Redwoods are rooted in resilience.

Resiliency & Happiness

A lot of people say “Through God all things are possible” or “through love anything is possible”. But aren’t these things simply tools to harbor resiliency through the cruel journey of life?

So I say: Through resiliency all things are possible.

A few encounters prompted these thoughts on resiliency: one was when a friend of mine called my son and I resilient after I was expressing my woes of raising a brown boy in a nation founded on and hellbent on perpetuating white supremacy. Another was my decision to end a toxic relationship when toxic relationships were all I knew. And the third was reading an article about how kids of color are inherently resilient, and how that resiliency could be better harbored. Resiliency has been on my mind ever since. But I had never before contemplated it quite like I have in the past months.

I had never truly focused on how my resiliency had manifested itself within me. How it presented itself in my mind and how it determined my actions and what I had to say, I never took the time to observe this. After my thoughts on resiliency took their time sitting in the back of my mind being gnawed at by my subconscious, I needed to bring them to the forefront.

And after some thought, and I remain thinking about this, happiness in the face of any abuse or oppression is my direct product of resiliency. I am a happy person, always smiling, I’m sure you could say that about a lot of people you know. And I have been oppressed, abused, disregarded, and dismissed more so than some people I know who do not present themselves as nearly as happy as I do. So through my analysis of my personal history and the personal history people divulge to me, coupled with our reactions in the face of distress, I came to the conclusion that happiness is my direct product.

In great distress and oppression I am somehow able to flip a switch, I can focus on my happiness and express that outwardly, even if I have just experienced a traumatic, life changing event. Flipping this switch does not mean I dismiss my valid emotions of pain and hurt and fear, instead it allows me to remember in that moment that it is up to me how I let these situations impact me. And for that, I thank resiliency.

But before I thank resiliency, I thank my ancestors for bestowing such a beautiful gift upon me.

I am not always resilient. It ebbs and flows. It comes and goes.

But resiliency is always within me. For it is intergenerational, I am only resilient because my ancestors were resilient enough to survive the cruelty of life. And what a survival process that must have been. For modern resiliency is different. We do not find ourselves needing to be resilient to what our ancestors did. Like harsh winters or lack of food and water. While our modern form of resiliency is desensitized to evolution, resiliency remains persistent through evolution. Resiliency is evolution.

Often there is talk about finding your own happiness and owning your happiness, but the first step is to find and harbor our own resiliency. Our resiliency to the inevitable is imperative to finding our own happiness.

So I ask: how are you resilient?