A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.
-S. Heller

From "The Women's Book of Resilience," by Beth Miller:

In my years of experience as a psychotherapist and Jungian analyst, I have listened to untold numbers of people speak of sexual and emotional abuse, devastating loss, physical trauma, and life-threatening illness. I have often wondered why, given similar circumstances, some people are laid waste by these events while others find ways to survive them and even thrive as a result. And, there are many in between who suffer but still carry on reasonably satisfactory lives. Is there something special that some people are born with and others not? Or is it that mysterious quality like a tender plant that needs to be nourished and strengthened in order to reach its inborn potential?

Psychotherapist Dr. Beth Miller defines resilience as the quality that enables people to bounce back when life knocks them off balance. Resilience is for the soul like a good mattress for the body: it gives support and helps to resist a tendency to slide down into depression.

We were born resilient. The very act of getting born entails working our way out of a space that has become too tight, fighting our way to freedom down a dark narrow passage, accepting help when we need it, and sometimes, when it is too tough, to allow someone to intervene with a knife because that is the only way. And then we face light and gasp for air for the first time without knowing what either light or air is. Something powerful in us wants to live, and so we come howling into the world.

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