Resilience allows us to handle the inevitable stresses and strains of our daily life living as trans people. Resilience allows us to find joy in life, even in the face of the micro- and macro-aggressions of transphobia. Here are the five components (or skills, really) that we can develop to help us grow resilience:
Self-love and self-compassion. Developing the ability to hold ourselves with compassion no matter what we’re feeling – whether it’s sadness, grief, anger, or fear, is an essential part of being resilient. Cultivating love for ourselves, noticing our inner negative self-talk, and learning to turn it around can make a huge difference in our experience of life.
Fully inhabiting our identities. Some of us were clear about our gender identity/ies as long as we remember, others of us have come to our identity/ies in various different ways during our lives. And our gender identity/ies is not necessarily fixed – it can change or become more complex over time. As we develop more self-love, we can stand in our identity/ies fully.
Awareness of our feelings. Our emotions are important parts of our experience, but we aren’t always aware of them – or aren’t aware in the moment. Being trans often has meant that we’ve suppressed our feelings or have a habit of dissociation. And if we can’t be in touch with our feelings, we limit our access to the feelings of joy and contentment. There are specific skills we can develop to help us to become more aware of what we are feeling when we are feeling it.
Conscious embodiment. Because we’re trans and gender-expansive, our bodies have been sites of both internal and external conflict. Conscious embodiment means learning to fully inhabit our bodies and live fully and joyfully in our bodies.
Skillful communication. Once we can develop self-love, fully inhabit our identities, and have awareness of our feelings, we can communicate with others more authentically, with self-responsibility, and in ways that allow us to be better heard.
Some of this might seem impossible, but all of these are things you can learn. I’m developing a free course with practices that can help you develop these skills, and be trans resilient! Sign up on my mailing list to get access to that course when it’s done.