I spend a lot of time talking about resilience but what do we really mean by this term? What makes a person resilient? Some people seem to have it, others lack it. Or do they? What if resilience had a few different guises and some surprising ones that we hardly recognise.
We are living in strange times, unexpected twists and turns that take us in directions we weren’t quite expecting. When I lived in Ireland I saw an economic recession that defeated even the strongest; businesses closing, debt rising and opportunities fading. We were taught to build up our CV, chop and change to rise to the top, taking risks, stating our price. But those days disappeared in Ireland during that time. But who came out the most resilient? I noticed people who had a nice lifestyle and the confidence to go with it crumble when the normal channels of success no longer worked. They didn’t know which way to turn. Before all they needed to do was try hard, knock on a few doors, but those doors started to close.
But there is another kind of resilience emerging from an unlikely quarter. It tells us that some things don’t matter as much as we think. There is a time to succeed and a time to reflect. If we don’t constantly rise up through the ranks does it really matter? What is important? This resilience takes note of the ups and downs in life with interest. The ups are just ups the downs are downs. They are what they are, neither good nor bad. This type of resilience takes us as we are, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. There is no more labelling. We lose a business, a job; interesting, it is time to do something else, perhaps rest and recuperate. When this resilience hears: ‘you can’t do that you won’t earn enough, be respected enough, have the lifestyle you want’ it says perhaps not. It watches and waits for a time when we are quiet enough to listen and then says stay a moment; take time to reflect on what really matters and let go of that which is false.
It is who we are, not what we do that makes us resilient.