Creative Connections & Client Communications

Consultation Insights, October 31, 2006

What supports Resilience?

Readers are referred to the “Consultation Insights” essay of June 30, 2004. It was very popular: “Faithing to support Resilience,” a commentary on some points presented by psychologist Gina O’Connell Higgins in her book, Resilient Adults –Overcoming a Cruel Past.What follows is an extension of that initial overview.

Given our position and work within a pathology-driven culture, O’Connell writes simply and with high impact that “Those who are emotionally undercut stumble.” Then she discusses resilience (see the commentary cited above, please), asking a provocative question, “Can resilience be cultivated?”

Now this presumes the fact that we can recover from difficult behavioral patterns, that we can relinquish the influence of old models, that we can change. We can bounce back. Let’s look at the personality and behavioral assets that astrology and astrologers can discover and/or cultivate in clients to engender resilience.

O’Connell cites these observed and measured characteristics and dynamics among the resilient: high IQ; possessing a special talent of some kind [obviously to help differentiate them individualistically]; obtaining higher economic levels than their family of origin [creating distance]; demonstrating high levels of ego development [self-respect]; frequently having highly psychologically compromised siblings [for contrast]; and enjoying a history of enduring relationship success from times past [including parental “surrogates”].

The traits that accompany resilience add up to people who are self-propelled. “They operate with a firm belief that knowledge is power and that their futures will advance if they are active change-agents in their own lives ... They seize the day!”

This tells us so much within our astrological frame of counseling. Objective discussion leads to distancing from the difficult past patterning times. The ability emerges to see one’s self as different, separate, developed
individualistically, not waiting around mired in depressive routine to see things right themselves somehow, or even to hoping for closure in parental death, etc. Understanding allows the day to be seized.

We see people emerge in freedom, albeit gradually; showing more and more of the authentic Self rather than the dark reflection of “poisonous aspects of the past”; resolving not to repeat their parents’ folly, [becoming] skilled at
conflict resolution and dedicating themselves to maintaining emotional clarity with others.

Then O’Connell names a key trait of the resilient: the ability to love well. Intriguing.

Three points guide that observation and evaluation: 1) Resilient people establish and maintain relationships marked by a high degree of reciprocity, concern for the other as well as the self. 2) Resilient people develop and actively participate in relationships that can withstand (or even thrive on) conflict, disappointment, frequent anger, and frustration when the needs of either person in the relationship are not met. In short, they are able to negotiate successfully within relationship. 3) Resilient people relate to others in a way that recognizes the needs and characteristics of others and to differentiate those needs from their own.

The resilient have faith in their capacity to overcome the past and faith in relationships to help with the process.

The Astrology. The assessment of the profile of the resilient links the Western half of the horoscopes with the Eastern, Others and Self. We must see life away from defensiveness and into sincere trust. We must see an axis of loving (the Succedent Grand Cross of Houses) that is not complicated with doubt. We must see relationships (the Angular Grand Cross of Houses) refreshed away from the desultory models of the past. We must see the mind-set of hope, non-depressive thinking, and confident enthusiasm bloom (uncluttering the Cadent Grand Cross of Houses).

Yes. The whole horoscope is involved … as it should be. Management of the parts allows the whole to speak with sounder eloquence and fulfilling reward than it did before, from the consultation time forward. And this process is normally gradual … a ‘part’ at a time.

The key is client understanding … and the astrologer’s humanistic knowledge to clarify that understanding and support it.

I think one of the finest phrases I can hear from a client discussing a long-time pathology, a behavioral or perceptual routine born of frustration or defensiveness, is, “You know? I’ve never looked at it that way before. It’s sure better than what I’ve been doing.”

Immediately, relationships change –that without which little change is possible. When someone feels that way, sees new ways, new light, he or she loves ‘better’, more securely. They begin to seize the day.

Next Update, November 30, 2006


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