Somehow, when I face what is mine to face and empty myself of all that is agitating me, I go clear like a lake after a storm. It is then that I can see through to the bottom of what is me, only to see that I share that bottom with all other beings. When I face my heartache and reach its bottom, there is the bottom of all heartache which is both comforting and renewing.

In this brave and tender way, resilience is accepting strength from everything that is not us. When being ourselves to the bottom of our personality, we trip into the well of all personality. When giving all our care to what is before us, we trip into the well of all love. When diving through the depth that some call soul, we swim in the depth of being. Once opened that deeply, summoning and marshalling what is dormant in us to face the situation at hand empowers our fortitude.

The deeper reward for inhabiting our full humanity is that the Universal Life-Force floods our authentic openness. Just as you must plug in a lamp to access electricity, our presence and full humanity is required as a way to “plug-in” to the Universal Life-Force that flows through all things. When holding nothing back and being true, we are lifted by the healing forces of life, the way a raft is kept afloat by the ocean. In just this way, resilience buoys us with strength from everything that is not us, when we can be thoroughly who we are.

Like it or not, we are challenged to cooperate with the forces of life as they shape us. One way we do this is to speak from our heart. Because speaking from our heart makes us strong enough to endure the erosion of suffering. Speaking from our heart keeps us strong by clearing the inlet we call soul of unprocessed experience. This thoroughness of being and congruence of relationship between us and other life opens us to a deeper, more enduring form of resilience, through which the core of our being opens to core of all being, making us for the moment stronger than we are.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a situation that is calling for you to speak from your heart? Practice doing so in this reflection. Notice and detail how speaking from your heart, even in practice, affects you.

This excerpt is from my book in progress, The Long Walk Through Time.

The Life of Expression: Finding Your Voice, Mark Nepo’s new 3-session webinar starting June 13, will center on the lifelong process of listening, reflecting, and expressing, and on how bearing witness to the truth of living reveals the mysteries of life. For more information or to register, visit: