Relationships are central to our resilience.
Relationships are central to our resilience because relationships are central to our existence. We are social primates; our identity is reflected in the eyes of those important to us. We live in families and communities. So much about being human is tied to who we spend time with and where we feel we belong.
Resilience is built, damaged, and repaired in our closest relationships. In childhood, our resilience is nurtured (or not) by our family, friends, and teachers or mentors. As adults, we can invest our time and energy into relationships that support our resilience. We can choose healthy relationships that nurture our growth and healing.
Resilience is central to positive relationships. Building one’s own skills of resilience facilitates the healthy give and take within relationships. Encouraging resilience in those around you creates a network of people who can help. Teaching resilience creates widening circles of compassion and strength.
Which relationships matter? It turns out they all do. When I consider where my resilience comes from it has its roots in my family of origin. My current family and friends matter a lot. An interaction with a neighbor or someone I see on my errands can change my day. People I have never met, specifically authors, have made a profound impact on me, particularly those books I have read more than once. How we explain our lives to ourselves also impacts resilience. This is tied to my relationship with myself. All our relationships – past and present – have an impact.
And it is not just our connections to people that matter. We are meaning makers. We are connected to our things, nature, pets, stuff and ideas. We are connected to organizations: work, career, neighborhoods, communities of all kinds. How do these connections support or hinder our resilience? What about our connection to the infinite, spirituality and the communities in which we share these ideas?
Where do you find connections that support your resilience? Are there connections that drain your resilience? Which connections encourage you in your journey? In the next several weeks I want to explore how our connections help or hurt our resilience. More importantly I want to look at ways we can boost our resilience via our relationships. How can we, as a community of people who care about resilience improve our own and others resilience? What is clear is that even casual connections – saying hi to the neighbor, can boost people’s mood. Stay tuned for plans to experiment with that process.