Life has this peculiar way of sending unexpected adventures. Sometimes they are fun and leave us breathless and glowing; other times we are left in a tailspin with the comical birds and stars floating around our heads. But, what I have noticed through my years of adventuring this great planet is how we respond to these unexpected occurrences. How each person dusts themselves off and gets back to living again.


This “bouncing back” is called resilience and each person has their own threshold of getting back on the saddle or needing to be helped to their feet. Understanding your own resilience creates the difference between overcoming an experience and simply surviving it. Google the two terms, it might surprise you how different the two are from each other even though we sometimes use them interchangeably.

Through some mild amounts of research, I have discovered this well-known correlation between resiliency and success. The research seems to point to the simple connection between a person understanding WHY something happened to them and their ability to overcome its devastating blow. For example, let’s say you are experiencing grief from losing someone you love if you can logically understand why it happened then you can eventually feel the acceptance of it and move on from it. Likewise, if a person who experiences a traumatic event can determine and make sense of why it happened, it equips them to move forward instead of clinging to the mystery of the trauma, of allowing it to become a part of their identity. You are not what’s happened to you.

This concept seems easier reading it on a screen than actually applying it. I understand that. It can be so difficult to understand why someone is sexually assaulted or beaten repeatedly. How can you possibly come to terms with why the bullies at school are tormenting you or learning to be okay with the photoshopped models on every magazine cover that seems to be screaming at the differences in your own body? I don’t have all the answers but through my own experiences, I have learned to just understand that I was abused and assaulted because the people in my life were battling demons that had weakened them. I was taken advantage of because I didn’t understand the importance of boundaries. And the greatest lesson I have had to learn is anger is a worse poison than arsenic. The more I allowed anger to control my thoughts and reactions, the harder it was for me to understand why anything had happened to me at all.

Remember, you are NOT what has happened to you. Work towards losing the identity of what has happened to you and that will allow you to create an identity that you deserve. An identity that is truth.

Written By: Ashley Nolan