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Faithful Resilience
Faithful Resilience

Faithful Resilience: Weekly Summary

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Resilience is really a secular word for what religion was trying to say with the word faith. Without a certain ability to let go, to trust, to allow, we won’t get to any new place.
—Richard Rohr

When you take on the confusion and the violence and you refine them, purify them into something new, you are doing what in the vocabulary of faith we call consecrating your chaos. To consecrate is to make holy, to put it into service for good.
—Otis Moss III

When there is more fluidity, there is more potential for care, and that care helps us to reduce violence against ourselves and others. Freedom is the agency to choose how we want to be in relationship with ourselves and the world around us.
—Lama Rod Owens

The joy spoken of in Holy Scripture is accessible, but also has a certain “beyondness” to it: The world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away. As we hear from Jesus in John 16:22: “So you have pain now; but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
—Barbara A. Holmes

If we are not trained in a trust of mystery and some degree of tolerance for ambiguity and suffering, we will not proceed very far on the spiritual journey.
—Richard Rohr

If there is any bravery in me, it is in my refusal to let fear eclipse my imagination for anything other than pain. To maintain imagination for both the beautiful and the terrible is to marry prudence and hope.
—Cole Arthur Riley

Week Four Practice

Gaining Equanimity

Psychologist Rick Hanson suggests we can increase our ability to feel and act from compassion through nurturing our own equanimity:

The word “compassion” comes from the Latin roots com and pati which mean “to suffer with.” We add the suffering of others to our own, a gift at the heart of being human. How can we be moved by the sorrows of others without becoming flooded, drained, or burned out?

To sustain compassion, we need equanimity, a kind of inner shock absorber between the core of your being and whatever is passing through awareness.… With equanimity, you can feel the pain of others without being swept away by it—which helps you open to it even more fully.…

As you face the enormity of the suffering in this world, you might feel flooded with a sense of despair at the impossibility of ever doing enough. If this happens, it can help to take some kind of action, since action eases despair.…

Think about the people in your life, including those you don’t know well. Could you make a difference to someone? Seemingly little things can be very touching. Consider humanity in general as well as nonhuman animals, and see if something is calling to you. Not to burden you, but to push back against helplessness and despair.…

Also take some time to reflect on what you have already done to help others and on what you are currently doing. Imagine how all this has rippled out into the world in ways seen and unseen. The truth of what you have given rests alongside the truth that there is still so much suffering, and knowing the one will help your heart stay open to the other.

Reference: Rick Hanson with Forrest Hanson, Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness (New York: Harmony Books, 2018), 242, 243

Image credit and inspiration:  Thays Orrico, Untitled (detail), Brazil, 2020, photograph, public domain. Click here to enlarge image.

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