Quotes for Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Living Collection of Resilience Quotes Em Capito, LCSWA living collection of quotes, wisdom and inspiration – for when we need it most.

We are never alone in the midst of crisis or breakdown. Many have walked through the dark night of the soul ahead of us, and shared their insight, perspective or greater understanding as beacons of hope as we find our own way.

A new quote is added to the top each week, cataloguing those shared in my Friday Coffee Break Therapy digest.

“Wherever you are is the entry point.​”

– Kabir, a 15th-century Sufi and Brahmin saint​

“Acceptance of one’s life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.”

– Paul Tournier​, a Swiss author and physician (1898-1986)

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”

– J.B. Priestley, a British novelist, playwright, and essayist (1894-1984)

“And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.”

– Paulo Coelho

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.​”

– Joseph Campbell, American professor of comparative mythology and creator of the Hero’s Journey framework (1904-1987)

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”

– Edward Abbey​, American author and environmental advocate

“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.”

– Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati​​, a spiritual teacher and author​

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality.​”

– Admiral James Stockdale​, the most senior naval officer held in North Vietnam​ as a prisoner of war for more than seven years

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

– John Muir, quoted by Samuel Hall Young in Alaska Days with John Muir (1915)

“Close friendships are one of life’s miracles – that a few people get to know you deeply, all your messy or shadowy stuff along with the beauty and sweetness, and they still love you.”

– Anne Lamott, author

“Every day of our lives, we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference.”

– Mignon McLaughlin, journalist, writer and self-proclaimed neurotic (1913-1983)

“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself.”

– Hermann Hesse​, Swiss poet, novelist, and painter​ (1877-1962)

“The zest and vitality of goal directed activities, the sweat of hard work and the joy of success, the excitement and satisfaction of engaging in intimate relationships, and the many personal experiences that give color, texture, and richness to the tapestry of life are the raw materials for present meaning. We create meaning through choices and actions as we move through life, but we also discover meaning from many ‘happenings’ that come our way each day.”​

– Gary T Reker and Paul T P Wong

“…after tragedies, one has to invent a new world, knit it or embroider, make it up. It’s not gonna be given to you because you deserve it; it doesn’t work that way. You have to imagine something that doesn’t exist and dig a cave into the future and demand space. It’s a territorial hope affair. At the time, that digging is utopian, but in the future, it will become your reality.”​


“Thoughts just appear. They come out of nothing and go back to nothing, like clouds moving across the empty sky. They come to pass, not to stay. There is no harm in them until we attach to them as if they were true.”

– Byron Katie in Loving What Is

“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the side to come?”

– Rumi

“Happy are those who sing with all their heart, from the bottoms of their hearts. To find joy in the sky, the trees, the flowers. There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

– Henri Matisse, as translated by Sophie Hawkes

“One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”

– Helen Keller

“The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity, of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most average existence…

…but no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self; the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.”

– David Whyte from Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

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