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My Love/Hate Relationship with “Resiliency”

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“Jeni, you are one of the strongest, most resilient women I know.”

Utter shock and disbelief filled me when I heard my friend say these words. We were in a restaurant, having lunch and just having a general conversation. I couldn’t have heard her correctly. How in the world did she consider me a resilient person? I certainly didn’t feel strong. I was just doing what had to be done, and I often felt weak. How could she see that as strength?

I mentioned this conversation to another colleague and remarked upon my reaction to these words. My colleague simply smiled and stated that she agreed with my friend. Really? I truly began to wonder about their sanity. How could I be resilient?

Then, I began to consider my life. I have been through some traumas in my life. The tip of this iceberg is that I survived an abusive childhood, I became an early widow after just adopting three children, and there are a few other events in my life that some would classify as traumatic events. Even so, I have been taught that you have to get back up at least one more time than you have been knocked down. It may take me a bit sometimes, but eventually, I do get back up. 

So, I am resilient. That does not mean I want to be. For me, being resilient means I have been through a lot of crap, and I am still here. I am still going. I might be going slowly at times. There may be days when I don’t want to do anything. But I am still here. Honestly, I hate being resilient because it means I had to get through a lot of stuff. One does not become strong without resistance of some sort. I hate that word and the junk I had to get through to have it as one of my labels….RESILIENT.

Ok…so maybe I am resilient. This means that I have carried on. With everything that has been thrown at me in life, I am still here. I am still here. How in the world did that happen? I got knocked down, and I got back up. Maybe this strength and resiliency thing isn’t that bad. Maybe…just maybe, I can embrace that term and incorporate it into my life. I am strong. I am RESILIENT. I can love that word and the fact that it means I am determined to go on and become the person I want to be.


I was recently interviewed about resiliency by Kealah Parkinson on her podcast Tune In: Radio for Your Mind, Body & Soul. It was titled Resiliency (It Begins with YOU)

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