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  • Writer's pictureYamit Armbrister

Resilience Misconception

In our daily lives, most of us don't wake up every morning and deal with disasters because it is impossible to live a good life like this. At the same time, we try to believe that if we face a difficult event, we'll be able to bounce back and overcome. It keeps us going and thanks to that we continue to be happy, to do, to live.

When something bad happens to us, on a personal, family, or national level, a lot of things break within us and sometimes the break is so strong that we ourselves break. Then our trust in ourselves is broken, the confidence that we can overcome everything, no matter how serious and painful it is. The most serious break is reaching a place that sometimes we don't even want to overcome at all.

One of the problems is that it's difficult to rebuild trust in ourselves. Everyone knows that destroying takes seconds, but building takes time and if we feel like a broken vessel, it's really hard to pick up the pieces and put ourselves back together. And it's even harder for us to believe that we might succeed again if, G-d forbid, the lightning will not strike just once.

The thing is that apart from the real pain of a difficult experience there is another thing. Most of our lives we are captive to a misconception about resilience. We believe with all our heart in a wrong reality and when we believe just in what suits us and that belief shatters our resilience is broken. Worse than that, we may find that we have no inner resilience to continue existing.

Suddenly we realize that we don't understand reality correctly, we don't really understand life, good and bad, pain and suffering, the meaning of life. One thing is certain, the reality is much stronger than any misconception, however imagined.

What is the resilience misconception?

It is believing with all our heart that if we are good, nothing bad will happen to us, although reality proves to us again and again that there is no scientific correlation here. Bad things happen even to very good, peace-loving people.

It is believing that our life is supposed to be good. But who signed this contract with us when we were born?

It is believing that if we'll be nice to bad people, they will in return be good to us.

Among quite a few things that affect our resilience there are three things that break our resilience rather than build it: Innocence, arrogancy and the sense of entitlement.

It is naive to believe that we understand this thing called life, understand evil, the meaning of being a human...It is naive to believe we know why things happen. It is arrogant to think that we are so smart and know everything. It is arrogancy and foolish to believe that we are truly in control of our own destiny. And we are fools if we believe we deserve... because what do we deserve? And who deserves what?

How do we become more resilient?

When we are humble, and realize that we don't understand much about life, about reality, when we accept that nothing should be taken for granted, when we accept that bad things happen to good people as well and that this is life, we don't live in a misconception about resilience, but we really are resilient.

Understanding and accepting the true reality, not an imaginary one, is resilience. When I understand and accept that I'm just one out of billions of people in the world, that I don't deserve more because I'm something special, that I'm the smartest, stronger than others, on the contrary, that I don't know what's supposed to be and that anything can happen, even to me, from here I can start developing resilience.

"Because conceptions collapse only to proud and arrogant people," Rabbi Aharon Levy.

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