The saying “if it doesn’t kill you then it makes you stronger” is a nuisance that’s hard to describe in polite company. Most people enduring an upheaval of their emotions are not interested in such philosophizing. Only rare individuals recognize that worthwhile and survivable character-building happens when we actively face painful situations and choices rather than shun them. It’s not easy to leave your comfort zone, even if you suspect, or hope, that a valuable pay-off follows the journey.
The life lesson of facing life’s painful processes is that we need to harmonize two distinct parts of our brain: The emotional side and the intellectual side. They work independently. The person who can make them work in sync practiced a lot to perfect the technique. The value of doing so is that the person can thus master their reactions to stress. They are capable of controlling, sometimes choosing, their emotions. Adversity does not destroy such people; it brings out the best in them. This is because they think rationally not hysterically, without ego but with humility. Such people are at peace with themselves and the rest of the world. You might know such individuals. They have endless patience, humor and insight. Those are not inborn traits; they are carefully crafted and nurtured with forethought, focus and kindness.
The mental health world is filled with success stories about mentally ill people who make a huge improvement in their lives and others as a result of developing resilience in the face of adversity. TEDTalk videos hold several such stories, such as Elyn Saks’ tale of mental illness. So do the shelves of libraries, episodes of Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres and similar fare. Think of the headlines that announced Carrie Fisher hailed a ‘hero’ for helping remove stigma of mental illness. Several heroic males are cited in Comedians and Mental Illness | ReelRundown. What they and other people from diverse circumstances in those venues share is one thing: They took the actions or actions necessary to effect positive, profound change in their lives. Some of them were children when they began their admirable journeys to better mental health.
Two snippets of wisdom might sum up the “Mental illness can lead to resilience” reality for you. The first is: “Knowing exactly what you want and be willing to pay the price to get it. Look at the word attraction-(in the law of attraction) the last 6 letters spell action.
Satisfaction – we all want to have satisfaction – “satis” in Latin means enough. Enough action will produce the result. – Jack Canfield, Co Author “Chicken soup for the Soul.”
The second is, “You don’t inherit happiness. You have to fight for it by focusing on the good.”