March 17, 2011 by Beth Hess
March’s task, in my journey to live a more Wholehearted life by using the Guideposts of Brene Brown’s Gifts of Imperfection, is to Cultivate a Resilient Spirit. Or, in short, to learn how to bounce back from life’s blows. It seems, based on Brown’s research, that the people who really live an Authentic, Wholehearted lives have a spirit that allows them to resist getting down, thinking negatively, and making mountains out of molehills. It’s certainly NOT that they have easy lives or no stress or Pollyanna attitudes. They’re just able to see the bigger picture, connect to people who help them through, and keep on going.
I know it is not at all coincidence this Guidepost was given to me to take on this month. Even more, I’m not surprised it’s taken half the month for me to even write about it.
Truth is, I simply have not been feeling very “bouncy” lately. I simply call it a “funk” – and for most of my life it’s been my companion from time to time. I never really know what will bring it on, and, even worse, I’m not always sure how to end it. It’s probably best described as a mild depression – lack of motivation, forgetfulness, desire to eat large quantities of food and watch TV all day. I still shower. I still function. I still work and make dinner and probably look pretty normal on the outside. But I’m just “off.”
In my funk, I feel like a sailboat adrift. It’s not that I’m in a storm. There is no danger. No fear. No “reason” to be going nowhere. But it’s also not like a lazy day on the water where I enjoy just sunning and floating. Instead, I’m just bobbing up and down in the waves. No wind. Not even a whisper. From time to time the sails will start to fill and I feel myself moving back toward something meaningful. But just as quickly as that breeze comes, it ends. And I don’t know how to catch the next one or how long it will take before real progress takes shape.
But this I have learned … the wind DOES come back. And one day, like say, this afternoon, I notice I’m standing a little taller again and feeling more pep in my step. And I’m back at the wheel – sails full.
Over the last couple of weeks, as I have been contemplating this idea of Cultivating a Resilient Spirit, I have found my comfort in this. I know the One whom the wind and waves obey. And there was once a man so captivated by His face, he could actually walk on the water, which, of course, makes the whole idea of needing wind to move your boat completely unnecessary. So I trust that when the wind is NOT there, it’s because my God said it should be so. And that maybe, just maybe, he’s calling me out of the boat.