Now that we have looked at adolescence as a gateway to either resilience or to recurrent suffering, let’s return to the idea of “kindling” or the way that a pattern of emotional experience sensitizes us and predisposes us to experience more of the same. We know that kindling occurs in the context of depression. Kendler’s data showed that the more depression recurs, the easier depression is triggered from one time to the next.
Science also shows us that the reverse is true, too. A resilient response to negative or unwanted moments builds greater resilience for the next time. In the face of stress or challenge or loss, a resilient view says: Go into life, not out. Go deeper, find meaning, view the unforeseen opportunities here, step farther along the path, open a new or different door. This is the reverse kindling for spiritual resilience, which is associated with thriving. The voice in the moment is: I would never have chosen this, but I’ll move through it and be open to what there is for me to learn. And in retrospect, deriving the meaning in the experience: I would never have chosen this, but if this hadn’t happened, then I would have never found this person or found my way to do this unimaginable new work or find this leg to my journey.
Miller, Dr. Lisa. The Spiritual Child (p. 283). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
How developmental depression gets managed has consequences for later life experience. If the developmental depression is not resolved with learning effective emotional management skills, future episodes of depression will occur. If effective emotional management skills are learned they create what is called “resilience” and future bouts of depression are managed much more effectively with less negative impact.
What is being suggested by Dr. Miller is that the development and nurturance of a spiritual interior life is a major positive factor for resilience.