Mosilience – I Invent a New Word!
Posted on August 10, 2018
- A combination of resiliency and motivation
- The ability to use the strength of one’s resiliency to move towards change
- The capacity to maintain motivation in the face of challenges
The research in trauma brings to light a gap in the English language. I want to make the argument that we need to address this shortcoming in our language in a way that provides a better framework to conceptualize the healing journey. This gap exists between the words resilience, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulty; toughness (Google Dictionary), and post-traumatic growth, the positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning (Tedeshi & Calhoun, 2004). I want to propose a new word, mosiliency, to describe the stage between using resiliency to survive hardship and the growth realized usually after an intense and long healing journey.
We throw the word resiliency around a lot. However, just because someone is resilient does not mean their life is improving or that their present hard situation will change in a positive way. I would argue that the most resilient people in our society are those surviving homelessness, war, addiction, poverty, and other traumatic situations such as abusive relationships (domestic violence or child abuse). Every day, these people wake up and face a level of pain, suffering, and hardship that would overwhelm most “successful” middle and upper-class people. They quickly recover from one difficulty to confront the next traumatic situation. If you want to see the capacity to recover quickly from difficulty; toughness visit a homeless shelter, residential child-care facility, or prison. For many in these situations, resiliency and surviving trauma becomes their normal daily lives.
Post-traumatic growth are my favorite words to speak out loud! There is plenty of evidence to document that if provided the right resources, support and treatment, the pain and suffering of trauma transforms into wisdom and strength. Achieved through an often long and difficult healing journey, a person experiencing post-traumatic growth learns how to apply this wisdom and strength to overcome new challenges and hardship. Beyond being just a skill, post-traumatic growth becomes a part of the person’s personality; they are wise and strong.