Can A Person Learn To Be Resilient?

zodiac cool astrology chartHalf the people who answered the blooming poll stated they thrived wherever they were planted. I was thinking this was a desirable trait, but after reading the many thoughtful and eye-opening comments, I’m not sure it’s that clear cut.

I was thinking along the lines of the “resilient child” they speak of in psychology circles today. It’s the child who inexplicably thrives in spite of whatever horrible conditions or abuse they may endure at home. There are a certain percentage of children like this and through study they’ve come up with a set of characteristics these children seem to have in common.

Some suggest you try to cultivate the traits of these children in your not-so-resilient child which seems interesting to me.  I thought it was a pretty good idea when I read about it a couple years ago. But after reading the comments, maybe people are fine the way they are! Since I have Libra, I am sure I could argue either way!

I don’t know if being a bloomer is “elevated” or not, but I do know I have thought of the resilient child thing in terms of astrology.

For example, Mars is exalted in Capricorn. It’s the best Mars in the zodiac. So what if you have a Mars jacked up like I do? Is it possible for someone like me to pretend I have a Capricorn Mars? Could I ask myself, “What would Mars in Capricorn do?” and then act in this manner? I think so.

This is one of the great things about this blog. There is a diverse group here, who speak up. Consequently there is great opportunity for someone to learn a new way of being or thinking if they’re so inclined.

What do you think?

 

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Can A Person Learn To Be Resilient? — 16 Comments

  1. Uh, I’m a Taurus, and… um, yeah. You can figure it out.

    I answered yes/no because you can give it a try, but bottom line is, I’m stuck being who I am and I can’t really change it, no matter how much I might not want to be it. Everyone in my world wants me to be a martyrlike domestic goddess, I’ve tried it and failed miserably. Everyone wants me to be Perkily! Optimistic!, but most of the time, I’m neutral to realistic. I can try on the new shoes and attempt to walk, but I can’t get my feet to fit into them, you know?

  2. I answered yes. I don’t think learning to bloom where you’re planted means trying to change your reactions, as such. I think it means learning to look at whatever situation you’re in in such a way as to see the positives, or to see new ways of applying the attributes you already have. And I didn’t say it’s fun. I spent a year in Germany when I was sixteen (went speaking absolutely no German) and the process of reconfiguring set patterns of response is painful and draining. However, it is possible, and I think the key is to stick it out until you get used to the new situation.

    Course, my chart has very little fixed anything, and the aforementioned Capricorn Mars, so suppose I’ve got a natural predisposition to sticking with the process of learning to adapt sort of person.

    On the other hand I do get what Jennifer is saying. For example, group learning is a big thing in the education system right now, right up through the university level. Unfortunately for me, I’d usually rather saw off my hand than work in a group. But to get through my schooling, I’ve had to learn to adapt to this requirement. I still don’t enjoy it, and will work alone whenever the option is given, but I have learned to function reasonably well as a member of a group.

    So in the end I figure we all have natural preferences for one behaviour or another, and I don’t think those ever go away. But I do think we can learn to adapt to a situation when necessary, and that that’s an important skill to have.

  3. I would say yes, you can cultivate a resilient child kind of like if you are transplanted from a rich Jewish home to Bergen Belsen, you will ultimately adapt, learn to fight for your bread, and do something like counting the days. I guess the way you cultivate adaptability is put a kid through changes. I’ve seen lots of things where people adapt to worse situations but then have difficulty bouncing back when things get better. Adaptability can be like Stockholm Syndrome too, way too cultivate a resilient child! It reminds me of the case of a child kept in captivity by a child molester or one raised in the dark that ultimately goes blind and misshapen and learns to grasp for food. I would say that people, like species, ultimately adapt, but it depends on how long it takes them. Something I can definitely vouch for is the numerous kids in college who come from weird family situations and talk about it like it’s the norm. As I said before, I think it is sort of a good thing to carry baggage in some cases, though a resilient child put through enough crappy situations will have it if they want it or not. I also think we cultivate resilient children, if we do cultivate them in normal households, because we are scared shitless that the worst will happen. I guess thrive is the key word though. But yeah, I think people do get caught in a rut before moving on, it is just a matter of the speed of how they adapt. I also think that being a resilient person is a virtue of some kind, something that implies in a way that not being durable is a weakling lack of virtue.

  4. Hmm…Jennifer I am also a (sun sign) Taurus, and I am not sure what you can figure out from that. I was thinking about stock types today. For example: I’m a Taurus! To which people may respond, Oh A Stubborn Mother Fucker.

    Well. Doesn’t matter if I agree or not, does it? People will still think I am a stubborn mo-fo! Or maybe, hopefully, not.

    I don’t think: all Leos are egotistical, or all Scorpios are cruel, or all Aquarians are freaky. Why? It’s just too easy. Much like the stock answer to this question..

    People bloom where they are planted. They may not bloom, but in my eyes that is blooming where you’re planted.

    Yes, you are stuck being Jennifer. It’s true. Yes, it’s also true that you may never live up to

  5. …SORRY..

    what others think you are supposed to be (goddess or whatever). But that isn’t blooming where you’re planted. That’s living up to expectations. Different ballgame, I think.

  6. Yes/no – Mars in libra here too. For myself I have learned that resiliency can be trained, but that it is not necessarily a healthy thing. For example, I used to do sport on a high level – far higher than I was actually capable of, I trained and trained and trained, and I got tough and my body too. And then: I found out that I am not an athlete 🙂 Not by far. 🙂 My body was tough and knotted with muscle, but come on this was not my body! My body should be soft and sensual and supple. I don’t like competing! I like making love :-). But I couldn’t give up on the stupid athlete image for years – because I wanted to be strong, I wanted to SHOW them/ me. At this point I am competing intellectually, and although I am scared stiff (I might actually win: this is scary scary stuff! potentially winning is more scary than the certainty of losing)it suits me. I am in my books and writing, and it is all just very right.

    So, bottom line – I think people should be stimulated to explore their edges-their potential, but they should be careful to keep on the edge and not over it. You can’t teach a fish to climb mountains can you? And it’s pretty much a waste of time if you would try. But I think any fish should try, just to figure out she is a fish. (I have a Taurus friend who would argue the opposite – she doesn’t need to explore to know these things. she simply is, and does things exactly as she has always done them – though patterns and all)

  7. I answered yes, it’s a skill, but I don’t think everyone can really learn it. I mean swinging from a trapeze is a skill, and if I had to do it I’d give it a shot but I’m pretty sure I’d a) never be comfortable about it due to a fear of heights and b) suck at it. Fundamentally, I’m not built for it, but I’m sure if the circumstances demanded it enough I could develop a degree of competence.

    I’m a Cancer with a Scorpio Moon and I took to being transplanted (three times in two years) very hard. My settling and learning to bloom in alien environments was a painful and uncomfortable process. I just wanted to be home, but there was no more home and I had no choice and my realistic little Virgo Ascendant told me to suck it up and deal with it.

    Years later I transplanted myself many times and I always made the best of those situations, to the degree where they felt pleasurable. The excitement of explorng something new! (Although those uprootings were really not drastic, I was still in England, speaking English – I’m sure I’d have been less enthusiastic if say required to find myself smack in the middle of Tanzania).

    Although ultimately I am very good at adapting, my first thought is never “whee, how exciting!” but “oh crap, not again”. Except that I’ve learned that when life throws you a challenge it’s best to just get into it, no matter how uncomfortable.

    I think people can learn to cope and adapt, because dealing with reality’s punches best you can is a skill you can pick up. Obviously not everyone is suited to it, but I think if they want to survive and are motivated they can develop a certain competency at it. I don’t imagine everyone would be bursting into extravagant blossoms wherever they wound up, but I think they could sprout a couple of leaves, and maybe a flower.

  8. I don’t think that resilience is synonomous with blooming, Elsa. I think that people can adapt but to bloom is to live up to one’s potential for greatness. Two different things. For instance, a kid with extraordinary musical ability will probably do best in an environment that nurtures and appreciates that innate talent. He will still be musically gifted but somewhere along the line he needs external support and influences if he is to bloom as a musician. It could be the difference between being a good musician in a less supportive environment (resilience) and an exceptional one in an ideal environment (blooming).

  9. Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.
    If you don’t believe this, then, of course it won’t happen! (Neptune-Saturn energies?) Anyway, this can go into a nature-nurture debate on human development. Buuut, I’ll spare that comment (until later?).
    — Basically, the definition of “bloom” has to be clear. Does it mean to survive? Or does it mean to thrive anywhere? Also, I think it just… people are more adaptable than we think they are. They just don’t see it yet. People can survive and thrive after more pain than they believe they can.

  10. I have the Mars in Capricorn, and while I tend to set out enthusiastically on all new adventures–absolutely sure I’ll adapt and be resilient—it does take its toll. I’ve met a lot of people who have moved around the world, English teachers who hop from China to Poland to Italy—and the ones who do this either bloom or get bitter wherever they are. A lot get bitter and stay in the safety of bitterness. (I just blogged on this topic).

    But in terms of the ‘resilient child’— blooming can take a lot of forms, like circle.dot.clouds said. Do we want to define it? In my own case, I am blooming in a country I really dislike, BECAUSE living here is PUSHING me to know myself, move forward and figure out how and where I want to be. Perhaps it is how a person adapts to psychological (and other) stresses. With growth or with bitterness? And perhaps blooming takes time. Blooming is the end result (oh I HOPE so!) after being planted firmly, headfirst, in a lot of chemical fertilizer….

    sad chuckle sad chuckle sad chuckle

  11. Can astrology help? I meant to answer that. DEFINITELY. The more you know yourself and your often subtle self-delusions, the easier it is to bloom.

  12. I agree with Marly, being resiliant doesn’t necessarily make a bloomer…I only have to think of my long-suffering Grandma who has weathered everything. Or my houseplant on the fridge that should get more light, but doesn’t. Doesn’t grow or flower, and doesn’t die either!

  13. The human is probably one of the most, if not the most, adaptable critters on earth, so I do not see why no one can bloom where they are planted. It would be best though if we can go where we can bloom best – so says my Sadge fourth house!

    On the other hand, I have grown a lot from being planted at the same address for the longest time ever in my 35 years (closing up on 10 years). As a result, I was able to focus on a big goal. Of course, the minute I finish this goal may very well be the moment I will pull up roots!

  14. It’s a matter of perspective. If you just move 45 degrees to the right or left everything looks different. I am still rooted to the same place, But, I can begin to see things through fresh eyes.

  15. i don’t know how to answer these questions.
    survival is possible most places. but blooming really requires the right conditions- which, often enough, one can make for oneself. so learning the one’s blooming conditions and how to create them would be useful.

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