**When I wrote this article one week ago, my mind was on COVID. However, after a week of outrage and protests across America, I believe resiliency also affects each one of us as we face systemic racism in America.
Resiliency. It’s almost a buzz word that we use to define someone as able to persevere through hardship with an optimistic attitude. It is a characteristic that allows one to meet the challenges she faces with a “can do” attitude and has developed inner tools to make the best of a situation.
Always an interesting idea in strength-based counseling, it seems to have gone mainstream today as the pandemic continues to challenge people. If we are resilient we will choose to see the good side, enact our strengths to meet the challenges we have in our lives, and move forward with optimism and strength. It all sounds wonderful, but what makes someone resilient in the first place? And per chance do you have it within yourself?
How People Learn to Become Resilient is an article written in 2016 that seeks to answer this question. Much of the article focuses on children and their ability to have luck in how their life unfolds, such as a caring bond with a caregiver or parent or other adult, Even more important is an idea that children could meet the world on their own terms employing a level of independence and autonomy to the challenges they faced growing up. Something about reliance on self to figure out one’s problems form a young age lead to resiliency.
As much as resiliency can aid us in helping us solve our problems, reduce their impact, and have us reframe to see events as a place to learn and grow from, the collapse of resiliency can be said to be felt when we fall into worry, anxiety, and catastrophe in our minds. It isn’t always easy to remain in a resilient frame of mind. Somehow with resilience being such a buzzword today, for someone to not exhibit resiliency may seem like someone is really in trouble with themselves.
During this pandemic, more than ever, greater society is talking about the general resiliency of mankind to pick itself up, make the best of the situation, and, when the time comes, push on from all of this. There is benefit to carving out a resilient mind frame during COVID-19, but there should also be a place to let down and let go. To collapse into a mood funk that has you looking at this situation or any other that is difficult and filled with the unknown is completely understandable. This frame of mind does not mean you will push on from this when it is all over — it may just mean you need to collapse right now.
I love the idea of resiliency as a strong character trait, but I also want to call your mind to the places and spaces where we don’t feel so resilient and provide space for that feeling state too.