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Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstances.
-Bruce Barton

From "The Women's Book of Resilience: 12 Qualities to Cultivate" by Beth Miller, Ph.D.:

Resilience is natural.

Bones heal, hearts mend, and the human spirit's destination is enlargement. Change or misfortune is part of the human journey through life. In fact, without troubles we would not have the need to be resilient. There are changes throughout our natural development, like birth, adolescence, midlife, and death. There are changes in our societal initiations, like marriage and career choices or shifts. There are cataclysmic events like earthquakes and hurricanes. We torture each other with rape, holocaust, wars, slavery, and oppression.

We know that resiliency reigns because we survive to tell our tales of misfortune, trauma, abuse. Indeed, we are built to be able to go to the edge of life and come back with heart and soul elevated, with the ability to evaluate and reevaluate what is important in light of whatever adversity is going on in our lives, and the ability to deepen our understanding of ourselves and the environment we live in. We are built to be resilient, to be able to take sure and steady steps over rocky terrain.

No one is resilient all the time.

Even for those of us who appear naturally resilient and take life in stride, there will be pockets of our lives that are more difficult to navigate. One aspect of our life can be flexible: for example, being a crackerjack on the job is easy but relationship breakups do us in; major crises are manageable but not so the everyday disappointments. Many bright, capable people can feel overwhelmed by calamity.

Also, what is easy for one person is hard for another. It is irrelevant and even destructive to compare ourselves to others, because pockets of resilience and pockets of vulnerability differ from person to person. Some people are so disciplined that losing control to an addiction is anathema. Others make friends so easily they cannot imagine being lonely. It is important to locate the areas in our own lives where we find ourselves down for the count and not look to others as a benchmark.

And, yet, even with all these difficulties, what more often determines our resiliency is how we perceive the event

and what it means to us. The literature on resilience speaks of working well, playing well, and expecting well

. Not too much or too little. From growing up in a profoundly neglectful environment without enough to eat to parenting an autistic child, being resilient means not denying the reality of the situation, not wishing for it to be different, and not succumbing to a victim mentality. Instead, expecting well, seeing clearly, knowing what is, and then finding out what you can do about it-these are the keys to resilience. The child who finds a kindly neighbor who invites her in for dinner, the parents who give their child all the love and support they have without waiting for their child to do what a child without autism would be able to do-expecting well frees us up to creative responses.

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