Andrew Lang - The Wednesday 1-2-3

Resilience doesn't mean to "bounce back" : The Wednesday 1-2-3

Published about 2 months ago • 1 min read

Happy Wednesday Reader!

Here's 1 teaching, 2 questions, and 3 resources to explore this week:

1. Teaching

Having resilience doesn’t mean to “bounce back.”

And yet many of us have been given this default understanding of what it means to be resilient – to recover from harsh changes and challenges so we can keep moving forward.

This is a problem.

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun notes this default understanding implies “the resilient person bounces back quickly, mostly unharmed and unchanged, from any hardship.”

This understanding of resiliency disregards and attempts to bypass:

  • the harm we can experience in the midst of change,
  • our inner processing of these experiences, and
  • any growth that can emerge from adversity.

Just take a moment and think about what you've heard from others during times of challenge: It's not that big of a deal. Brush it off. Rub some dirt on it. Keep your head up.

This form of resilience is more about ensuring we keep on keeping on than it is about us being present to what it means to live a human experience.

Here’s another definition to try on and see how it fits:

"The capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.” –Andrew Zolli

With this definition in mind, being resilient isn’t about “bouncing back.”

Being resilient is a matter of experiencing the messiness of the world and maintaining one’s tender connection, however fragile it may be, to their sense of perseverance, courage, and identity.

2. Questions

  1. Learning to embody this kind of resilience requires supports: modeling, companionship, safe-ish practice spaces, and so on. Who and what has helped you develop your capacity for resilience?
  2. In times of challenge, how have you shown resilience by accepting the current reality while maintaining a connection to your sense of perseverance, courage, and identity?

3. Resources

⏪ If you missed last week's email:

I shared a teaching on what it means to be "on the hook."

Hope all is well-enough with you,


P.S. Is there a song lyric, quote, framework, or teaching from an Elder that has made a big impact in your life? If you're willing to share, I would love to hear it (and potentially pass it along!) Just hit "reply" and let me know! 🙂

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Andrew Lang - The Wednesday 1-2-3

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