This quote from Marcus Aurelius came up in Daily Stoic recently and it made me reflect somewhat on our work and my clients.
One of the challenges I see (and I am sure many of us see this in ourselves - I certainly do) is in our tendencies to resign ourselves to enduring a challenging situation or experience -
"𝘐'𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘢𝘺..."
"𝘐'𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥..."
"𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦..."
"𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 / 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘐 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦..." etc.
The challenge as a therapist is then trying to enable a client to trust you that change is actually possible. Things 𝘤𝘢𝘯 be different. Often we just need to start doing something (and probably something small) differently. Now the caveat here, of course, is sometimes an external change isn't possible - for example after some life changing injury or an incurable disease - but even so, there may be ways we can help you to adapt, adjust and cope and lead you towards less suffering. (I'll try and write specifically about pain and illness in the next couple of weeks - its something I work with a fair bit).
I often think when we talk about 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, it can be frequently misconstrued as telling ourselves and others to just 'put up with it', 'suck it up', 'power through' or otherwise just endure the suffering of this hand you/we're given. I don't think that's true and its certainly not how we use this term.
'Settling' is not what we're all about. It doesn't have to be this way.
It is true, we want to develop the ability to cope with difficult or challenging situations. But, psychological resilience - as it is usually defined in an evidence-based context - speaks more about our capacity to adapt, remain emotionally flexible, and still continue towards a life of meaning and richness in the presence of adversity.
You don't have to settle 🙂