Healthy people have a common character trait. They have a trait we all need, the character traits we all need is resilience – the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; a toughness, or bounce back like elasticity. This is the trait that causes you to get back up…to keep going… Not just by the skin of your teeth but to recover back to your strength. It is centering yourself in three truths:
- God will never give you more than you can handle – 1 Corinthians 10:13
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13
- The belief that nothing can separate you from the love of your Heavenly Father – Romans 8:38-39
Resilience is finding the sweet spot of your beauty, strength and character in spite of difficulties and problems. How many people do you know that have this ability or character trait? Not many, they stand out and seem unusual in their strength.
Shame is the block to why we can’t vulnerably live in our strengths. Dr. Brene Brown defines shame as “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. Shame creates feelings of fear, blame and disconnection.” Most people feel this at some point in their lives. Shame comes from how we interpret our life and value. That interpretation is flawed because it is based on our perception and the lies that get stuck in our heart. Shame grows in secret, in silence and the feeling of our own judgments and thoughts. Thoughts like “I don’t belong here” or “I don’t know what I am talking about, I’m just stupid” fly into our head. The lies of shame have prevented many from experiencing the joys of life.
“The Antidote to Shame is Empathy” – Dr. Brene Brown. Empathy fuels connection. According to Theresa Wiseman, a nursing scholar, there are four qualities of empathy:
- To be able to see the world as others see it (or recognizing that their perspective is their truth)
- Being Nonjudgmental
- Try to understand another person’s feelings
- Communicate an understanding of another person’s feelings.
Empathy creates a safe relational place for us to land. Safe close empathetic relationships give us another grid with which to measure and perceive ourselves. The wounds and scars of our past require us at times to find other things to help us find truth. Empathy creates connection where we – feel heard, valued and noticed for who we really are. We will never be resilient outside of relationship. We need others to make us strong and resilient.
Scripture supports our need for empathetic community around us. God’s connection and empathy creates a new measuring stick. We need something more with which to measure or gauge our thoughts, feelings and emotions of value and shame. Sometimes the wounds and shame are so big that we can excuse away the empathy and connection of others. We need something larger and stronger than ourselves or others to create empathy. God’s love and concern for us is the only thing large enough to create a new understanding of who we are. You have profound value and worth and you are loved, not for what you do but for who God is. Learn to meditate and connect on God’s empathy and desire for you. Read Romans 8 and Luke 15.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39