Karlta Zarley - Newsletter
Volume 16; Number 1
January 23, 2019
HOW DO WE (RE)BUILD RESILIENCE?
Have you noticed that large portions of American society have lost their resilience? This isn't isolated to younger generations, those living in poverty, urban, suburban or rural areas, etc. It is across the board. This has led me to really be thinking about what makes us resilient, and how we maintain our resilience. I urge you to look at your lives and seek out places where you are no longer resilient and find ways to regain this valuable trait.
Causes: These are in no particular order and is not an exhaustive list:
1. Many of us are becoming more and more sensitive to our environs. Whether one is born somewhere on the Neurosensitive spectrum so that our 3D senses are sharper and therefore bring in almost too much information for comfort, or whether we are starting to see some of the finer points of living within a society that is still learning Kindness and Unconditional Love for ALL, we are feeling it in our physical and emotional bodies. Overall, this is a good thing! This allows us to really start to move back towards Oneness in terms of how we treat each other. (Think about things like understanding the financial slavery of college loans, or the changes regarding things like gay and transgender rights.) On the down side, in an already stressed society (with decreasing levels of one-on-one human contact and increasing expectations, demands and information overload), often the reaction is to further withdraw in an effort to protect oneself (like not paying attention to societal issues, becoming more depressed, and not asking for help or maintaining one's support network).
2. Our society has become one of increasing ease—we struggle less with the honorable pursuits of growing and storing food, building shelter and nursing those who are sick back to health, and have given more and more of those “duties” to others. Yes this creates jobs, but it further divides us from those we live closest to and often love the most.
3. The internet and certain societal pressures have made it “ok” to bully others, even as we work harder to raise awareness to eradicate it in our schools. Somehow it has become “okay” to protect our children (with varying degrees of success) but it is also somehow “okay” to bully adults, groups or other countries more. I find this bewildering.
4. We shelter our children and ourselves from struggling, from failure and from hard work (unless we are enjoying what we are doing), and no longer value things like perseverance, innovation, and a willingness to take a risk without a certain payoff. Even in the sciences, pure research is harder and harder to get funded because we demand an instant payoff, even though we know it is unreasonable and prevents us from finding truly wondrous things that we later figure out how to utilize.
5. We want instant and perfect everything—money, status, perfect jobs, families, self-satisfaction, homes respect, etc. and we have lost our ability to contemplate where we are and why we are stuck in various patterns (which is due to lack of time, which goes back to item 1 above).
6. As parents, we often want to be liked by our children more than we want to make sure that they are contributing members of society. We think that we can have it all, but that means that sometimes we aren't very good at saying “no,” making our children actually work hard for something they want, or disciplining. We give them the idea that they can have everything they want, when they want it, and we don't talk about how hard we have had to work for what we have at our own ages and stages of life...our own challenges and failures.
So how do we turn this around? Again in no particular order:
◆ Talk to our kids about everything. “Close the loop” with words so they can see the “breadcrumb trail” of how things work. For example, it is hard to talk about what is still needs to be learned or to prepare our offspring for that time when we die. Many of us don't want to think about that even ourselves, much less make them think about it. We need to work through our own issues, be transparent about that with them, and talk about it with them—what do they feel prepared to do? What do they feel they don't know yet? (Like they are good at finding jobs, but not very good at managing money, or what our preferences are should they need to suddenly make end of life decisions for us when we can't.) Then start to teach and discuss those things. MOST IMPORTANTLY, then “close the loop” by pointing out after the discussion that it was hard to think about or learn those things, but don't you feel better, more confident, surer about yourself, etc. now? (This isn't just about this topic, but this process applies to all things.)
◆ Allow our children to have to work for things that they will reasonably need to work for in society: a job; success; an apartment; transportation; a support network including real people not just on social media; an understanding that a society really can't function well if folks aren't working together; a willingness to give more now “so that it's there” when you yourself are in need; an understanding and ability to do self-care and how to do that more than just when you are really sick; the willingness to try and try again and think outside the box and take risks so that one may succeed, even if it is in ways that were previously not appreciated or even seen as possible.What does that all look like? When they seem stuck, don't tell them what to do or rescue them or make it easier. Instead, ask questions like “What part of this isn't working?” “What might make this work better?” “Do you need more of something like practice, knowledge, money, manpower or other resources? And then “How do you get those?”
◆ You may have to have them start paying rent at home or paying some of their own bills etc. even if they don't have a job yet. This is highly motivating to get a job, and they will find out that they can do almost anything if they have to, and then improve things from there as they can. This builds self-assurance, even if it isn't fun.
◆ Ask them if they are asking the right questions, or if they are asking any questions at all. Ask them, “How can you make this situation, this job, this relationship, this space, this idea, yourself...better? What would that look like and how would you do that?”
◆ Support them when they fail (rather than ignore it or belittle it) and then “close the loop” by pointing out later that if they hadn't failed, they wouldn't have worked harder and then succeeded or changed course or become wiser.
◆ Celebrate their “wins”--more self-esteem, a sense of greater personal power, pleasure at a job well done, etc.
◆ Point out the other ways that we know we are doing well besides money—personal satisfaction (which no one can take away from us no matter what); more resilience; less negative judgment of self and others; more patience; less anxiety and fear; a more realistic understanding of themselves, others and what is reasonable in any situation.
We can do this for others, and we can do this for ourselves. As we do, we really will become great again, but without using anxiety, fear and separation as the motivation. This too is part of the path of Mastery.
© 2019 Karlta Zarley
All Rights Reserved.
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