What is Resilience?
June 4, 2021
By Sherita Mouzon, Community Engagement Assistant
How do you define resilience?
The official dictionary definition says resilience is, “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness” or “the ability of substance of object to spring back into shape; elasticity.”
To me, it’s the ability to overcome a traumatic experience. At least that’s what I thought it meant at first. However, I can take my resilience journey even farther. During the horrific childhood trauma of living in poverty and witnessing physical and emotional abuse, I never had any one to talk to and or look up to. I was always alone. Yet there has always been something inside of me that kept me going - that is resilience. Even after multiple suicide attempts and a stay in Temple’s hospital suicide ward. I’m still here!
I knew resilience had to be something greater for me - a destiny, a journey. When I was blessed with a true organic love and the birth of my daughter, my heart was filled with joy and happiness. All my life I always felt I was not worthy. But yes, I’m somebody, and I do matter.
When my husband died unexpectedly, I had to really dig into my resilience toolbox. After that, I realized that maybe my journey is to help the next person who is broken and sad. Maybe I'm here to show them that life is worth living. It is there, but you have to see it.
So, from my perspective, resilience is something that is deeply internal, like having a sense of purpose.
How can you develop resilience?
A key to resilience is developing your toolbox - the things you go to during the tough times to help you through them, what helps you bounce back.
People are an especially important part of developing resilience. Anyone in your life that can be a trustworthy, valuable support should be part of your resilience toolbox.
Developing specific actions and coping activities are also a part of building resilience. Anything that make you think positive thoughts such as positive daily affirmations can be a part of your toolbox. For me it can be talking to a trusted family member or taking time to think good thoughts.