As human beings, we are naturally resilient to an extent. We all share a common instinct to overcome, achieve, resist, to fight back. It’s innate in us to push back when the world shoves us around. Have you ever heard the saying; “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”? How you react to it, how you bounce back (or not)– that’s resiliency. The amazing thing about going through some of the worst things you can imagine is that your level of resiliency becomes so much higher. When you do bounce back, life is that much more awesome.
When we become the most resilient person we can be, new positive realities and perspectives arise and flourish in the most surprising ways. What would normally be considered a huge disappointment or a bad day is essentially nothing, because you’ve been through worse. You’ve seen worse, felt worse, and you’ll forever expect worse. In cases like this, being able to just not care comes in handy because you’re filled with hope for better and appreciation for every other little thing you have in your life.
This is definitely not the way I’ve always handled things. I spent my fair share of days and nights questioning God and being angry at why things happened to me the way that they did. And whose to say they won’t happen again? Life’s problems are inevitable– everybody’s fight is different. We’re always told that somebody out there has it worse than we are, but it is not to say that someone else’s “worse” problems create a lesser effect on my own. And somebody’s lesser happiness definitely does not build up my own. Your problems are your problems, they’re unique to you and the life you have lived thus far. Nobody’s problems make yours any better or worse. But we should appreciate our problems because as I said, they’re unique to us and our lives, which means we are given them because we can handle them. We are dealt the hand we are in life because each of us has the ability to bend and mold ourselves around our problems, to give them the adequate attention they need but also the distance we need. Your problems do not define your life; your life is not contingent or revolving around them, and the sooner you accept this, the happier you will be. The more resilient you’ll be.
What’s special about being resilient is that you still care immensely about the world and the people in it. Your soul is still filled with love, hope, and fun because it’s filled with appreciation for life. But at the same time, there’s no room for any of the small petty mishaps that life with inevitably bring. And you’ll start to realize that all of that energy you let succumb to frustration, anger, annoyance, and disappointment that used to take pieces of you every day is still there, but you’re using it to adventure more, love harder, and care more about all the right things. That’s the most amazing feeling I’ve ever felt.
I’ve dealt with waking up in the morning with 50% of my hair sprawled out on my pillow, to needles in every part of my body, being banned from driving or traveling, missing so many important moments of my college career that i’ll never be able to get back, to so much in between some people will never know or understand. But I got passed it. It’s over, and I won that fight. I didn’t win the fight because medically I’m doing better, I won the fight because I didn’t let it crush my spirit.
Im not saying i’ll never have a hard fight like I did before, but i’ll be damned if I ever let a cancelled plan, a stomach bug, an argument with a friend, a flat tire, a stupid boy, or anything of such little significance try take away one of my good days like so many other things unfortunately have. Even if I have bad luck for the rest of my life, I feel as though there’s nothing more empowering than feeling like you can be handed anything when you wake up in the morning, and still manage to have a good day. To not care as much about the little things.
So this tattoo makes number 3 for me, and I can’t be happier to look down everyday and be reminded of this amazing gift I’ve been given. My previous 2 tattoo’s I got after a major life event (my baptism, etc.), and even if I go the rest of my life not being sick anymore, I still want to remember what i’ve been through. This has been a hell of a year, and not because I suffered, but because I prospered and it’s forever changed me in the process. This was my fight, and even if it’s still not over yet- I can at least say that I’m resilient. And being resilient means much more to me than being able to “bounce back”. I feel like I’m virtually untouchable sometimes, simply because of this struggle God handed me, the power He gave me to overcome it, and the spirit he left me with afterwards.
If you’ve been through something similar, just know that that fight- whatever it was- is over. That fight is over. You may have more, but as of now, it’s time to reconcile, begin again, appreciate and accept life and its inevitable events. Wake up each morning and appreciate the small things. I appreciate waking up in morning with the sun peeking through my blinds. I appreciate hearing someones voice on the phone as opposed to reading a message. I appreciate last minute adventures. I appreciate nights where I laugh until my stomach hurts. I appreciate skipping through old throwback songs because I’m too excited to wait for the next one. I appreciate the way my body can move, bend, run, and dance now compared to a few months ago. I appreciate random beautiful connections with people. I appreciate taking the long way home everyday to see the skyline of my small town. I appreciate these things because if I don’t, my life will surely pass me by.