When we don’t resist Life, it always teaches us how to cope.
I met a friend at a party over the weekend. He said he admired me and Vaani for being so resilient in the face of so much adversity. His wife said that she found it amazing that we have the courage to share our story, through my Book ‘Fall Like A Rose Petal’ (Westland) and my Talks, with the world. I thanked both of them for being so generous with their compliments. But I clarified that resilience is not something unique. All of us are capable of resilience. It is like the Bluetooth feature on our smartphones. To use it, we must activate it. Simple.
To be sure, we started our own journey through this cathartic bankruptcy gripped with fear, anger, grief and guilt. Forget facing the world, I even hated the face I saw in the mirror. But over time, I realized that resilience is not a singular quality. It is not as if you download an App into yourself or that you turn on a switch in you and it starts working. Resilience is a beautiful combination and interplay of three coping mechanisms that you must deploy when you are faced with a Life-changing crisis:
- Having honest conversations. Be honest with yourself and also engage with someone you can trust with giving you brutally honest feedback. In my case my daily practice of silence periods, mouna, really helped me. Plus, of course, my soul-mate Vaani and I often have very empowering conversations to share what we feel, how we must move forward and what we can or must do with any situation or challenge that springs up.
- Being practical. In almost any situation in Life, you will want to do some things, you will not want to do some things and you will have to do some things. It is the last part that is often the most difficult to do, even though it is the most practical. So, bottomline, no matter how you feel about some thing or someone or some situation, you have to do what you have do. Be clinical. Be focused. And just do it.
- Keeping the faith. No matter how hopeless a situation is, please know that Life is very, very, very, very compassionate. You will always get what you need. You will not always get what you want. But you will always get what you need. I call this the marathe vechchavan thanni oothuvaan (Panakaaran, 1990, P.Vasu, Ilayaraaja, Vaali) – the creator shall always provide philosophy to Life.
So, as I see it, resilience is resident in all of us. It doesn’t show up when we resist Life. But once we embrace Life and accept it for what it is, and go with the flow, it quietly kicks in. The other way I see it is that a problem comes into your Life only because you have the ability to handle it. That ability is your resilient nature. So, no matter what you are faced with right now, soldier on. Eventually, everything passes and you will always overcome!