Pagans honor the full cycle of life, including the destructive forces that clear the way for new growth. And yet, destruction hurts. It can hurt even more to watch helplessly as people we love or feel responsible for face their own struggles. Our ability to cope with disaster and discouragement depends on both the severity of the challenge and how strong we were before it hit. Here are some of the factors that contribute to our ability survive and thrive through the bad moments.
  •    Healthy lifestyle: balanced diet, exercise, adequate sleep, etc.
  •     Balanced lifestyle: work, play, and rest.
  •     Optimism; self confidence.
  •     Ability to adapt to change.
  •     Spirituality, faith in Sacred power or purpose. Regular religious and/or magical practice.
  •     Sense of humor.
  •     Sense of control, survival skills (e.g. conflict management, first aid).
  •     Physical preparation for predictable stressors (e.g. stock in food, batteries, etc. before a storm).
  •     Strong support systems (family, coven, community, etc.).
  •     Physical and emotional health.

Imagine that every person has a sort of savings account for psychological and/or spiritual energy. We make deposits by doing whatever nurtures us. That will be different for different people, so the first job is to know yourself, know what feeds your own heart and soul. This is ancient wisdom.

On the other hand, if a person is already hurting, bruised or scarred, either psychologically or spiritually, or if they are ill or injured, or impaired in any way at all, their resilience will be diminished, leaving them more vulnerable to any further challenges.

      While this is true for all people, it is even more intensely true for anybody who has chosen to enter any of the secular “helping professions” or the clergy of any religion. We don’t just carry our own burdens, we help other people with theirs. For Pagan clergy, most of whom do this after a regular day’s work and in addition to normal family responsibilities, the demands are even more extreme. But priesthood is a lifelong path and a promise made in love and trust. Self-care is mandatory, not optional, and certainly not self-indulgent.