Like many, my (Paul’s) heart sank at the need and the news for a further month of lockdown in England. The financial, emotional, stability, wellbeing, disruption implications are enormous. Many of us only just made it through the first lockdown and we’re just beginning to replenish our deeply drawn reserves. What do we need to go through this again? Some will say to become more resilient. We have had our suspicions proven, that resilience, is a natural outcome, not the means to the end.
The following quote from Frances Ward has voiced our refined objectives.
“I’m using the word ‘resourcefulness’ instead of the more current ‘resilience’, because I think it brings different things to the table. Resilience training is widespread today – in schools, and in the military – seeking to enable young people and adults to cope or survive in adverse circumstances.
Resourcefulness though, suggests more than the reactive ability to cope. The resourceful person will bring resources to the situation, not only to cope with challenge and failure but also to turn things around for the benefits of all concerned. Resilience enables survival; resourcefulness brings more: self control, and the emotional and psychological strength to give of self to enable others to survive and flourish. Resilience is a survival mode; resourcefulness a flourishing mode”.
It is a challenge to imagine flourishing during lockdown but we can remind ourselves of all the resources we have available to us. We have applied what many of us have taught about being asset based in our treatment of others, but this applies to ourselves as well. God has not left us resourceless.
We have learnt to think, plan and act differently. We have learnt that deferred hope is still hope. We found out, perhaps for the first time, speaking to others about our fears and vulnerabilities, made us more human, not less. We have realised others are looking out for us. We have been reminded that it is “We” not “I” as we act out our mutual rights and responsibilities. We recall that we did it before and with some readjustments, we can do it again. We have learnt that we have needed and are entitled to be more gentle with ourselves. Even when we have struggled, we have surprised ourselves, and perhaps others, that we are stronger than we thought or knew. We have learnt new hobbies to sustain us, even flourish in times of restrictions.
So going forward, like our picture, let’s realise we have some cliff erosion resources put in place. Like the scene in Cornwall, before the recent storms, the boulders were at the bottom of the cliff. Even these huge boulders have been moved by the power of the sea. Sobering! Let’s revisit and if necessary, replace our well-being erosion resources for the next stage of covid-19 and political news.
Reference: Frances Ward, Full of Character. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2019, p128-9.