Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
From "The Women's Book of Resilience: 12 Qualities to Cultivate" by Beth Miller, Ph.D.:
Life is unfair. Some of us will never be rich; some of us will never be beautiful; some of us will never have parents who love us. Some of us carry more burdens than others. Some of us were abused and some of us were tortured. Tragedy is everywhere, and death is certain. We all have to learn to live within these realities.
That's why we need resilience. The ability to be resilient is what helps us bounce back from the edge, helps us find our strength in adverse circumstances, helps us thrive in this life-and it most often begins with opening the inner doorway to our own vulnerability. No matter how tiny a crack we may feel ready to open. Because becoming resilient requires a willingness to fall apart for a time-and getting to know ourselves at our rawest-so that we may open ourselves up to those deepest of inner resources that can enable us to bend and flex with whatever life brings our way.
I'd like to suggest that our history of being second-class, our struggles and our innate access to emotions and feelings position us to see our vulnerability as strength and to model that for the world. Instead of defending against the sore spots and tender mercies, we can model how to use them to produce rich and appropriate responses to whatever situation we may find ourselves in, to be far more flexible and versatile in all things.
I am convinced that an underlying reason behind judgments, blaming threats, alienation, and even violence is the desire to hide our vulnerability-our failures, our intimidations, weakness, helplessness. I am convinced that a means of increased psychological and spiritual growth begins with recognizing the insecurities that cause us to lash out in reaction. As women we can model how being relatively unguarded allows us to respond rather than to react, to be open and receptive students of life.