Finding the balance

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jessica Brown
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
In moments of duress, struggle and pain, the ability to overcome feelings of helplessness is called spiritual resiliency and it's one of the Air Force's four pillars of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness program.

Spiritual resiliency is about finding something special that will motivate you and provide meaning to your life. Individuals who practice spiritual resiliency have an easier time pushing through adversity. Often times, people believe spiritual resiliency is faith-based or driven by a sole religion, but that is not necessarily true.

"Our Airmen are unique in their faiths," said Chaplain (Capt.) Asa Chung, 22nd Air Refueling Wing chaplain. "Airmen engage in spiritual growth through a variety of ways, be it prayer, jogging, journaling or worship."

Understanding what makes internal strength before times get rough can allow individuals to brace both mentally and physically.

"Spiritual resiliency is what you turn to when you're at your darkest moment," said Ronald Draper, 22nd Air Refueling Wing community support coordinator. "It's what you turn to when you feel like you're at the end of your road and when you think there's nothing left for you."

In order to reach peak performance, spiritual resiliency needs to be exercised during the good times and trials, similarly to the other three pillars in the CAF program.

"Just as a weight lifter strengthens his or her body on a daily basis, no matter how they feel or what they're going through, spiritual resiliency has to be a part of your life in the same way" said Draper.

Spirituality is unique to everyone, but many people agree that it's based on individual values held by everyone.

The freedom and ability to practice ones' faith convictions is critical to the member's overall health and positively affects ones' ability to engage at work, at home, and among friends, said Chung.

Whatever an Airman's spiritual focuses are, practicing them and prioritizing them can help them get through difficult times.

"When I'm faced with tough times, my spiritual beliefs allow me to put things into perspective," said 1st Lt. Missy Robinson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Air Force smart operations for the 21st century chief, "Knowing that I have Christ in my life and a support group I can rely on makes things easier to manage."

There are a number of resiliency experts and many services available to provide more information on spiritual resiliency. Advice from a chaplain, community coordinator, mental health provider or a staff member at the Airman and Family Readiness Center is always available. Remember, the Air Force values its members, which is why these services are provided.

Information in this article was referenced from U.S. Air Force resiliency program material.

For more information about spiritual resiliency, contact a base Chaplain at (316) 759-3562.