Thursday, May 22, 2014

Living With My Whole Heart

   When Brené Brown started researching shame and fear she found a group of people, among those hundreds whose stories she collected, who seemed more resilient to adversity. She named them the whole hearted people. Her book, "The Gifts Of Imperfection" is really about the path to becoming wholehearted.

    Becoming resilient amidst adversity is not just appealing to me but it may be my lifeline in the years ahead. Here is a list of characteristics that resilient people seem to have in common.

  1. They are resourceful and have good-problem solving skills. I remember a moment in raising my children when it occurred to me that the helpless feeling I had was due to lack of problem solving. I had a teenage son who stayed up too late and his room was next to mine. I would lay awake and get more frustrated every night that the house wasn't quiet. I felt helpless to make change in him. Finally, I addressed God, in prayer. The answer came in a strange command. "Walk 60 minutes every day!" What an absurd way to solve my problem. It did nothing to change my son's habits. But, I did it and guess what? I slept like a baby.
  2. They are more likely to seek help. Asking for help is so hard. When I invite people into my life they get a birds-eye view of things I would like to hide. 
  3. They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them manage their feelings and to cope. I live with a man who chooses how he feels. Crazy, huh? He tells me that feelings don't run his life. I, on the other hand, get swept away with feelings all the time. I pick them up from other people like germs. So how do I cope? I'm learning to feel them and then let them dissipate. They don't grow if I don't feed them with rationalization and panic.

4.   They have social support available to them. I do have social support. Yet, somehow I like to think I'm better if I tough it out on my own. PRIDE is my downfall.
5. They are connected with others such as family or friends. Connection is the key. It takes effort to be available and involved. I rely on the Holy Ghost to help me know who to call and seek out. He does. Sometimes the call comes just at a moment when we both need each other. 

    Having given this list, my next post will be about what holds me back from being wholehearted.

Psalms 119:2  "Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart."

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