It’s Wednesday morning and my daughter and I are sitting in the Melbourne Airport waiting for a flight to London. Early this year, I was asked to go to London and speak to teenagers about spiritual resilience.
Last night, I talked to our host. There are 140 teenagers (aged 14 and 16) booked in for the four-day conference. In the daytime, the teens will be engaged in various kinds of high-octane fun. The mornings and evenings will be when I speak to them. I’ve thought a lot about what I will say.
I’ve talked to British friends who work with teens and asked them for advice. What are the teens in London able and ready to hear? Excellent communication is not about talking but about being heard.
The day is finally here. Sitting, waiting for the flight, a plan is forming of what I might say.
Resilience is about knowing who you are, who you can trust, and where you’ve come from. It’s about the experiences and people who shaped you. Those stories become your story when you truly hear them.
Spiritual resilience is about knowing the deep history behind your story. Where did your ancestors come from? Where did your understanding of life come from? Where did your values come from? Our spiritual self is a deeper and wider gathering of stories than our personal self. These historical stories are important.
All stories are important for building resilience. Your story. Your family stories. Your ancestral story. Your faith and values stories. Finding yourself and your place in the world comes alongside the stories you hear and take on board about yourself. This creates resilience.
So, I’m going to tell stories from my life, my family and my faith. Then I’m going to challenge the teens to find and tell their story. Again and again. Until they travel with resilience.