Learning Resiliency Gets Us Through Life

Learning Resiliency Gets Us Through Life

I’m sure we’ve all, at some point, looked at someone going through a difficult time who appears to be handling it fairly well and remarked, ‘I could never be like them, they’re so strong.’  And we think they’re just naturally strong and can handle anything.

The truth is (according to the latest research) that although some people may come pre-wired with what appears to be more innate strength, a half-full glass attitude and better coping skills, this ability to manage life challenges and difficulties involve skills that can be learned and increased.  Resilience, a concept that is certainly not new but has become a buzz word and quite popular lately, as we are seeing the make- or- break affect it’s having in dealing with life’s inevitable storms that blow through all our lives, and often at high stakes. It stems from the Latin word resilio which means to jump back.

And it’s more.  It includes the ability to:

Cope, persevere, grow, learn and be open to new ways.

It is the antithesis of succumbing, remaining flattened out and crushed by failure and disappointment, or shutting down and shutting off the valve of life.

Resilience helps us move through the challenges and adversities of life.  We need to be able to go through the darkness of job loss, illness, divorce, death of a loved one, and emerge into the light as a survivor and eventually a thriver.  As the writer and Holocaust scholar, Terrence des Pres wrote about survivors, they are “as stubborn as the upsurge of spring.”

Everything comes back in full bloom in the spring.  We too can come back in bloom.  We will return slightly differently, having incorporated our losses, and be ready to move forward.

Here are 5 things to help you emerge into the light of spring and flex your resiliency muscles:

  1. Be comfortable with your discomfort.  Pain hurts, let yourself feel. It won’t kill you.  Stay with it; don’t run from it or numb yourself.
  2. Stay connected to people who are supportive.  Connection is healing.  Isolation creates further pain.  Having said this though,there are times we need to be alone to lick our wounds; but we then need to reconnect.
  3. Find some sparks of goodness.  Some silver lining and learned lessons can usually be found in the circumstance/challenge.  Look for it and hold onto it.
  4. Have a purpose.  Purpose gets us moving forward.
  5. Go beyond yourself and send out.  Take the pain you feel and turn it into compassion for others.   How can you use your pain and struggle to give to others?


Remember: ”Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” (Vivian Greene)

We can all learn to dance so that we can survive and thrive.  It’s not just what we’re born with; it’s what we grow to become.






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