The Hierarchy of Resilience

Hierarchy of Resilience by Em Capito, LCSW

When I very first began studying resilience, there was an immediate (and irritating) takeaway.

You are not born with it… 

…and you are never done building it. 

Resilience is a practice.

It’s a lifestyle commitment that weaves through every aspect of life, because it’s about how we respond to stress.

Hungry, tired and stuck in traffic? Your resilience is running on empty, too. 

Partner take a dig at unresolved trauma? Your worst self is about to make an appearance. 

Becoming resilient is an everyday practice of tending to our whole selves.

When we take care of the basics for holistic wellness (sleep, diet, exercise), we are able to be present and prioritize our relationships, which in turn give us the support necessary to experience vulnerable connection and meaningful work.

That sense of meaning is what gets us out of bed in the morning to meditate, a practice that creates the space to choose a resilient mindset in the midst of life’s small and monumental difficulties.

And, of course, intentional discomfort is the ultimate practice of harnessing all of these strengths as we take heroic journeys out of our comfort zones, such that we are prepared to respond to those unexpected “calls to adventure” with a lot less suffering – and gratitude for our transformation.

A support group member said it well: The caterpillar can’t skip the cocoon.

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