We talk a lot about children being resilient. (Especially, it seems, after we feel like we’ve done something to hurt them.)
But actually, all humans have the capacity for incredible resiliency. Given that our true nature is wellbeing—and that the only thing that can ever hide that wellbeing is thought—we’re always only a thought away from bouncing right back to our default state.
Resiliency looks easier for kids because they tend to have less thinking in the way.
Without a lot on your mind, you just bounce back. More accurately, you are bounced back. It’s not like you have to do it; it’s what naturally happens.
With a lot on your mind, bouncing back appears tougher because of your ideas about how you should feel.
When you’re lost in your subjective ideas about why you feel the way you do, how long it will take to recover, and what it means that you haven’t already, you’re standing in the way of the natural way of things. Attachment to all of that personal thought adds noise to the amazing, self-correcting system.
This natural resiliency is why children have a really hard time staying mad.
Willow grabs a toy out of Miller’s hands and he screams, face red, stomping away. Or he pulls her hair and she takes all of her toys to the opposite side of the room and sits with her back to him.
About 3.5 seconds later they’re playing happily together again.
I remember it as a kid myself—maybe you do too. I’d swear I was never going to talk to one of my parents again. I was going to lock myself in my room for as long as it took for them to come begging for forgiveness.
It usually lasted 20 minutes; thirty, tops. It wasn’t like I changed my mind—my mind changed, as minds always do, and I didn’t fight it because I wasn’t so wrapped up in personal thinking about what it all meant.
My resilient wellbeing was right there under the surface and I’d be bounced right back to it in no time.
Take a minute to appreciate your natural resiliency. The next time you’re upset, notice yourself start to bounce right back to default effortlessly.
But don’t blink–if you’re not standing in the way, it happens in a flash.