Leaves turn color and fall to the ground, illness appears and we slow down for a spell, friends arrive or recede from our life…change happens. Some changes we seek – a new house, weight loss or a new job – and we forget that loss is still attached to the transition. Some changes come without our permission, without our understanding – and the experience of loss is undeniable. Change sends out ripples into all facets of our lives. It asks us to adjust to, accept, and trust all the moving parts that change can bring. Somehow we’re supposed to accommodate something different, even as it seeps into our way of being in the world.
During a recent program on loss and grief, I was asked about the relationship between vulnerability and resiliency. I had been explaining that our willingness to be vulnerable in our grief is a key step toward healing. We know that the loss of a loved one is one of the biggest and most painful changes around, so I bring this question into the conversation: How do vulnerability and resiliency partner in our journey through life? What can we learn about them that might help us adjust to, accept and trust the changes?
Nature, once again, is our teacher. The leaves of autumn are just one stage in the lifecycle of trees. The daffodil bulbs that are planted today will wait in stillness and then bloom when it’s their time. The tiny, ruby-throated hummingbirds travel 500 miles to enjoy summertime here at Lake Beseck. Nature’s big picture reveals the over-arching resilience embedded in Life. At the same time, each hummingbird travels alone in solitary flight; each daffodil bulb is dependent on the sun’s warmth and the soil’s moisture. Each living thing returns to a vulnerable state to claim the gifts of its true self.
Our vulnerability and our resilience are partners in this journey, rooted in the gift of Life. One may shine more brightly at certain points along the way, our unique personality may have more ease with one or the other. If we are to learn from the season of change, though, it is best to open our hearts and minds to both. Our most tender, vulnerable self and our creative, resilient self come together to guide us toward the wisdom that resides within.
This is my prayer for you, dear friends, trust the gift of who you are as you navigate the changes that life brings.
Blessings on this new day, Lisa