Resilience doesn’t come from some rare and special qualities that only Olympic athletes, astronauts, or Antarctic explorers possess. Resilience is part of the human legacy that makes us the Earth’s dominant life-form. Human resilience comes from the everyday magic of ordinary human ingenuity found within the human brain. One human brain contains as many nerve cells and interconnections as the observable universe has stars. Our brain is the Universe’s most advanced computational system, far outperforming any computer so far constructed. So, when we feel alone and defenseless against life-changing events, human beings can still adapt, survive and even thrive when faced with adversity because we can link up with humans with the essentially an identical “supercomputer” brain with a different combination of interests, talents, and points of view. Humans ability to cooperate flexibly with other humans, to help each other, find unimaginable solutions to complex problems is the biological basis of human dominance the planet and our unique ability to advance technologically.
The normal magic that makes us resilient has another component providing even greater abilities-the ability to supplying each other with nurturance and support in the face of adversity. The ability to give emotional support is present at birth. As the baby grows into an adult, the rules around asking for emotional support and giving emotional support are first learned in the home, then-tested and modified through school age. We can continue to learn these skills throughout life, yet the opportunities to discuss and reflect on the learning process dwindle as life picks up pace.
Traumatic events in adulthood can overwhelm our support system thereby making us feel we are losing control, lost our connection to other people, and lost our purpose.
So, we search to feel “unstuck” or to feel back in control and leading purposeful! life, we must remind ourselves that it is the genuine connections that we make with people during the crisis that best restore and our sense of control, connection, and meaning.
DR. CLARK 6/3/2021