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Resilience means to bounce back, and return to form before our challenging season came our way.

Sherri Mandell wrote in Road to Resilience that the Jewish concept of resilience does not mean impermeable. According to Jewish thought, it is not an attitude, but a process that allows us to become reshaped.

Maybe she has something here.

When we are taught to be resilient you think of what most of us think—bounce back, not changing, or not returning to the older form or self. If we do, that means we have failed, and if we can't quite fit back into the mold--we want to give up. But in Jewish philosophy, they view this as becoming, and becoming more than we already were as a person. Bottom line: We're going to be OK, become more mature, and even stronger.

“We don’t leap over trouble as if they don’t exist. We allow them to become our teachers. We experience resilience when we are enlarged rather than diminished by our challenges, when facing adversity causes us to change, grow, and become greater,” Mandell offered.

Ponder the following points during trials.

1. We need to look at resilience with fresh eyes, and learn from what is being taught. During a sea of emotions you’re going to refuse, or be too exhausted to take in a lesson. It’s the last thing on the list—we want relief. Take in what you are feeling, there is nothing wrong with venting to God, or to others the frustration you are feeling. Plus, God has heard it all.

2. We need to be vulnerable. I know a bad word! When our defenses are up all the time it depletes us mentally, spiritually, and physically. Take them down, and get real with yourself. Taking the defensive all the time gets us nowhere, but it does allow up to seethe in anger, which is also counterproductive to building resilience, and is bad for our health.

3. Without experience we have no resilience. We need to experience the bruises life tends to give us.

 “Resilience refers to our capacity to deal with discomfort and adversity, but it’s not just a reactive skill set. The same characteristics that make us resilient are traits that enrich our lives,” Darcy Smith, PhD said in Experience Life

4. It is how we view negative events, or shocking news. People who use positive emotions effectively can adapt during hardships. One study found psychological resilience to the elasticity of metals like iron the Department of Psychology at Boston College found in 2004. “Iron is soft, malleable, and bends without breaking (resilient). This metaphor can be carried over to psychological resilience, which entails a similar resistance to the psychological strain associated with negative experiences. This investigation examines psychological resilience, focusing on its subjective, cognitive, and physiological qualities."

5. Easing pressure is another way to deal with pressure. If you are Jewish, read the Torah, Christian, read the Bible. What really speaks to you? Allow God to refresh you with his words of wisdom and guidance. God is present in calm and in angst.

6. During pain, we can find our voice in the process of resiliency. People come out of their shells, become advocates, and fight for the innocent during hardships. When they look back, they can agree they are not only stronger, but refined from the pressure. We can help others when we’ve gone through trials, and when the next challenge comes at us, we can come out swinging.

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