Thursday, April 9

Resiliency: The First Three Things Needed, Revisited 4/9/15

      Resiliency.  What extraordinary spinach do we need to gobble, that empowers us when tested?  What steps can we take that increases our con-fidence when tried, when the wolf of difficulties reawakens childhood fears of rejection? How can we maintain perspective when fear of failure and being emotionally
assaulted threatens our serenity and peace of mind? 

    I notice over in the sidebar that quite a few have been checking out this post, making it the third most read for this week. I'm bumping it up, for those have not seen it.  For those familiar with it, I've added to it, making it worth a second look. 

Traits of Emotionally Resiliency:

1.  Those who bounce back from trauma and negative circumstan-ces have boundaries and are clear about who they are. They do not allow others to define them or deter-mine their moods. . They are not exter-nally referented.

2.  Resilient people see the Big Picture. They understand that there is a difference between who they are and the cause of their present suffering. Bad things happen to good people because there are victimizers---emotional vampires and narcissists out in the world. 

      Rich Buhler in his book, Beyond Pain and Pretending, talks about the Law of Eligibility. It states that "bad things happen to bad people." It akin to the ancient Grecian view as espoused in its mythology. If you do something wrong, you'll be zapped by Zeus, becoming a greasy smudge on the sidewalk, or turned into a pig.

      The good news: Rich Buhler informs us The Law of Eligibility is false!

3. Another characteristic: for emotionally resilient people, stress might play a part in their story but it does not overtake their permanent identity. They are not what happens to them. They detach from their circumstances, not reacting, they respond. Most of those who are emotionally steady while facing crisis work on their vulnerabilities. They strengthen these areas. Healthy alternatives serve as antidotes to depression, fear, resentment or anxiety. They pray, meditate, talk about their circumstances with the good company they keep. They exercise and journal. 

      Back in November, 2013, I had a horrific experience. It took place at an Al-Anon Family Group meeting. It morphed into abusive environment.  Over more than four weeks, gossip, lies, slander, defamation, you name it, invaded what had been a sweet meeting.  It was out of control.  Someone brand-new to this program---but thought to be a good leader was asked to guide.  A huge mistake. Being a codependent, she made matters worse, placing her damaged, vulnerable personality above principles, contributing to more chaos. 

      Bad idea. 

      Al-Anon's supportive, caring spirit departed from this meeting that gathered in a cute cottage. At the roots of the Alamedan hellish occurrence was envy.  The common welfare of those attending was not considered.  The unity of those attending was shattered by two in particular.  The basic principles of this fellowship were ignored.  The situation is akin to individuals reciting liturgies at church while not living by them. 

       I had attended this meeting for more than six years.  My response to the tempest in this cottage was simple.  I appealed to the group, asking if Al-Anon's principles could be applied.  Egos were involved, unfortunately.  Judgment, divisiveness and character assassination grew, making the place toxic.  The startled majority lacked courage to voice their discomfort and stand up to those abusing them.  

       One option remained.  Leave.  It is not my role to convince others or correct.  Taking care of me meant staying in the solution.  I mentally blessed those creating the discord and stopped attending.  

      I had equanimity while all this transpired.  I was focused. The joys of life were still mine. Part of this strength was knowing that the two damaging the spirit of harmony at this meeting were not God's gift for me. The people God has for me have my back.  That wasn't the case there. Those who are a part of my life are emotionally mature.  They are supportive people who live by healthy principles, unlike those I left. 

      Fortunately, many who attended that once-healthy meeting felt similarly.  Voting with their feet, they moved on, birthing a new meeting.  Its focus is Al-Anon principles and its literature. Gossip is not given reign.  Mutual support, authenticity, vulnerability are the hallmarks of this group, along with emotional safety. 

      Am I glad.  And yes, I attend this meeting. 


Lemonade said...

I dont think you know how much you affect me positively. I think others can agree that you play a great part in our lives. Thank you.

Thumper said...


I have to agree with Lemonade! I just want to take a moment to express how special and amazing you truly are. Thank you.


I, basically, agree with the Innkeeper's views on being resilient. Sometimes, though, the stress can be deeply embedded in a person's mind, even without that person realizing it. Positive association is the key to recovery.

Anonymous said...

I recall.the intensity of.that time. I am so thankful the new meeting, even.though I.loved the space where the previous meeting.was held. I.have not been attending our, but back there, soon. I have been muck and not getting very far doing it.alone. I heard a wonderful thing today.....every day spent.above ground is.a! Wow.....very simple but powerful.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.