A Life of Resilience: for Everyone

Resilience. A catch word these days. “Bounce back,” you say? That implies that one can bounce back from where they currently are to where they once were. Is that really possible? Answering that question is not as simple as one might think. To begin to answer that question, defining the word ‘resilience’ makes a difference and scratches the surface of answering that question.

Webster defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change,” while The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustments to external and internal demands.” Clearly, the concept involves an adjusting or adapting to situations facing us each day. A process. Not a one and done deal. The APA goes on to explain that “psychological research shows that the resources and skills associated with … (greater resilience) can be cultivated and practiced. This is true for the Christian life as well.

Building resilience appears to be complex yet simple at the same time. A gradual process that increases resiliency involves a life lived well with small steps taken daily to feed the soul and respond optimistically to what God walks with them through. “No one ever climbed a mountain without taking one step at a time,” a common saying that illustrates all of life. On-going, daily choices make all the difference over time. The key to building resilience lies in creating those rhythms which shape and define us. The stronger this foundation, the easier it is to face what’s ahead. Not because the task before us becomes easier, but because the skills and practices we learn help us face the adversity. Our tanks are full of Him and He carries us through.

Much of life encompasses the choices that we make. What daily habits have you adopted already? What will you do to build more resilience in your life? What rhythms will you embrace anew? The cadence of each one’s life appears differently. My challenge to you today: look at your current rhythms and practices. What needs to change? What needs to be added? How can you build more resilience into your life, one step at a time? And my encouragement to you: each step makes a difference, no matter how small. Take that next step and you may just indeed climb that mountain before you know it!

(Watch this blog space for more information about possible rhythms and practices you can adopt to increase resiliency in yourself.)

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