Resilience & Awareness

Sue Hurst

 Resilience & Self-Awareness:

Things You May Not Know
About Yourself 


     The strange noise grew louder as we walked the trail that ran through our neighborhood. If it hadn’t sounded so pitiful, it would have been creepy.


     Finally, my husband and I couldn’t stand it anymore and began peering through the slats of the wooden fences lining the trail. And we saw him. A beautiful, blue-eyed Siberian husky in a backyard dog pen. With his head wedged stuck between the gate and the fence post!

     It only took one look at that sad puppy dog face and I was on my way to find the dog's owner...which was not as easy as it sounds. Continuing down the trail, turning right at the nearest street, down the block, right again past another few houses and into the first cul-de-sac that backed up to the walking trail. After knocking several times and getting no answer, we continued to the second cul-de-sac, knocking until someone finally opened their door.


     Yes, he said, he did have a dog pen and a dog with blue eyes. But after checking his backyard, he said his dog was fine. 


     We were at the corner when we heard the man calling us. He asked if we would show him the place where we'd seen the dog. Perhaps, it was his neighbor's dog.


     Down the street, out of the 2nd cul-de-sac, past the first one, down the block, and the second street until the three of us were all on the walking trail. The man peered between the fence boards where we’d seen the husky and said in amazement, “That’s my house! That’s my dog!” While the dog was no longer trapped, we could see how the fence post had been bent allowing him room to insert his head. (The dog was apparently a skilled escape artist!)


     Later, as we walked home, my husband said, “That was really great how you persisted.”


     I stopped and stared at him with amazement and disbelief. From the moment we set off to find the dog’s owner, my mind had been full of poisonous self-talk:


     You’ll never find the right house; why are you making such a scene; why can’t you just leave it alone;

you’re so pushy; you’re dragging your husband all over the neighborhood; you don’t know where you’re going; you ALWAYS do these kinds of things, on and on and on…


     I’ve had those type of toxic thoughts most of my life, usually when I was trying to do something that was important to me. My response for the most part has been to just endure the onslaught of abuse while I blamed myself for my lack of healthy thoughts.


     However, as I listened to my husband’s praise (Wow, praise!), I had a new perspective of my self-talk. In Revelation 12:10 NLT, the devil is called "the accuser of our brothers and sisters."    


     I had not just been beating myself up with my negative thoughts. I had also, unwittingly, been agreeing with Satan.


     With this new self-awareness, I can now see I’m actually strong in the EQ attribute of resilience. According to Dr. Laura Belsten, founder of the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence, resilience is “perseverance and diligence in the face of setbacks.”


     For me, this lesson has been an amazing illustration of Isaiah 5:20 NLT, “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil…” Beating myself up for being persistent and resilient has definitely caused me sorrow. What about you? Am I the only Christian who has had the accuser invade their thoughts and put a backwards spin on things?


     While this article was meant to be about the EQ skill of Resilience, it’s also about Self-Awareness—the foundation of Emotional Intelligence. Would you like to grow with me in Self-Awareness and Resilience?


1. Let’s ask the Lord to give us both wisdom and revelation in self-awareness.


2. Let’s pray to become living examples of Resilience as seen in Galatians 6:9 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”


3. Let’s examine ourselves for specific areas where we are extremely self-critical and allow the Lord to show us His perspective.


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