Resilience: The Still Point
posted on Wednesday 24 Aug, 2016.
“Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance.“
For many years this quotation has sat in my mind, asking for my consideration yet never giving enlightenment.
Today, I think I finally understand and I disagree with Mr Eliot. There IS a still point, but we normally avoid it by dancing around it.
Let me explain.
Today I visited a relative who has breast cancer. She is certainly not the first of my friends and loved ones to go through this particular trial. All of them have got through and come out stronger and kinder in themselves afterwards. She will too.
She has always been the strong one in her world, so this is a particularly tough trial to get through, to step down from that role for a lengthy period and allow herself to come first.
Listening to her today I sensed her dance around her still point; her still point being that part of herself where only she can go. It’s a private place where many voices lurk, some loud, some nasty, some soft, some loving. In her words and actions I sense that she is choosing to listen to the soft and loving voices. The voices that are kind and loving to her and what is important to her.
In this choice is the essence of her resilience during this time of trials. This is the moment of truth where her choice will have great consequences. To say I am proud of her courage at facing this head on vastly understates my response. I am in utter awe at her courage in this still, private place.
For much of our lives we do dance around this still point, because the choices we have to make don’t need us to go and listen at this well of stillness. But when we do have to visit our still point, it’s only ourselves that we hear. We can’t hide. If we let them the loud and nasty voices can be terrifying, the soft and loving voices can be our salvation. How do we make this choice?
From my own experience (which I have written about in my book On Aspiring: Journey Beyond Courage) and from so many others, I think our choices emerge from seeing past this moment to when we have got through our tough times to the other side; seeing ourselves emerge stronger and kinder to ourselves and everyone else; knowing that we DO have a choice and its only ours to make. No one else can make it for us.
This is the still point of your resilience.