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Becoming resilient: Who's in your tribe?

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I’ve been talking about initiation for the last few posts and you might have noticed the importance of the village in the process. People in the village are very serious about their youngsters experiencing initiation in order for the village or tribe to be strengthened by the gift of the new adult in their midst.  Since everyone in the tribe goes through initiation, they all know the harrows of the ordeal and how hard it truly is.

The ordeal is worth it, though, to be able to experience the fantastic homecoming once the young person returns to the tribe as a gifted adult. The whole community turns out to welcome the initiate and honor the sacrifices s/he has made as well as the gift s/he now brings back to the tribe. The young person could not complete the process of initiation without this welcoming homecoming.

We know that part of being resilient is having a good support system. Which brings me to the title question: Who’s in your tribe? Who are the people who actually recognize when you are going through an ordeal that will teach you abundant lessons, no matter how hard it is? Who encourages you during the process? And who are the people who will celebrate when you “return to the village” after your ordeal, replete with new knowledge, skills, and gifts that will benefit both you and your tribe? Who will help you see that you need to give yourself a homecoming as well, to celebrate the unique wisdom and courage that you received from your journey?

If you can list at least a few people in your tribe, it means that you have a great skill that will help you be resilient throughout life.

But if you’re wondering, “Who really is in my tribe?” it’s time to explore creating new, meaningful relationships; a tribe that will honor your initiations as you honor theirs.

Takeaway points: We need a tribe to truly be resilient in life. Who’s in your tribe?

What are your thoughts about your tribe?

Tribal women photo by William Warby


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Bobbi Emel is a therapist who helps people in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View and the greater Bay Area manage their stress and develop their strengths.
She is effective in helping people dealing with anxiety, worry and grief; and also those who want to improve their effectiveness and performance.