I’ve always prided myself on my adaptability, on my flexibility. Today I am seeing this word: Resilience—bouncing back after a setback or surprise. That set me to pondering the difference between flexibility and resilience.
I’m flexible. I can bend and shift, stretch and shape myself to fit into many situations and relationships. I’m discovering that isn’t always a healthy thing. I see that by doing that in my life I have often given up my own shape to make room for another’s.
Being resilient, I am noticing, retains my own boundaries; my own desires and needs while taking into account what is happening around me. Being resilient is a response to the present moment, to the now. Adaptability looks at the past and takes that into account in shaping who I am now.
I’m not saying that one is more important or necessary than the other. This is a both/and situation. Yes, I can look at the past, but recognizing that the past is Not Now, my resilience in bouncing back to a balance and stability that can navigate the now gives me the opportunity to learn from the past and maintain those boundaries that serve me and my relationships in health and safety.
In energy healing I am encouraged to experience a container that is big enough to hold all the emotions present in the now, whether they are exacerbated by my own past experiences or are being expressed by the other and I am feeling them empathically. Having resilience makes it possible to take some of those “learned behaviors” from the past that have shaped my container in less than healthy ways and stay aware to the fact that I am big enough to hold the Now.