Most of us have been involved in doing our own work for years. We’ve been acknowledging our childhood wounds, learning self-compassion, forgiving others, practicing gratitude and a host of other methods we’ve adopted over time to become the very best version of ourselves possible. That said, and granting that none of this work is easy, (although it may seem simple) there’s a layer of learning that comes from adversity which we commonly miss.
Adversity, in whatever form it shows up, is by definition, difficult to deal with. It may come as any life circumstance you cannot control. Examples might include a reorganization at your workplace that alters or eliminates your job, a natural disaster the devastates your home or community, or an illness that complicates your own life or someone in your family. Adversity can be a setback, or even a series of setbacks, OR it can be a launch-pad for an even deeper extension of your own personal work – incredible? Read on.
Imagine yourself progressing through life, with all the typical ups and downs. Some days your happy, satisfied with your progress, learning a few new things, sometimes easily, other times learning the hard way through trial and error. You set goals, you note your gains, you hit a bump in the road and before you know it, you’re pushing the re-set button to start all over. Yes, we’ve all done that journey!
Now, imagine all that, and envision it over a considerable period of time, likely years. All your hard work and diligent learning has led you through solid change and even some amazing transformation. You’re a more confident person, you have a sense of achievement, you like who you’ve become and who you’re becoming. And suddenly, adversity hits. It creates all the havoc in your life that you let it. You regain your balance quickly or slowly. You gain perspective on it right away or over the course of a year or more. We’re human; we respond to chaos at our own pace.
But now, you find yourself at a curious intersection. Your awareness has enabled you to recognize that the adversity (or its net effects) is here to stay. You’re learning to live with it but, you see it as a disturbance that has altered your intended life-trajectory or worse yet – knocked you completely off your path. Ouch!
Now, let me offer an alternative view. Imagine that your adversity is here to kick you UP a notch. Now, you’re still learning to be YOU, and of course still aiming for your BEST YOU, but now there is a lasting and, possibly visible and daily obstacle to manage around or through. Now, you are becoming your BEST YOU in spite of adversity – and believe me, THAT is powerful.
Believing in yourself, that you CAN be the YOU who you are intended to be, even WITH that adversity in your life, that is a choice you must make consciously. It will not come by passive acquiescence. It comes through the realization that the adversity is not the adversary – it is the teacher. It makes you stronger, asks you to dig deeper and enables you to be seen as someone who, just like all of humanity, suffers a flaw and still rises to their full potential.
What is the adversity plaguing you? How has it tried to stop you in your path and derail your growth and success? Are you still fighting it, or have you begun to notice that in acknowledging its presence in your life, you are changing, growing, transforming into an even stronger version of your best self?
I know that’s how it works for me.