Dr. Evelyn Bilias Lolis
A New Recipe for Grit
Grit is an interesting thing. Psychological research defines grit as one’s passion and perseverance directed towards the attainment of an outcome or goal. From athleticism to education, grit is the quality that keeps you pushing forward when your legs are tired and your arms are weak. It involves the integration of heart, body, and mind on one focal point: the goal post. It is little voice in your head that whispers, “keep going” when are ready to throw in the towel. Grit is glue that gets us to the next level when the order is tall and long.
What is grit worth today? The short answer: EVERYTHING. However, not in the traditional application of the word. That is, not with respect to working toward that perfect season or perfect score. And no. Not in the sense of mastering that project or nailing that report. Not even in the sense of earning that A, that ideal college acceptance letter, or that promotion we’ve long had our eye on. Sorry, folks. None of the above.
Grit is THE tool for persisting through this period of change with a hopeful heart and the drive to restore to whole once again.
However this grit is calling for a new recipe right about now. And this new recipe looks a little something like this:
Mindfulness: The ability to stay in the moment and hold both the joy and the sadness, knowing that these two things are not mutually exclusive. Mindfulness is the ability to notice and savor the good moments and to truthfully honor the difficult ones. It involves opening up our awareness channels more widely so that we are not narrowly focused in one direction or on one specific end post.
Prayerfulness: The ability to stay connected to our core. Prayerfulness is the marriage of our heart’s energy to its source. For me, this is the marriage of my heart to God and his loving mercy. For you, it may be similar or be tweaked a little differently. Nonetheless, prayerfulness is the ability and the commitment to remain still and grounded in love, goodness, gratitude, and compassion for all things each and every day.
Connectedness: Connectedness is nestled in a sense of belonging. It is your ability to feel accepted, loved, and deeply cared for by another. Connectedness is found in every act of kindness, love, and compassion gifted towards another. It is found in every phone call, video chat, the grocery run for someone else, food delivery, virtual check-in, text message from a friend, soothing joke, shared melody, etc. Boy, we’ve really reinvented this connectedness thing from a distance and look at all the beautiful celebrations of love and connection that manifest despite of our physical restrictions.
Hope. Hope is much more than optimism. Hope is is not just looking on the bright side or merely seeking the silver lining. Hope is believing with your full heart that we will get through this and that we will indeed restore; that we will once again be made newly (and perhaps transformatively) whole. Hope is the heart’s knowing; not the mind's bet.
Does above recipe require a certain tenacity like no other? You bet it does. It requires MEGA grit; a grit beyond what the eye can see.
So if you are tired, or weary, or dragging a little…look to the above recipe--each day, every day, one day at a time... for as long as it takes. And before you know it, you will find that this gritty recipe is your new best friend and the kindest gift you can offer to yourself.