Friday, 1 March 2013

Resilience - Victim or Victorious

The power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
Or 
The ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy (Dictionary.com)

On a daily basis, life has a way of throwing adversity at us. But what is it that allows one person to bounce back from pain, hurt, disaster, defeat or a crisis, whilst another person will sink deep into a bottomless pit with no way out? In other words, what is Resilience? 

For instance, different people can suffer the same severe trauma, such as bereavement, rape and accidents that cause disabilities, to name but a few. Yet some are able to pick themselves up and slowly but surely change their situation into a better one, whilst another person sinks deeper into despair, sometimes resulting in them turning to the abuse of drugs/alcohol, rejecting family and friends, and even taking their own life.

Resilience is the difference between these two groups. So what makes one person more resilient than another?

There are things which boost our resilience and things that undermine it, a bit like our immune system when we are attacked by an illness. These can be things either inside or outside of us. 

Inside could be confidence, optimism, a value system that is based on things which cannot be taken away etc. Outside could be having a supportive family or network of friends, hobbies and interests, being rich culturally (Ie: an interest in music, art, cooking, fashion, writing etc.) 

On the other hand, there are things which destroy resilience, for example self-pity, untrustworthy family members, manipulative friends, excessive pessimism and much more.

When we are placed under pressure the first thing we need to do is identify the resources inside and outside of ourselves which can boost our resilience and recognise the dangerous influences we need to avoid. In a make-or-break situation, identifying the sources of resilience can make all the difference. So I ask you:

What strengthens of weakens your resilience?
Does having resilience depend on whether you have a victim or survivor mentality?
Do any of you have stories that you can share about bouncing back after a crisis or examples of things which almost destroyed your resilience?

I love to hear your comments, views and/or opinions. 

51 comments:

  1. Ok, I'll the first one to speak up, for the most of your post I'll agree, this post says so much about you, I see that you don't like whiners, you don't like who complain, but that's only some prejudice, I don't really know you. Half the time I think I am resilient given a horrible family one can possibly have (there are worse of course but it doesn't make mine any less horrible) a family where my self-appreciation went to all time lows. Where I was beaten, shoved, screamed at, name called and so on. These are toxic people and as soon as there is a possibility I'll run away and never look back. The other half of the time I think I'm weak 'cause I can't stand up for myself when someone is attacking me, I begin shaking and having a panic attack.

    My point is resilience should be built beginning with when you a child, should be built with the help of your parents. They're the most responsible for a human being to be resilient. Screw my english, I think you got my point. Gonna add more later, once you agree or disagree with me :)

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    1. I think resilience is something you build along the way Gabriel.... And even when you've built it, something can happen and break everything you worked hard for to achieve.
      At this point I'm inclining towards resiliency being something that depends on your capabilities (your genetically predisposed character), your environment, your upbringing and how those three interact and mix with each other whilst you're working your way through life.

      I don't think it (resilience) is something that is fixed and set; yet changes and fluctuates according to situations and how those on their turn affect you again and again... Of course this is my own theory...., as I myself am trying to puzzle that one out right now....

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    2. No, that's not me at all Gabriel. In fact, I admire people who 'put their money where their mouth is' and stand up for their rights, and I've spent many years fighting for other people's rights too. But there will always be those that constantly complain about everything in life, but are not willing to lift a finger to ever do anything about it. And it took me a very long time to learn not to burden myself with their causes - long story.

      As for resilience, I agree that parents should show children different coping strategies when they find themselves in difficult situations whilst growing up. And Gabriel, your English seems to be fine, so don't worry. Despite what you have said about your upbringing you do seem to come across as a resilient person but maybe I'm wrong.

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    3. @Ziva.
      I kinda like the point you make here because I feel that I am a tough person according to what has happened in my life but there are times when I just couldn't get over things so easily. So it could be that resilience fluctuates according to the situations like you said. Thanks for getting me to think more about this.

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  2. Well to keep my answer as short as possible, we've for some reason(family) been on the poor side. No matter what we do to right ourselves, whether it be working on a job or family disagreements, we meaning myself, mother, and sister's get knocked right back down. I simply don't understand it, but we pick ourselves up and keep going. I mean what else are we going to do, lay down and die? We also seem to manage to get through tough ordeals but it get's tiring.

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    1. Angela, I would definitely say that your family has great resilience because you have all been knocked down so many times but like you said, you don't give up but keep on going. The same situation could destroy someone, and I say this because being on the poor side is no joke, and constant knocks bringing you down when you are trying to better yourself, can put you into a deep dark endless hole. Many give-up. Not giving up is evidence of resilience.

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  3. I am not sure how I feel on the subject. There is a point where self pity and complaining can destroy a person ability to move on.But I dont think any one cant judge anyone else resilience and how fast they should heal and move on with life.Not everyone has had the same experiences.Me for example I went through more crap in the first ten years of my life than people go through in a life time.I am dealing with it with music and therapy.My sister with drugs and alchol .No person experience an event the same way .The same way we all get understand something different when we read a book or look at art .Its all perspective.Ps- I used one of your comments for a blog post you should check it out

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    1. Welcome again Marty. That's what's interesting about resilience. Both you and your sister went through an ordeal but she chose drugs and alcohol. Would you say that there is therefore something in our genes that makes one person stronger than the other (and I don't mean this in a derogatory sense)? Or do you think that over a period of time you will both end up with good results, but the process was different?
      I'll also check out your posts but please let me know which one it is as you have many. Thanks mate.

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  4. Four, almost five years ago I was near death. I was at the darkest of darks, the lowest of lows. One day, I can't explain what it was...some may speculate a higher power rescued me, some may guess that I just came to my senses...but I'd had enough. I slowly took baby steps toward a new life. I work on myself daily to strengthen and build my resolve, both mentally and physically. I am a completely different person today than I was that dark day all those years ago. For me, getting to that low point is what makes me strong today. I taught myself resilience. And trust me, if I can go from weak to strong....anyone can. I believe in hope today!

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  5. P.S. I refuse to be a victim...therefore I believe I am victorious! :)

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    1. Interesting Michelle that you taught yourself resilience. My personal view is that you must have had a great amount of perseverance to continue knocking down brick walls in front of you, certain problem solving skills to pave the way and a positive belief that you could really get yourself out of a bad situation. Good for you, because it paid off and look at you now :)

      You are victorious indeed.

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  6. Interesting question. We were held hostage 4 years ago while 6 armed men ransacked our house. It sounds so dramatic but quite honestly I don't think any of us was bothered about. We all seemed to take it in our stride. I sent my kids for therapy anyway just to do the responsible things. The funny things is, I asked my youngest son the other day what he remembered from the event. He said the therapy as he thout it was a waste of time. He was fine and really didn't need to talk to someone about it. We definitely refused to be victims. Not sure if that is a good thing or bad things.

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    1. OMG, you've got balls woman, and I'm not saying that lightly. Anyone who can take this in their stride has bags of resilience, so please throw some my way.
      Would you say that people who come from South Africa may have more resilience as a cultural thing compared to some other parts of the world? I say this because SA can be a very violent place, so that inner strength has been ingrained in you from the start (that's if you were born there, otherwise my theory is flipped on it's head).
      I think it's a good thing as you are less likely to struggle with the unexpected that life throws at you.
      Great post about the Lion Park too :)

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  7. 2 Stories I have. *squelches the Yoda speech right there.*

    I once had a girlfriend who had severe issues. She was not the worst ever, but it was the serious one that lasted the least amount of time. it turned out, she was a major slut, in some people's eyes, and I look back at my time with her, and wonder what I might have missed.

    She had a childhood trauma of being raped, repeatedly by a principle of her school. It almost went to trial, and she almost had to testify in it. She grew up with weird quirks, that once I realized her story, I could see how she got there. She was an minor alcoholic, and used mild drugs behind my back. But mainly, she was addicted to sex. From what I understand, she had close to 50 partners, and most of them were one night stands from bars.

    In the end, she was broken inside and a true mess. Even though she treated me horribly, when I remember her, I remember her with sympathy, and sadness. (p.s. She ended up getting pregnant in a 3 way and marrying they guy that knocked her up)

    My second story is my own, and maybe its not a story. I've always 'dealt with life' in a certain way. When things go wrong, I tend to 'enjoy' watching it go wrong. If you can look at your life from a different angle, outside of your own emotional attachment, and see how it all went wrong, see the minor things that had to happen for it to all fall apart, it becomes this crazy story that will simply amaze.

    I've been hurt, and destroyed a few times in life, and thinking about each and every instance has its own small pain residing somewhere in my soul, but it is drowned out by me looking at the situations and just marveling at them. I think its why everyone tells me I need to write an autobiography, because I have a way of telling the stories of my pain that makes them great stories to listen to.

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    1. I guess that this was her way of dealing with what had gone on in her life. She seemed to have taken out her past on men. I'm no expert at this but as a wild thought, being raped repeatedly maybe led her to abusing men by using them and you just happened to be on the other end of it.

      Get that autobiography going, Dan. I know you have a lot to say, so share it with the world.

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  8. I think resilience also depends on the person, their surroundings, and the family structure support that have been subjected to. Some people are more stronger in mind and body than others. Everyone is different in that aspect. Some people handle hardships easier than others, while some are more weaker in that aspect. It think it also depends on financial upbringing, situation in life, and a myriad of other factors along the way. I am strong in mind and body because I choose to live that way. I have bounced back from some hardships and developed a life and career I never knew I would have.

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    1. Yes, there is no one factor that alone can account for resilience. The combination and mix is different for each of us but the choice to be resilient is a key element. Thanks Phil, and keep up that fight in life to continue to move forward for the things you want.

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  9. A good article.

    However, resilience can be a way to cope by refusing to accept the reality or fighting futility.

    It comes down to the individual belief, personality and upbringing. We all have our own choice of lifestyle and live our life through a philosophy system.

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    1. It's like having a very strong mind to say that you will not be defeated but you will survive no matter what. Thanks James.

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  10. WARNING!

    If I were you I would not lose time reading the following!

    You have been WARNED!


    Here we go!

    This is one of those things that get people when they are unaware, or have been always under the cover of something or somebody. Or maybe it is not so, and resilience as reality have some actual existence.

    It is like me to give an opinion without the least support! I do not know what resilience is... I cannot know since I was always possessed by it. Do you follow this zany thought?

    I was a Celt in a mixed society most of my small years. Then I went on being a Celt in the middle of a Caucasian-Latino-Greek-rednecks-Asian, (as Americans think them)- and several other ethnics, so I was alone and lonesome, resilience, as reality surrounded me daily, if I wanted to go on living.

    Then I was a Celt between Celts, and that small time in life, gave me the distance to get a perspective about (again) resilience and reality. Then Fate fell down on my head and again I was a Celt loose in the world.

    A lot of time in the Asian South-East, taught me patience and acceptance, which can be balanced to resilience if you are not too demanding.

    Then I went on being a Celt in South America, which is teaching me to be a true Celt!

    So do not ask me what to be a Celt is. At least not yet!

    So resilience and reality are two differently similar things around me since I have realised I was alive, how can I define or tell any story about me of a thing that is me, anyway!

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    1. Yes I was warned, and I'm still chewing this one over!

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  11. I have often wondered about this - I have written a lot of poetry in the last year to help me process this very same question - what makes some Holocaust survivors go on to live healthy and productive lives? What gives a person whose family was killed in a genocide the strength to rise above the ashes? I asked these questions because I, too, have been a victim. I wanted to be one of those who would rise above - and I believe that I have found many key components to this ability to bounce back. One is an unshakeable faith in an unshakeable God...when all else around me failed, I found that He never did. And I feel a rod of strength rising up in my soul, something I never thought I had, as I seek the answers to your questions - and the freedom and power of it is incredible!

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    1. Though I do not know what you have been the victim of, I'm delighted that you have found a source of strength that gives you the resilience to overcome - an unshakeable God. As someone once said 'we cannot always change our circumstances but we can change the stance we take towards them'. Your words and blog never fails to give me something good to think upon Melody.

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  12. As a physician, I've often contemplated the issue of resilience. As Melody alluded to above, not all concentration camp survivors or Vietnam vets developed PTSD despite a common shared experience and environment. I've seen trauma and cardiac patients pull through circumstances that are incompatible with life, and those who under the same conditions who didn't. Is it the human spirit, our will? I don't know, but in the broadest sense, I think it's one's coping mechanisms, one's attitude toward life in general. Survivors who flourish don't overthink things; they just do what's necessary to keep moving on.

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    1. A very interesting factor you've touched on here. That it's not just what we do, but what we don't do that can make a difference. Sometimes I guess we can be our own worst enemies worrying and allowing our own fears to undermine us. Helena, you've now given me a completely different angle to think about. Thanks mate.

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  13. Hi Rum-Punch Drunk. Hope you’re feeling better and so happy to see you posting again! Good questions about resilience. I find that my resilience is weakened in times of extreme stress, loss, and illness. The primary way it has been strengthened for me is by focusing on finding my own inner strength, telling myself I will not be defeated by this loss, by this illness, by this awful misfortune. I seek out quiet places to write, read, contemplate, and find that inner voice of strength again. The secondary ways I strengthen my resilience is through support of others (when I have it, often in times of crisis I had no support but that only made me tougher), playing with my dogs (the unconditional love from pets is an excellent emotional strength builder), taking walks surrounded by nature (especially taking a camera with me), and maintaining a belief that things will get better. I think resilience definitely depends on whether you have a victim or survivor mentality. You need to be a survivor to be resilient. State of mind is crucible to resilience.

    You asked about stories of bouncing back and I have one: A crisis that nearly destroyed my resilience was when I was planning a family years ago and suddenly needed an emergency operation for a condition called endometriosis. I had taken care of my body, no smoking, ate well, I thought I was healthy. I was stunned. I had always wanted to be a mother and tried to plan so carefully. I clipped articles on motherhood, collected storybooks to read to my child, my sister saved baby clothes for me from her children. My own childhood had been an emotional upheaval; I wanted to be a good mom. After major surgery, I was devastated. The doctor said there was still hope because I was a good candidate for in vitro and he stressed that the time to do it is now. But my spouse was not on the same page. He kept telling me to wait until we had more money, wait for this, wait for that, he gave me no support. Then I wanted to adopt. Again, the same thing. You can drag out years that way.

    Also, we had moved to a new city hundreds of miles from my family and friends (but where my husband had family and friends). Not being on the same page about family was not the only problem going on in the marriage then. It all wore me down. I felt my previous buoyancy for life being sapped away. Long story short, I finally picked myself up and found my inner strength again. When you don’t have support at home, you have to look for it elsewhere. I found my resilience again by learning to enjoy the new city I was living in then (San Francisco). I went to coffee shops, bookstores, I made friends. A part of me will always be sad that I didn’t get to be a mother, but I learned how to deal with it on my own and find my joy again. The only way to get through tough times is to believe you can do it.

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    1. Thanks JerseyLil. I am feeling much better after my surgery a couple weeks ago but still catching up with my blogging.

      As usual when you share a little of your story I'm touched. You seem to draw from a wide variety of wells to strengthen your resilience and you're right, that it all begins with the mentality you adopt.
      There are many women that say that not having children is the bitterest pill life has ever given them to swallow. I know that sharing your story will encourage others who have not got the confidence to share theirs. Thank you so much JerseyLil.

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  14. Hello RPD and thanks for the invite to comment here with my story that you now know so well. The loss of a baby--so devastating. It nearly broke me. Giving birth to twins but only leaving the hospital with one---it was hard for others to understand my grief. The general attitude was "Why are you grieving? At least you got one healthy baby out of it!" And for a long time I bought into the belief. I felt guilty for grieving and hid it from most people. But inside me a storm was raging. I blamed God, myself, and the world in general. I crawled up into a ball of self pity and only saw the world through eyes of jealousy and bitterness. But deep down I also knew my attitude was unhealthy. I put myself into the position of being the victim and for awhile I reveled in that because it brought the attention I craved. I had been hit with a terrible loss, and the rest of the world went on without me, laughing and carefree. I hated everyone. Depression swallowed me whole. I can't explain exactly what happened to change me--I just woke up one morning and realized I couldn't live my life like that anymore because it was harming the rest of my family. I sought therapy, and it was there that I learned that it was OKAY to grieve my loss, even though I had other, healthy children at home. No one is allowed to ever judge the magnitude of someone else's loss. No one is allowed to put a time limit on grief either, because we all grieve differently and in our own time. I felt an incredible sense of relief and freedom when I joined a support group of other parents who had lost babies--it validated everything I had felt that 1st year, and made me crawl out of my little bubble of self pity because I finally realized I wasn't alone. My faith, the love and support of family and friends, is what got me through it. It was a rough road, but a journey that was necessary to take if I was ever to become whole again. I learned that it was OKAY to move on after such a loss--that I didn't need to wallow in grief for years to honor the baby who had died. Quite the opposite. You HAVE to move on--it doesn't mean that you love the person who died any less, or that you have forgotten them. You can use the experience of your loss to help others. There are no coincidences in life--things happen for a reason and we are here to share and learn from them. You must LIVE YOUR LIFE, and in doing so, you are honoring that person who is gone and keeping them alive in your heart. The choice is yours---you can live the sad existence of a victim or you can step up and be victorious. I chose to be victorious. It's what my son would have wanted.
    I'm sharing the link as you asked, RPD, if there is anyone out there who has experienced a similar loss and who needs a little help to work through it. The story is called, THE BOX, and it can be found at: http://Menopausalmother.blogspot.com

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    1. I also want to thank you so much Menopausal Mama for sharing your experience here. You recent blog post touched me and I wanted to know what kept you going and how you coped, especially as I had just written about resilience.

      In my opinion those people telling you not to grieve were being insensitive in the extreme. That is not to say that their motive was wrong. They were probably searching for the best thing to say and thought that putting a positive spin on things would help you get through. But sometimes, we just want people to be real with us. Maybe we should all be careful and think what we say before we say it due to the impact it may have on others!

      There is no time factor for grief, which is very important as it does effect everyone very differently. I loved how you kept that little box but I want everyone to read it for themselves on the following link and please contact her if you need help:

      THE BOX

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  15. What an interesting post. I had not thought of this before. I think that self pity is a much underrated cause of harm. I think too that resilience is partly a matter of basic personality - and some people are gifted and others less so, just like with everything else.

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    1. Self pity feels so right but I agree with you, it is very damaging. I also agree that some people have a personality that is more resilient and this can make a massive difference but I suppose I'm also saying that this is not the only factor and that everyone can do something to cultivate their strength. Nice to meet you Jenny. Hope to hear from you again :)

      Helena did also put a different spin on things for me.

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  16. Helena's comment above about not over thinking things is very interesting. I have noticed this too. This post is opening up new ways of thinking for me.

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  17. I shall keep this mercifully short. I think you will know, based on the interaction we have shared, that in the face of adversity, my resilience, indeed my defiance to a negative environment has kept me moving along living life with realistic positive anticipation, rather than negative speculation.

    I survive, I wont go into it here, but my site was featured on BBC radio in regards to my "near-life" experience. In life, we have to cultivate healthy thinking and behaviour. We have choices and we all have the right to a peaceful, positive life. Positive resources, reaching out, knowing you are not alone, are conducive to a better world for all of us.

    I'd love to hear your continued thoughts on this. Over to you, my friend. And so much for a mercifully brief comment :)

    With respect and goodwill,

    Gary

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    1. Klahanie, hope you don't mind but I won't thank you for being brief, as the little you have put here shows much deeper depth, not only of thought but of speaking from personal experience. I truly don't mind people taking the time to explain their points here but at the same time I'm grateful for your comment. I can see from your blog that you have gone through a lot, and I can truly see that you are not a person to stay down for a long time. Keep fighting as you give others hope.

      Defiance! Yes that's definitely another factor. I think my stubborn mule headed refusal to stay down when life has pushed me into the gutter has many times allowed me to get through trials that could have crushed me.

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  18. What gives me resilience is my belief that my mortal life is short, that what I experience here builds my strength of character, that someday I'll return to my Home on the Other Side - where love surrounds us all.
    That's not to say that when I've been ill for long periods I don't get depressed and see myself as the victim, but I get over that. Life is for moving forward, not dwelling in one state of mind

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    1. I also believe that one day, looking back you'll realise that the benefit of your fight was not just for the here after, but to make the most of your time in the here and now as well. A double benefit so to speak. Thanks Donna.

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  19. Interesting discussion. First of all, I believe that each of us is wired differently by our Creator. For instance, my wife and I have six children, and when they were young, each of them was so different, though they all came from the same parents. This is my take on it, but I get the feeling that some people are innately predisposed to be more resilient than others.

    But it doesn't stop there. Our experiences help to further shape our resilience. We don't like to be challenged by life, but I am a firm believer that one of the benefits of life's tough challenges is that they can help to build resilience like not many other things can. On the other hand, this is where things can get complicated. Adversities that can make one individual can break another.

    But being a pastor, even when the latter happens, I don't see this as the conclusion of the matter. I have to try and meet a person where he or she is. For oftentimes, the person who has been beaten down to the point of despair can be equipped to rebound and become a victor in life through faith in God and some proper counsel. Anyway, great post as usual.

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    1. Thanks Frank for bringing this christian angle. That trials not only test our resilience but can actually strengthen it. Tribulation worketh patience, as the good book says. I can also see how having someone like you by their side can make the difference between a person falling and getting back up again, or simply falling.

      I'm glad that you are aware of the powerful role which you can play in the lives of others. I have been reading your blog for a while now and can see that you are very balanced in your approach to life. When it comes to christianity I don't say that lightly.

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  20. I believe an indivisual's level of resiliance is developed from a combination of their upbringing as well as an innate ability.

    Great post as always and glad to see you're back!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your views Kyle. I am feeling much better now. And I must admit that I really enjoyed your latest post about teaching your son a curse word. I've left a link so others can also pop over to you, have a good read and share their views and opinions on your post:

      How I taught my Son His First Curse Word

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  21. This is the subject I often contemplate. Personally speaking, I consider myself has very strong resilience, and the reason for that, is that I do have a relatively strong "original form". This is not to say, that I could be resilient in any circumstance. Had the adversity I endured harder than what they were, I might also join millions "victims" and "play" victim rule everyday.
    Generally speaking, I found, that our overcoming adversity is not as simple as a "choice", but highly conditional. Mainly it depends on how strong our "original forms" were, and how severe the adversities were. I believe these two factors could render limitless variations. "Victim mindset", "self pity" etc., are all consequences, rather than causes.
    I don't think there would be a solution for all, but personally one thing I try my best to do, is not over-simply to ask victims to stop whining and to 'forgive' their offenders, because I know this would only tax their emotion, which is highly unfair, by my understanding.

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    1. also, i think the same adversity came earlier in our life, would be make us harder to recover than when it came to us later, because the younger we are, the weaker our original forms were, and they would easier to be destroyed.

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    2. Yun Yi, I respectfully disagree if I understood your comment right. In fact my view is quite the opposite. I believe that children may stand a better chance if they learn how to deal with difficulties from a young age because they are more adaptable. From my own experience, I don't think I would have been able to cope with many things right now if it had not been due to my tough upbringing and the coping mechanisms I developed during that time. From reading your blog I can see that you are a very strong resilient person indeed.

      Thanks Yun Yi for sharing your views and I appreciate it.

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  22. I have no general theory about resilience, since I'm sure it's an individual thing. In my own case I think it stems from the fact that I never let anything interfere too much with my happiness. Maybe I haven't had to face the kind of challenges others here have mentioned, I don't know. Maybe I don't drive myself as hard or have the same wants or expectations as other people. I just live from day to day and accept cheerfully (at least as cheerfully as I can) whatever life throws at me.

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    1. Being content with what you have and not going in search of trouble are good recipes for avoiding a great deal of the grief which may come to a person. However, there comes a time when trouble comes looking for you and it is at that point that resilience comes indispensable in every life.
      Thanks NP and still loving your aphorisms each week

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  23. Hello my friend. Sorry it has been so long since I have dropped in. But what a fantastic post to show up for. I'll have to do some back reading too.

    This post strikes a few chords with me. For most of my life and still to this day, I feel like I stand on a precipice and at any given moment I could take off in a liberating flight of freedom, or fall into the abyss of depression, and self-loathing.

    To your first question I would say, my family and friends have been my rock in life. They always encourage me to keep going, they have never turned their backs on me. And they are the ones that strengthens my resilience the most. I am blessed with an amazing support team.

    The second question is a little more difficult. I think some people are born with an innate, instinctual (genetic) ability to deal with difficult situations better than others. But I also think to some extent we are products of our environments. And I think these "environmental influences" can override the innate ability. How we were raised, family bonds, physical or emotional abuse, lack of education, lack of financial status... Too many to list here. All these things influence our ability to deal with a given situation. Not only in the immediate present of the situation, but also in our future endeavors. And the more of these things we have to deal with, the harder it is to tap into the innate. And the harder it is to pick yourself up the next time.

    I have been knocked down and gotten back up more times than I can count. Ultimately, I can't tell you what keeps me going sometimes. There is just something in me that tells me tomorrow is going to be better. Even if it isn't...

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    1. So good to see that you are back Jon and on form. I did miss your posts and look forward to many more from you :) Loved the double act with you and Menopausal Mother, always good stuff.

      So Jon, a great deal of your resilience comes down to your optimistic outlook towards the future. Although you say that believing tomorrow will get better doesn't make it so, there may also be something of a self fulfilling prophesy in this as sooner or later things are bound to turn around if you just keep on believing.

      It's also very nice and positive when you have family or friends who really support you through those hard times. They can bring a whole new perspective on what you are going through.

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  24. Hey Buddy... Excellent Post (again)

    I always say that I am truly Blessed. And I am in so many ways. You ask, "What strengthens you?" I believe my parents raised me the "right" way. I believe my wife & family support give me strength. And finally, I believe my "friend" network gives me strength. As a "total" combination, I am strong in my Resilience...

    Having said that, on Tuesday of this week, I attended a meeting that was work related. Our guest speaker stood up and asked of us all: Define Resilience. For the next 20 minutes or so, we all discussed the topic. And then she provided an 11 minute video to show one form of Resilience:

    In NYC, on "911," a video of all the "Boat People" that moved over 500,000 in 9 hours from "Harm's Way." You can't help but watch it and think... WOW!!! Here is the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDOrzF7B2Kg

    Take care, Slu

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    1. It's good to have a very strong support all around you and knowing that, it can help towards giving you a stronger resilience if or when needed. I will definitely take a look at that link when I've got the time Slu. It sounds very interesting. Thanks for the comment.

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  25. I've been asked where my resilience comes from a lot. I have a chronic illness - a severe skin condition that makes me very red. I get questioned, teased and commented on every day. I wrote a lot about resilience on my blog - I guess it's come from having supportive parents and also a drive to succeed. I don't want to let anything get me down or stand in the way of my own goals, even peoples' perceptions of me.
    Great thought provoking post.
    (Pos - I mentioned resilience in a speech I gave in the uk last year - search my blog archives in July 2012 for "Appearance Matters speech".

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Carly, and I'll pop over to take a look at your post. Hope to hear from you again.

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