Updated: Oct 4
I was recently invited to share a weekend with several incest survivors for an opportunity to connect and brainstorm ways of prevention, intervention, recovery and transformation of incest abuse. I was deeply humbled that these survivors allowed me into this space, as a non-survivor. I imagine that for some survivors, having a mother or parent there can be difficult. Yet I know that we, survivors and survivor advocates, must work together to ensure that children are safe, survivors are supported, and that the people who love and care for survivors are supported, too. We collectively share in this responsibility and road to healing.
Throughout the weekend we laughed together, shared a few tears, explored our creative energies and even stayed up late one night as we got serious about the things we can do to raise awareness of and address this crisis. I was asked to lead a meditation which included mindful movements and on the day of our departure I shared the following with them. This was inspired by and adapted from a meditation on embracing resiliency by Daniel Sannito and the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.
A Lotus For You ...
The world we live in demands so much from us. Our time and energy. Our hearts. Our minds.
As survivors and survivor advocates many of us have had to, and still do, rely on skills of resiliency to move through life.
In its essence, resiliency is the ability to return to ourselves over and over again, especially amid challenges, struggles, and hardships. Resiliency is what enables us to return, reset, and move forward.
Often when we think of resiliency, we think of strength.
And while courage and strength are important, if not vital qualities that we embrace on our life journey, I invite you to consider another aspect of resiliency — the elements of resiliency that require tenderness and empathetic, compassionate care.
When over-emphasized, resiliency can lead to pushing away or burying our struggles.
Yet it is through naming and honoring our challenges and difficulties that we can really embrace our resiliency. It is here that we can water the seeds of loving kindness, non-judgement, and compassion. It is here where we can see that amid tumult or discontent, we are always worthy of love, joy, gentleness, peace, safety, and care.
We can cultivate the tender and gentler aspects of resiliency by knowing when to intentionally create space and time off to care for and nurture ourselves. This nurturing space and time can inform, stimulate and maybe even guide us through our advocacy work which requires resiliency.
By creating space for resiliency with an open awareness we can tune into what we need — what practices, people, and environments are serving us. Through a lens of compassion, kindheartedness and care, we can learn ways to release any experiences that are not serving us as we navigate our world and our daily lives.
We can encourage, strengthen, and expand our resiliency when we fully engage in the caring for ourselves because resiliency is at the intersection of self-awareness, openness, optimism, self-efficacy, adaptability, and evolution.