Resiliency can be summed up with this one quote from the Buddha: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” It’s very hard to find someone who hasn’t endured trials and tribulations. Some face it more frequently than others.
We can’t get rid of pain totally and completely in life. And while we despise going through those moments, we can power through them—even if we don’t feel strong or brave.
Your secret arsenal: resiliency.
How can you use resiliency to curb suffering in your life? In today’s article, I want to delve deep into this simple, yet effective, life skill.
1. What Resiliency Is, And What It Is Not
Resiliency is often touted as being able to “not care”. I beg to differ. It’s not about being apathetic, indifferent, jaded, cold, bitter, cynical. In fact, I just listed all the antithesis to resiliency.
Resiliency is about caring deeply: about the circumstance; about the other people involved; and about those important to you; but most of all—your self.
2. Resiliency Is About Empowerment
Your relationship to being and feeling empowered is extremely important. Most have a very troubling dynamic with it. And more than often “empowerment” is confused and used in conjunction with being “arrogant”/“entitled”/“confident”/etc.
Realize this: empowered people lift others up, and lift themselves up. Because they know their value and want others to acknowledge and embrace their own individual value.
Arrogant people seek to rise up, by putting others down. It’s akin to narcissism, toxic behavior (i.e. gaslighting), and the works.
3. Resiliency Means Being Present
Have you ever experienced anxiety? What’s interesting about anxiety, is it’s an overwhelming feeling of complete helplessness. When combined with an overactive imagination and hypotheticals about the future—it can truly be debilitating.
Resilient people are able to be fully present. They aren’t anxious about the past, or building worries about the future. They are able to be right here, right now.
Because problems are amplified when we begin attaching “what ifs” and “what does this mean about me”?
4. This Might Suck Really Bad Now, But What About 1 Year From Now?
Resilient people are able to take an honest and deliberate assessment of the circumstance at hand, and not feel like this will last forever.
Resilient people have mastered: “Everything in life is temporary. Enjoy the good times, because they don’t last forever. And don’t worry about the bad times, because they don’t last forever either.”
In Buddhist philosophy, this is Samsara. Nothing lasts forever. All things age with time and eventually fade from existence.
This doesn’t make the experiences in life meaningless. This gives you the opportunity to be fully present—with your joys and struggles—to respect and appreciate the creative ongoing process & definition of what it means to be “alive”.
5. Resilient People Forgive
Forgiveness is the mastered technique in a resilient person’s arsenal in life. They use forgiveness at any chance they get.
Remember, forgiveness is NOT about condoning the actions of another. It’s about allowing yourself to move on from the pain they have put you through.
Forgiveness puts more value on your processing and healing, then getting stuck vengefully thinking about another person and their actions.
Resilient people also are able to forgive themselves: for playing a role in their own suffering (i.e. self-destruction/self-harm/etc.); for not being able to stand up for themselves because they didn’t have a voice or agency to do so; for doing their best with the very limited resources and understandings they had at that time; etc.
Hindsight is always 20/20. And that’s okay.
6. Resilient People Learn & Adapt
I strongly believe resilient people have the capacity to use their mind for its intended use: to be open. Open-minded to try a new approach and constantly learn—about their world and especially themselves.
“Learning” isn’t just about advanced school degrees and certificates. It’s also about learning deeply of who you are: why you hold certain deep-seated beliefs and challenging those beliefs.
Asking the right questions like “Do I react this way because this belief was passed on to me?”; “Am I reacting from a place of fear: of not fitting in, doing the actual work of thinking for myself, going against what my group of friends/family believe?”; etc.
Resilient people are curious to understand deeper insights of who they are. They are committed to enhancing and optimizing their experience, of life.
7. Resilient People Make Their Own Choices
Resilient people trust themselves. They trust themselves that when they make an error—a mistake—they will find a way to get back on their intended path…and not spiral deeper into darker alleys in life.
They trust their choices, and they can live with the consequences of their choices: good or bad.
I gravitate towards resilient people. Because even for those who have endured too much, those few who still choose to be a generous, kind, sincere, and gracious person is inspiring.
This teaches me the capacity and strength of the human spirit.
8. Resilient People Embrace They Aren’t Here Forever
Like #4, resilient people accept they aren’t here forever. And it’s in this truthful embrace they are emboldened to make great choices.
They speak, even if their voice trembles. They stand up for what’s right, even as their knees quiver. And they give their all into something, even if they fight back tears and fear while doing so.
Resilient people are concerned about how they are remembered in life. They desire their life to be an inspiration to others—because that’s their service to the world. Resilient people are more afraid to be remembered forever as a swindler, fraud, con-artist, opportunistic…
“You die twice in life. The first is physically. The second is when the last person who knows you passes.”
9. Resilient People Are Concerned With How They Are Remembered
Because memories tell us who we are today. And memories can inspire and motivate too. Resilient people desire to have others tell their story and be remembered as noble, and righteous. They get the good done—and done well.
Resilient people are obsessed with the stories they take with them to the end. They are concerned with not having skeletons in their closet when they leave this world.
Vibe with it: resilient people are concerned with the stories they leave behind, and even more so about how they’ll remember themselves.
10. Resilient People Aren’t Perfect
After all, a resilient person is resilient because of a life that wasn’t perfect. They aren’t concerned about being perfect.
Resilient people understand: “People don’t want perfect, they want what’s real.”
Resiliency means nothing if it isn’t real. That is the factor that is most real to them. The factor they honor, every day of their lives.
11. “True nobility doesn’t come from being better than anyone—it comes from being better than the person you were yesterday.” -Portia De Rossi
Resilient people aren’t in competition with anyone—they sincerely hope everyone makes it. They are committed to challenging themselves because they are in an agreement with themselves to live the best life most authentic to them.
They aren’t concerned with flashing and stunting you with their wins. They appreciate their wins, that doesn’t involve the approval of anyone. That’s just an ephemeral detail.
Because they see wins simply as a milestone…and they have so much more to understand, explore, define, and live for.
Resiliency is a powerful tool for life. It is the tool empowered people use—they understand the dynamic of life is an ever-going process.
Resilient people understand life doesn’t last forever. But they are committed, every day, to make it worth it.
By continuously learning, and making the best life possible, that they can tell to themselves one day. And remember a life worth lived.
My Kindest & Warmest Vibes,