In her new Netflix special, Brené Brown shares a story about a fight that she and her husband had when they were on a family vacation. The conversation was around two insecurities that each of them had and it led to a misunderstanding between the two of them. One of the recurring tools that Brené discovered when studying resilience that those who are resilient will ask themselves, “what is the story I am telling myself about…(the situation).”
Biologically, we are hardwired to try to make sense of what is going on around us. It is a survival mechanism that we develop to protect ourselves and simplify our life experience. We want to know 1) who are the villains, 2) who are the heroes, 3) who is for me or against me, 4) where is the danger. Our brains automatically fill in the gaps to answer these questions even if we don’t have all the information. There is hope, however! The beauty of following Christ, is that we have a Holy Spirit who helps us discern what is true and what is false. He helps us to determine if what we are believing is a lie or truth.
I do this all the time with people – especially people in my family. My mind fills in the gaps of the story and assumed emotions, beliefs and thoughts. It is honestly a struggle for me – and it is NEVER helpful.
Now, back to resilience. Resilience comes from the ability to be honest with the story you are telling yourself, being vulnerable in the sharing, then asking Holy Spirit, “Is this true” or “what is the truth?” He WILL tell you. He will tell you what is ACTUALLY true about YOU! He will tell you because Jesus paid the price on the cross for you to know the truth, for you to be set free because of that truth.
We can see the same thing with horses when they “re-circle.” When horses spook they are simply doing the same thing – they are filling in the gaps of the story – DANGER! So, as a result of their assessment, they run. They run away until they feel they are able to turn and assess the truth – fill in the gaps of their story with truth. This is why horses are able to thrive so well. They are thriving and resilient because they take the time to fill in the gaps of the story with truth.