Tree of Life, we hope to increase our personal and community resilience by building strong, caring relationships. One of our shared goals is to be open to changes that keep us relevant and vital to our communities and the world. To do this, we have to risk doing things differently, experimenting with new ways of worshiping, learning together, and reaching out and serving our communities and the world.

It’s easier to risk and grow if you know you will be supported and helped back up if you fall. As we explore resilience this month, we can be intentional about expanding the tools and nurturing the relationships that help us get through hard times.  We can grow in resilience as individuals and as a community.

You can find our Soul Matters resource packet on Resilience here. There are a lot of great resources in the packet and some excellent exercises to try.  May we all grow more resilient!

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