Vanessa K De Luca wrote about resilience in the May 2016 Essence magazine, ‘Letter from the Editor’. “When life knocks us down, we need to take a minute to understand the situation, the role we may have played in it and what our lives will gain now that we’ve grown. This is the very heart of resilience. This is how we get back up.”
After reading, I thought, wow, I have certainly fallen a few times and boy have I grown. Heck, I am still growing. I am literally scraping my knees now and they are sore. But what does resilience really look like? Not that I disagree with Vanessa, but I am wondering.
So I began by looking up the word…
Merriam-Webster defines resilience as the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. Also, the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc. But wait, if I am to grow-learn from the bumps and bruises, do I really want to return back to my original shape or do I want to be better? So I kept looking.
Wikipedia, while some find the resource non-credible, notes its definition as Psychological resilience-an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity. Stress and adversity can come in the shape of family or relationship problems, health problems, or workpace and financial worries among others. Now I must adapt to my problems? Adapting suggests that I must accept, maybe even conform to the stress and adversity. That’s not growing. So I still kept looking….