Resilience is defined as the idea of bouncing back, experiencing hard times and still coming out on top – or realistically, just coming out at all. Or, of course, being able to hit rock bottom and still being able to pick yourself back up off the floor at the end of the day. It literally means over coming stress, and obstacles, and rainy days. It means facing each day, instead of hiding in your, ever so inviting, blanket fort each morning.

So from those definitions it’s common to conclude that everyone has resilience right? That maybe some people have more practice than others, but for the most part, every single one of us has the capability to push through and bounce back.

The problem is though, resilience can’t actually be measured. You can’t compare your resilience to other people, you can’t compare hard times or reactions or emotions or anything really. You just can’t. Resilience simply cannot be measured.

But yet people constantly try to compare their coping strategies to their friends, family members, and even complete strangers. It makes us feel better about our self. For example: “I didn’t yell at X during our conversation, but X yelled at me so therefore I am better then X, right? Wrong. Resilience isn’t defined as power, or being better than someone, or having the ability to judge the people around you. In fact resilience is the complete opposite of that. It is about having power over your own mind, body, and reactions – ultimately it is about not having to compare yourself to others because that just adds more stress into your life and the whole idea of resilience is to avoid and overcome stress.

The thing about resilience, is it is self measured. It is yours to own. And it is not comparable to other people.

I know for a fact that it is easy to compare yourself to others. Especially during hard time because it makes you feel better. Sometimes it is completely awesome to see somebody falling apart and knowing that you are coping better then them. I know that sounds horrible, but it is the truth, or at least my truth from personal experience.

To be honest with you, I didn’t even know what the word resilience meant a couple of weeks ago and if I didn’t know what it meant than how could I possibly have it in my life? Originally this didn’t make any sense to me, if you don’t know what something is then it simply cannot be apart of you. But I was wrong. Resilience is a huge part of my life, and it was a huge part of my life before I even knew what it was. I believe that resilience is practiced on a daily bases, and every day you get a little bit stronger and can sustain just a little bit more. I don’t think that resilience means never going through rough patches. I don’t even think that you can build up your resilience to a point where things will never bother you. That’s downright impossible in my opinion. But I think every time you go through something, or every time you fight a personal battle, your resilience becomes a little bit better and a little more practiced so that next time you can hold on a little bit longer before the breakdown hits.

I think the idea of resilience and the idea of genuine happiness go hand in hand. I don’t think that you can have one without the other. It is impossible to be happy 100% of the time, just in the same sense that it is impossible to battle hard times 100% of the time. I am only 19 years old. I haven’t been alive for very long. There are a lot of people who have more knowledge and life experience than me. There is still so much that the world has to teach me. But if I have learned anything in my first 19 years, it is how important a healthy and balanced life is. I am not talking about eating healthy, or working out (although they are still important) but what I am talking about is having a healthy and balanced mind. I think that resilience is apart of you, just like happiness is. I think that it is one of those traits that absolutely every person has if they practice it and honestly I think it is important. I think that is an important aspect in accepting yourself fully and loving yourself unconditionally. I think that the world can be a dark, scary, and awful place sometimes and I honestly believe that resilience gives you the power and the confidence to reassure yourself. Sometimes you are going to fight battles that no body else understands, sometimes you are going to feel like the entire world is against you, but once you find the power to stand on your own two feet and fight back whatever demon is looking you in the face then you have the power to rule the world. You have the power to be completely in charge of your whole life and you also took away power from any body trying to knock you down.

Having resilience isn’t going to make your life a piece of cake. It isn’t going to make you better than anybody else. And it sure as hell isn’t going to stop bad things from happening to you sometimes. But it gives you the power to be in control. It gives you a fighting chance against anything that this world might throw at you. Resilience gives you the power to change the world, as long as you figure out how to use it.

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