noun re·sil·ience \ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\
1. the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens.
Everyone goes through ups and downs and the ability to recover from that is resilience. Some people are viewed as particularly strong or weak depending on what they’ve experienced and how they handle it. There are often preconceived notions of what makes a person stronger than another but it’s much more complicated than that; there are innate biological factors and also outside factors that affect each individual differently.
Remember the old story of The Princess and The Pea? It’s about a Princess who was so sensitive that beneath the many layers of mattresses and bedding she slept on, she could still feel – and be pained by – the singular pea placed at the very bottom. Who are we to judge the threshold one has to experience pain? All we know is our own experiences from our own eyes and our own bodies.
The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and The Center of The Developing Child at Harvard University have studied resilience:
When confronted with the fallout of childhood trauma, why do some children adapt and overcome, while others bear lifelong scars that flatten their potential? A growing body of evidence points to one common answer: Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult.
The power of that one strong adult relationship is a key ingredient in resilience — a positive, adaptive response in the face of significant adversity —…
…Resilience depends on supportive, responsive relationships and mastering a set of capabilities that can help us respond and adapt to adversity in healthy ways… It’s those capacities and relationships that can turn toxic stress into tolerable stress.
In sum, we have science backing up what we already knew: the way to let our children – our future – grow and flourish is to nurture and love them.
Read the entire article, THE SCIENCE OF RESILIENCE, and watch these great videos explaining it:
On a personal note, people have told me that I’ve experienced a lot of pain and suffering yet am remarkably positive and bounce back. I only know the life I’m living now so I cannot measure it against anything, and I don’t know if it’s all that special. I have my bad days like everyone else. But I also had my Grandma, who I was so very fortunate to be raised by until I was 10 years-old. She gave me pure unconditional love and support. Any good in me is because of her. With the amount of turmoil and agony that I’ve been through, it is actually quite logical for me to have given up when I was younger. I didn’t. I won’t. I’m resilient. I will be a love and support to those I care about and bolster their resilience.