Resilience and The Art of Getting it Right by Ed Bonapartian

Resilience and The Art of Getting it Right

My impatience had tripped me up again.

Running a bit late for the optometrist, I knew I was going to get a speeding ticket the minute I laid eyes on the police car parked by the hardware store.

I hadn’t seen it while changing lanes and accelerating around a dump truck which had pulled into my lane and I cursed under my breath as my mirrors reflected the flashing lights behind me.

After he had run my license and registration, the officer handed me the ticket and asked if I had any questions.

“No questions,”  I replied, “But I do have one comment.”

He paused for a moment, I could feel his wariness.

“I wanted to say thank you for your service. You guys have a hard job and I just wanted to thank you for your service.”

I saw the surprise register on his face. He hadn’t been expecting that.

“Why you’re very welcome,” he replied with a smile before turning and walking back to his car.

Most people think I need my head examined when I share this experience with them. I had gambled that my speeding would save me some time; instead, the house won, and I faced a stiff fine and points on my license as a result of losing that bet.

Yet, the aftermath of every negative experience allows us an opportunity to get it right.

In this case, I was given an opportunity to share a bit of my HSP empathy with a person I respected because I was able to separate the process from the person. 

I learned this technique while training as a quality auditor for a steel company I worked at. People are nervous when subjected to an audit, but if you can show them that you are auditing the process instead of the person, your results are much more favorable. We can do the same with our thoughts regarding our negative experiences.

I wasn’t happy about the process which had generated the ticket, but it didn’t stop me from following one of my core values and respecting the person involved.

Because I’m old school and respect is a core value, for me, The Art of Getting it Right is generated by applying my HSP flavored values to the aftermath of a negative situation. It’s the personal actions taken to work the energy of a negative situation into a positive one so that we move forward without being mired in self-recrimination.

And, one thing I notice about Highly Sensitive People is that we are resilient. We continue forward in the face of a very reactive nature.

A few years ago, I offered to clear some negative energy out of a friends home after her divorce by smudging it with sage. This is something I do in my own home whenever the energy feels off.

Anytime I smudge my home, I keep it simple and always say a short prayer of intention which is repeated as I go from room to room.

But in my friend’s home, something unusual happened.

I got detoured.

We were in one of the bedrooms when I had an intuitive feeling I needed to heavily smudge the area underneath a bed centered in the room, which is something I normally don’t do.

Since our intention or the energy of our thoughts (in this case a prayer) affects the energy environment around us, I knew not to ignore that feeling as my intention was to remove any negative energy in her home.

Asking my friend to lift the bed skirt, I fanned the pungent sage smoke under the bed for a few minutes.

As we moved on to the living room, my friend commented that since her ex-husband had purchased all the living room furniture, she was going to pile it up on the curb for the trash company to haul away.

“How about we shift this negative thinking into something positive,” I asked her.

Without waiting for her reply, I suggested she hold a garage sale and price the furniture so low that someone feels like they got a great deal. They would leave feeling happy and she would have some cash in her pocket creating a win/win situation.

She liked that idea.

Later in the day, we went on a hike in the woods and I mentioned how unusual it was for me to sage underneath the bed like I had.

“Didn’t you see that large white box under the bed?” she asked me.

I admitted I hadn’t. I had been watching the lit end of sage closely so that none of the burning embers ended up falling on the carpet below.

“Inside that large box was my wedding dress.”

I couldn’t help but smile. My intention had been to clear the negative energy of the divorce from her home. For some reason, that intention manifested in a manner which included her wedding dress. I’ll never really know the reason why.

Like most HSP’s I am a good listener and I have had many conversations of this nature over the years as people share the stories of their lives with me.

Yet, as an HSP  the stories I never forget are the painful ones, especially when physical abuse is one of the chapters. It takes me a while to recover my equilibrium when those are shared with me, but because I value The Art of Getting it Right, I will always listen.

What restores me, is the realization that behind each of those stories is a spirit of resilience singing its song of strength.

And it’s from hearing those songs, that I too, learn the definition of resilience.

In your own life, how do you define resilience and The Art of Getting it Right?


Pic credit via EliasSch

Ed enjoys sharing stories highlighting the connection between Highly Sensitive People and their naturally intuitive nature. An avid distance runner, Ed loves to explore self-awareness through a good conversation.

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