New Endings by Debbie Carlson-Gould

Imagine committing to a process and practice that empowers you to create a new vision of what is possible for you in your life moving forward. Picture yourself soaring up to a bird’s eye view where you can see your life path more clearly than ever before. Exhilarating? Yes. Scary? Often.

For many of us our life story is filled with disappointments, heartbreaks, and even tragedies. While it may not seem so at the time we are experiencing profound struggles, we have choices as to how we respond to them. Ultimately, it is our responses to difficulties that determine how whole and happy and empowered we feel to face the next one. Because there is always a next one.

As general interest in mind-body-spirit wellness is rising, the word “resilience” gets tossed around a lot. What does that word mean to you? I used to believe it meant perseverance- doggedly getting up each time life knocked me down with a kind of relentless drive to overcome and power through. Bad things happen, right? It’s just a matter of dealing with them, moving on and forgetting about them, right? What do feelings have to do with anything? Ugh.

What I’ve learned in recent years (finally!) is that resiliency results from a combination of healthy emotional and cognitive responses to struggle and heartbreak. It is a process.

Resilience doesn’t mean selfless over-functioning and it doesn’t mean rigid self-sufficiency. We may have been taught or modeled these traits or learned to adopt them as means of survival.

True resiliency, rebounding with greater wisdom and understanding and new ways of interacting with life, is couched in the form of deep understanding of ourselves and how we personally show up in challenging situations. Replay your tapes, paying close attention to your actions, reactions, and the stories you make up about the things that happen to you. It is the stories we make up that stick with us and continue to cause pain and misunderstandings, more than the facts themselves of what happened.

The process I’ve discovered from various wise sources and my own trial and error is simple, but not easy. In her book Rising Strong, shame researcher Brene Brown describes a three-part process: The Reckoning, The Rumble, and The Revolution.

The Reckoning involves recognizing emotion by developing awareness of how our thinking, feeling (including physiology) and behavior are connected.

The Rumble is where we get honest about the stories we’re making up about our struggles. Do we get stuck in victim mentality, for example? Do we assign blame unfairly? Do we criticize ourselves too harshly?

The Revolution offers you the opportunity to be the author of the rest of your life, to write your own daring ending, despite, and because of, your experiences of hurt and struggle.

Here’s the thing, we had no power to write the beginning of our stories. No choice which family we were born into, where we grew up, what we look like, what experiences we had. We have no control now over anything that happened in the past. But we do get a chance to write our own new endings.

Tend Community is excited to offer a deep dive, a six-week book study circle featuring Rising Strong by Brene Brown to help you do just that.

Featured artwork by Gem S Visionary

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