Like most things, resilience isn’t something you’re born with, but it’s something you can develop.
Tara Brach said, “Resilience grows when we become intentional about bringing our best to difficult life seasons.”
I’ve been trying to recall this quote lately, when I feel emotional imbalance rising in me. When I start to get angry or frustrated or impatient, I’d like to get to a place (and I’m not there yet) where I can call on my best self to step up and act. In other words, when life throws me 100-mile per hour curve balls, I want my responses to be as skillful as possible. Deliberate rather than hasty. Constructive rather than destructive.
When I am strained and the emotional disorientation (which is exactly what it is) takes me off my path, I don’t want to keep barreling down the wrong way because it serves my ego. I don’t want to engage in behaviors that are tantamount to sneering, “I showed him, that jerk!”
When I feel most irritated, threatened, or anxious is exactly when I most need to practice manifesting my values and being my best self. When things aren’t going well, when nothing is working out according to my plans, my resilience can grow if I let it. I can respond intentionally if I remember to call on my best self.
This means smiling (not yelling) when the puppy pees on the floor (again!), because English is not his native language, so his failure to respond appropriately to my very direct question of “Do you want to go out and pee?” is understandable.
This means smiling (not groaning and eye rolling) when my daughter sings that incessant pop song at full volume for the ten thousandth time. And when she’s done singing, it means telling her that I appreciate how much she enjoys the song.
This means smiling (not crying) when I don’t get the big job I interviewed for.
This means accepting life with all its bumps and bruises, because this is reality.
Resilience means putting my best self forward despite the shitshow, because this best version of myself is the person I truly want to be, the person who adapts rather than succumbs to troubles. I want to be resilient.