I was reading an article by Brene Brown and was struck by this statement“ my research on shame and vulnerability, I've also learned a lot about resilience. “

She goes on to explain more of what she means..."For my book Rising Strong, I spent time with many amazing people—from Fortune 500 leaders to long-married couples—who are skilled at recovering from setbacks, and they have one common characteristic: They can recognize their own confabulations and challenge them. The good news is that we can rewrite these stories. We just have to be brave enough to reckon with our deepest emotions. "

I find it fascinating to think about our lives as our “stories” or our very own “narratives”. We all write our stories and our beliefs from our perspectives of our experiences... and one story line is built on another and another and another. As we move forward in relationships we can easily place the frame work from a pervious story on top of a current situation. I am finding that “renewing my mind” has been and continues to be a physiological experience where my brain creates new neuro-pathways. I am also finding how I have stumbled into activating different parts of my brain for a more complete re-wiring where I seriously am at peace and feel more like myself.

I believe completely that we can rewrite our stories, and I also have seen how it isn’t just about acknowledging pain and disappointment (thought that is an important first step) it is about building resilience which seems to be built on true JOY. Joy where as Jim Wilder says in his new book Joy Starts Here, "someone is glad to be with me" and " we are glad to be together". Joy is relational and it builds my brain and that maturity builds a resilience where I can return to that Joy and a place where everything is okay (Shalom) from pain... I can build resilience.

“You are what you believe “ - better stated, “ You become what you believe”..... Our stories all started in families (of some sort) and some may have been HIGH Joy environments, but many of us were in low joy families where our brains did not get the essential JOY that it needed... and even if it did, it is difficult to keep our joy in the world we live in. So what is it that gives us that RESILIENCE to get back to Joy?  Jim Wilder and the Life Model Works folks have come up with several things... but it seems like the essential ingredient is an Immanuel lifestyle... where I practice the presence of God with me... because no matter what... God is ALWAYS happy to be with me.  So, if I can perceive his presence and feel that, I can return to Joy and help my brain get to a place of peace and solutions and not be in a place of anxiety. This takes practice but once I recreate new pathways in my brain, I can learn to know where God is at any moment.

What is your narrative and where do you go from here?

If you want to grow in joy and resilience, can we first suggest that you take a moment right now.... and follow these four steps:

  1. Take a Deep Breath
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to Come and Smile
  3. Thank God out loud for the first thing that comes to mind. Continue to practice this gratitude for 2 minutes.... even if you have to repeat things.
  4.  With your eyes closed, ask Jesus to help you perceive his presence right there and then ask "What do I need know right now about you or about me?" Write it down what you feel, see, hear, or sense. His "voice" will sound like yours as you are perceiving the impressions and connecting with the mind and heart of God.