Those who hold an abundance of virtue
Are similar to newborn infants
Poisonous insects do not sting them
Wild beasts do not claw them
Birds of prey do not attack them
Their bones are weak, tendons are soft
But their grasp is firm
They do not know of sexual union but can manifest arousal
Due to the optimum of essence
They can cry the whole day and yet not be hoarse
Due to the optimum of harmony
Knowing harmony is said to be constancy
Knowing constancy is said to be clarity
Excessive vitality is said to be inauspicious
Mind overusing energy is said to be aggressive
Things become strong and then grow old
This is called contrary to the Tao
That which is contrary to the Tao will soon perish
In this fifty-fifth verse of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu speaks of the virtue of a resilient nature in terms that imply far more than an ability to adjust easily to change. He instructs that this quality of character is essential to contentment. It is a trait that gives one the ability to work with adversity in such a way that one comes through it even better for the experience.
How does one cultivate resilience? First you develop the discipline of patience. Patience slows the pace of life and offers you a perspective that can only be seen when there is a lot of space around an issue.
Patience is the root of flexible tenaciousness. As you become more comfortable with the certainty of impermanence and your ability to rebound from welcomed or unwelcomed change; you discover your courage. Your courage relieves you of being self-centered and letting go of that self-centeredness starts you on the road to healing from your neurotic inflictions. As you connect and identify more with others you begin to cultivate compassion and unfold the purpose of your life.
Resilience does not guarantee happiness but it does provide you with the ability to be buoyant in turbulent waters. It will support you in your search for the Middle Way. It is the underpinning to Enlightened Contentment.