While I was reading the 6 Habits of Resilient People I found myself coming up short on a few items. I found myself coming up short because I do consider myself a resilient person; I am a reframing ninja, I embrace failure as god-like in its ability to shortcut my learning curve, I actively work towards diversifying my identity, my forgiveness-foo is strong, and I *attempt* to creatively justify different life-purposes based upon an unholy mixture of scenario-running and empirical testing. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. The one I don't seem to actually utilize is the close-knit network of friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, or denominational equals and I briefly (oh so briefly) wondered why (the answer of which has already filled the annals of this blog many times over). To further compound the complexity, both identity and purpose integrate community as fail-safes. And that's when I first understood the two to be discrete; community and society being very different, yet incestuously symbiotic. This epiphany has helped me better understand who I am.
Its awkward at best when people define abhorrent behavior as, "healthy" because of nothing more than an elementary comprehension. I didn't realize this until I was looking at the Resiliency Mandala that using a childhood "coping mechanism" as an adult is likely going to cause more harm than good; that which worked at four years of age is unlikely to yield the same results at 40, yet time and again we see precisely that behavior. I came close to creating an opposite-of-resiliency mandala but the rough draft frightened me nearly as much as my Pyramid of Dumb (to this day it fascinates me that people choose to experience anger as a default reaction to otherwise benign stimuli). In short, rather than having a habit of seeking answers to tough questions and finding center amidst chaos, one might instead tend to deflect, project and blame or over-simplify everything possible with a single stroke of a monochromatic brush, then deny doing so.
In an attempt to re-frame my own lack of strong "relationships with others" while endeavoring to simultaneously maintain an accurate self-image, I'd just about decided upon the "fewer-strong-relationships-as-opposed-t
I was trying to connect a friend of mine who was let go last year and recently completed a certification into another field with the wife of one of my oldest friends who used to be heavily involved in that same field (and as a bonus they happened to attend the same college). While I was talking to them sequentially, the oldest friend had recently completed his own certification in a new field, and while asking about each other I happened to mention a friend of mine who was going through a rough time and it turns out they knew each other but had fallen out of touch. At the end of about an hour, I'd contacted everyone, given the wife the name of the guy looking for the lead, and passed on everyone's contact information.
Only later did it dawn on me that they were all at my house at the same time in 2007:
Perhaps I am a part of a community after all? Maybe I do have that support system as I help to support others? What if the only thing which truly exasperates us is our limiting definitions or constrained expectations? I don't surround myself with only those who believe the same things I do, or have identical personalities. The people I interact with - on and offline - do all have one thing in common, however - they are all very bright - and I learn from our differences. So even though increasing configuration options mathematically increases complexity, opening ourselves up for more flexibility may end up having the opposite effect, and that's something all of us can use more of to increase our own resiliency.
I am nothing more than a work-in-progress myself. Still making mistakes, and still learning from them. Aren't we all?