Vulnerability and Resiliency

I was listening to Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, speak about the present COVID19 times in relation to trauma and he had this to say. We are in the midst of a ‘pre-trauma’ period. We are all impacted by the pandemic, but we will not necessarily suffer an emotional/psychological injury as a result. However, we should be aware of and prepare to lessen the impact of ‘preconditions for trauma’. Bessel says that lack of predictability, immobility, loss of connection, numbness and spacing out/reduced awareness of time and sequence [lack of presence], loss of safety, and loss of a sense of purpose, are all factors in whether we will become traumatized by the losses and adversity that we will experience as a result of COVID19.

Here are some ideas about things that you can do to strengthen your own resiliency and lessen the emotional impact of COVID19

Predictability – Build routines into your days and week. Stick to your morning and nighttime routines daily. Plan times to communicate, exercise, work, eat, play, relax, pray, etc.

Mobility – Be active. Although we are indeed more restricted and have to make compromises in how we remain active, we can still take action. Learn something new, practice something that interests you, be of service, etc.

Connect – Reach out. Initiate communication. We are very fortunate to be in an age when it is so easy to make a call, videoconference, or even send a letter and gift package. Read the bible, a devotional, and listen to praise/worship music. Journal. Ask questions, be sensitive and curious about the thoughts and feelings of others.

Presence – Be mindful of your physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual state. Increase awareness of your senses and how you are impacted by your environment and vice-versa. Pray and try to notice God’s influence in your life. Acknowledge, celebrate, and be thankful for God’s creation.

Safety – Make choices that improve your health and safety. Note that you do have reasonable power and control in many areas of life. Live fully, while respecting the relationship between freedom and responsibility, these concepts are connected. Live fully, but conscientiously, informed by Love and in Peace.

Purpose – As Christians, we are blessed with God’s gifts to us and His desire be in relationship with us. God is always close to us, as the Holy Spirit resides within us. Our purpose is to live in relationship with Him and all His creation, and to share in this experience with Him, through joys and sorrows alike.

As human beings we are subject to weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. As Christians we are all blessed with grace and the promise that we are not alone as we persevere through the trials of this world. My prayer for all of us this week, is that we be mindful of God’s will for us as we continue to be refined and made more resilient through God’s power and love manifesting in us.