Why Resilience Is So Important

Every year, I fly home to Chicago for my nephew Zach’s birthday. Once my lil’ buddy picks his theme, my sister-in-law and I go to town on making an elaborate cake to match.

We have made some pretty cool freakin’ cakes over the years!


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This year, Zach’s theme was video games. (Go figure, he’s 9!:) The plan was to have a video game truck come to the house followed by a sleepover.

But on the day of the party, my niece came down with strep throat. The worst, right?

So of course, some of the moms started to freak out and cancel because they don’t want their kid to get sick. (Who can blame them!)

And we had to put a total kibosh on the sleepover all together.

Now, I know this may sound like just a minor bummer. But to a 9-year-old who is looking SO forward to their party for weeks on end, this was the WORST thing ever!

The poor little guy was beside himself, afraid the party was ruined.

It was heartbreaking because a) it stinks when kids are sad AND b) I knew EXACTLY how he felt!

I felt his disappointment.

It simply wasn’t going as planned. At all.

And damn it, isn’t that what happens to us sometimes, even as adults? 

Things don’t go the way we hoped. We get fired. The relationship falls apart. We suffer a loss or a blow.

And we don’t really get to do that full-on tantrum crying thing that kids do.

I mean, we can, but we mostly hold ourselves back from doing that until we’re in the total privacy of our bedrooms.

And whether or not we actually let it out in that full-on release kind of way, we still feel it.

We feel that loss. We feel that disappointment. We feel that total letdown.

And strangely, somehow, it often feels as though we have failed, even if that disappointment has little to do with us.

But here is what is MOST important about setbacks and disappointments:


Setbacks and unexpected chicken-shit salads happen. And boy do they stink.

But I believe there’s strength in feeling our disappointment fully—and then stepping forward into a new, unknown moment—and it’s all about resilience. This is why resilience is SO important!

If we can make resilience our best friend, we will never EVER be completely stuck.

Resilience allows us to dry our tears and move forward. To smile again, to love again, to act again, to open up again, and to eat our gosh darn birthday cake that our mom and Auntie E made!

When we’re ready, we must help our own selves recover, return back to a state of love, and step forward again.


Learn it. Study it. And live it. Every day.

Without it, we stay stuck in our sadness and ultimately we may miss out on new experiences and all the goodies life is waiting to bring us.

Can you guess what happened with the party?

The video game truck pulled up, the first kid arrived, and Zach was smiling ear-to-ear in no time.

Oh, and the cake! It got our biggest “Ooohs and Ahhhhs” to date from all the kids that were there. Funny enough, it was the least complicated of all those we did in the past. Ha! Kids!

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Now it’s your turn. If this resonates with you, I would love for you to share your thoughts below. Are you someone who identifies with resilience? Do you allow yourself to bounce back?

I look forward to hearing from you!

With love,

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15 Responses to Why Resilience Is So Important

  1. Erin, your blogs are delightful. I always get value from them. Who knew you’re such a great baker to boot? Thanks for sharing your wonderful spirit.

  2. deanna pucci says:

    I was just thinking (maybe ruminating) about all the past hurts from some family members and wondering why-with all my work I can’t always stay OK with it, and transcend. I get there, and then maybe something happens and BAM!-Im back to feeling all of it and sick to my stomach. How do I begin practice resilience?

    • Cindy says:

      I was just thinking the same thing. All the work we put into a positive mindset and wellness and it feels like a big circle. I wish I could remember a quote on the mirror of my barre class today…it said something like it requires work to be happy and work to be miserable, all of it requires work. I find myself wishing everything would require less work, but maybe that is the glitch in my mindset? Who knows, just a thought. Sorry I don’t have the answer either!! Let’s keep at it.

      • Cara says:

        One of my all time favorite teachers used to say that life is a spiral staircase. It seems like we’re going around in circles, hitting the same mistakes again and again, which may be true, but we are also moving upwards. As long as we keep moving forward and climbing, we’re working through our issues and baggage on a higher level each time. That image of the Spiral Staircase is something that always helps me when I feel like throwing in the towel.

  3. Moni says:

    I truly with being resilient on my dream to move back to New York. I accompanied my family down to Florida as a buffer really, so their retirement/move would go easier, but they’ve grown dependent on me being in FL and whenever I talk about or mention moving to NY, it’s discouragedand don’t feel supported. It makes my mood turn from excitement to discouraged. So I have to keep with my being resilient on accomplishing my dream and believing in myself.

  4. Marilyn says:

    I love the theme of Resilience. I give you credit for including the need to allow ourselves to feel the full on of our feelings about the disappointment at hand. I recently experienced a break up and although I wanted it and felt relieved, it took me a week of ‘night eating’ to express my full on tantrum verbally to myself that I was triggered and so sick of breakups. I just want the love to build and grow and after two weeks now of regrouping, and really feeling the depth of the letdown…I feel resilient. If we rush ourselves past the disappointment…resilience is less authentic. But if we dive too deep into the disappointment…we miss the JOY of showing ourselves we can bounce back. Love the cakes…soooo creative!!

  5. alexandra says:

    i too, love your writing. they are always the perfect length and resonate so much. bouncing back is a wonderful feeling once you gain the empowerment to do so.

    xo happy friday

  6. Arwen says:

    I was a professional dancer and university teacher until 4 years ago when I got hit with emergency intestine surgery. It put me in bed unable to move for 6 weeks and unable to dance or lift weights or do yoga for a year. I lost my job, started working at a running store for $8 bucks an hour, and had to move back home to my parents’ basement. I was 35 when this happened. But I have come to realize that this setback actually helped reset my career in a more positive direction. I was forced to confront issues I hadn’t had time to deal with. I started getting into running and triathlon and discovered that I could do more to help other people in the fitness industry because now I had empathy for people who struggle to workout. Resilience means being willing to try new directions when you hit a roadblock

  7. Kimber says:

    I must confess, I am resilient! I feel like I could have caved in and said drop the mic so many times, but I just don’t. For some reason, I keep listening to that quiet Truth that resides in all of us…You are worth it! You are meant to be here! You have a reason…others need you, too! Often times, I forget that, but that little piece of the Divine is there, supporting me even when I feel like I will shatter into a million pieces! There have been days so dark that I thought I would take matters into my own hands, yet, that voice, that small, faint voice. I could not tune her out because she is the me that knows I can handle this human toil…this human joy! I hope all of you will listen to her! She is there, she is you! You are powerful beyond your imaginations!

  8. dj says:

    What else is there for me, what gifts of love do I need/can I receive right now, that I couldn’t before? It’s uncanny that my biggest challenges have brought the most substance and possibilities, after. I love the word resilience, thanks for the post!

  9. Cookie Wright says:

    I’ve tried to be resilient throughout my life. My dad died when I was 17 and my mom when I was 28. I’ve had lots of breast cancer scares, which turned out to be estrogen-driven cysts and, with menopause, that scare disappeared. I’ve had my gallbladder removed and a 5 day hospitalization with pancreatitis. One of my children attempted to take her life, but it was a cry for help that we addressed. Each time I’ve tried to stay positive and bounce back. Then last summer, after following our dream of moving to Florida after 30+ years as teachers, my husband and I had to face my lymphoma diagnosis. Pretty scary, since we were residents of less than a year and not fully aware of the FL health care system. Again, a positive attitude and faith in my doctors. I am now in remission-and hope to be for a long time-and preparing to begin my maintenance program. I’m bouncing back again and plan to when (not if-my kind of lymphoma is not cured) this rears its ugly head again. A positive attitude and outlook are most important. I’m trying to be Tigger and continue bouncing.

  10. Debbie says:

    Thanks Erin for your message on resilience. My son is getting married in a month and while I’m happy for him that he has found a girl to share his life with, I also am feeling the loss of the connections we’ve had as a family. Things are changing and they’re never going to be what they were. My hope for resilience is that the new life waiting around the corner is one full of joy but my fear of the unknown and being replaced in his life hurts right now. So I’m going to try to take your advice and let myself feel how much it hurts and then I’m going to try to put a smile on my face and work to embrace and include this new daughter-in-law and look for the happiness my son has with his new wife and new life.
    Maybe I’ll even have grandchildren some day!

  11. Linda says:

    Hi Erin, I have a question. How do you know when you are ready? My best friend just lost the love of her life. She is devastated and struggeling to move on, but all the plans they made for their new life are gone. She is trying so hard to figure out what to do.

  12. Merle says:

    Resilience is having something to replace or help release us from that place of stuck or hurt. It is so good for us to create some wow experiences to pickup the bruised soul and move forward. That awesome cake and video truck certainly did it for your nephew Zach. You are so real and caring. Life is Love, thank you.

  13. Kelly says:

    I read this at the perfect time for me. I had hit a big stumbling block this morning, dropped the ball big time, felt like a total failure, and was desperately trying to find a way to come back from it. After reading your post I forgave myself for stumbling, I forgave myself for getting down on myself for stumbling, gave myself a hug, told myself I’d do better next time, and feel soooo much better! Yes, I want to make resiliency my best friend too!

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