Resilience can be learned, cultivated, and practiced.

There’s a line is a song by Pink: “We’re not broken just bent” that always strikes a resonant chord deep within me.  The song is all about a couple who is going through rough times and the perspective of the woman to whom all is lost and there is no hope for the love that once was. The song progresses, and she keeps grappling with the finality of the feelings she is having about how hopeless things are. She is diagnosing the relationship as terminal and truly cannot see a way out. Then there’s this moment when she awakens to the idea that maybe what is happening is that her perspective of hopelessness throws shade on any which way she tries to see herself through the relationship the pain. And then the shift happens, the tone of the song changes, and…you know the rest.

My point here, and I have one, is that being “broken” as a perspective doesn’t give us human beings any place to go. It’s the end of the line…humpty dumpty can’t be put back together again. We are not a bunch of broken people bouncing from one painful experience to another. Because if we are, why even bother doing something like going to therapy, getting into a support group, trying a meditation class, etc?

Here’s what I’ve come to know about healing and recovery, both personally and professionally. The “It Factor” seems to be a matter of resilience. And by resilience, I mean, the willingness and ability to look at one’s own suffering and have the heart to take the next step, even if all of you feels like there’s no point and all hope is lost. Being able to accept oneself as flawed, bruised, and sometimes downright flat on one’s back in emotional distress, but with at least one eye toward what is the next indicated step is an act of resilience.

Picking oneself up, brushing off, and putting one foot in front of the other is sometimes the only thing to be done. And it is courageously and beautifully resilient to do so. Being resilient isn’t a static state, and it doesn’t come naturally to us all. But, it definitely can -be learned, cultivated, and practiced.

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