re·sil·ience [ri-zil-yuhns, -zil-ee-uhns]
noun ~ the power or ability to return to the original form, position,etc.,
after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
And I like the definition – another dictionary said ‘spring’ back, which gives a nice image, don’t you think? Springs to me are joyful, happy objects 🙂
We try to teach our children resilience. We want them to spring back from the hurts and disappointments they will surely face in life. Teaching them from a young age to ‘return to their original form after being bent and stretched’ will give them the tools necessary to navigate their world as they grow.
Part of teaching a child resilience is, I think, being able to withstand seeing them hurt, and allowing that hurt to teach them something. It’s allowing them to grow and learn through their own experiences and to ‘bend’ instead of break under those lessons.
I have one dear friend who, at the moment, demonstrates to me almost daily the power of resilience. Faced with what I can only describe as a nightmare situation, she is bending, not breaking. She is being bent and stretched almost to breaking point but somehow, always manages to ‘snap’ back into her beautiful self.
Is she denying what is happening? No. Is she not dealing with circumstances as they arise? No. Is she allowing bitterness and resentment to change her original form? No.
She is being resilient, like a tree in the wind; bending, not breaking. And you know what? Her children are watching. Watching and learning. She is teaching them resilience in the most foundational way. By being one of the best examples I’ve ever seen.
I hope that if ever I am faced with an overwhelming situation, like my friend, that I am resilient, too. We can make a conscious effort to learn resilience even without the extreme circumstances. How we handle the little things that come along daily will give us a good indication of how we will handle the big things when they do happen.
How easily upset do we get? How easily offended are we? How much do we allow small inconveniences to put us off kilter? Exercising our resilience muscle in the small things will certainly ensure that muscle is strong and well used to the exercise when we do need it.
How can you improve your resilience?