This is a great question, do we want adversity in our lives or do we want them to chug along with very few bumps in the road. I confess that I tried the latter and kept ending up in psych. units because I did not handle the former very well.
The first time was when they were going to shut down the office I worked in where we had created a special relationship with our clients and I didn’t want to lose it so I clandestinely fought it with the community and union so that they kept it partially open in a smaller site around the corner. The stress of doing this saw me start a journey were I was dismissed and put on a pension never to work again with another two admissions during the two year period.
So what can dealing better with adversity offer us? There are many quotes from famous characters in history to unknowns on the subject and it was a difficult task choosing the fifteen most relevant, but here are my favourite ones. Lets have a look :
1. One of the great tests of adversity is who stays along for the ride when the going gets tough. I know that when in deep depression I was not an easy person to stay with but there were certain friends who stayed through me trying to tell them to go away because I was not worth knowing.
2. Adversity is put in our lives to test our resolve, how we get through them increases our Strength in life, helps us get through those moments in life that truly test our ability to break on through to a stronger person.
3. Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, Mawlānā/Mevlânâ, Mevlevî/Mawlawī, and more popularly simply as Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the “most popular poet” and the “best selling poet” in the United States. I spoke to an Iranian friend who did not know who Rumi was but knew Mawlawi well. He says it simply but it is profound.
4. In my friends Arion’s work The Activation Program we work on an aspect of life called Renewal where we look at what controls us being more effective and look to accept this, in doing so this allows it to no longer control us, like having it blow the adversity away.
5. American author and bloggist Randi J. Fine points out that even though adversity is happening to us it is occurring for a reason, what is happening is exactly what is meant to at that moment to move us through life. You could even say from reading her site she is suggesting Don’t worry be Happy.
6. A lot of my friends lead workshops and seminars in the conscious movement and personal development areas. If you were to hear their stories as how they got there you would definitely agree that they are shining the light for other, living proof of the wounded healer stories.
7. here is one of the great natural examples of what can be created by overcoming adversity. Considered the most sough after gemstone who realises that it began its life as a piece of charcoal.
8. Discussing his quote we all think of Frank Herbert as a Science Fiction writer of note, best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. Though he became famous for science fiction, he was also a newspaper journalist, photographer, short story writer, book reviewer, ecological consultant and lecturer. He had adversity covered in all directions.
9. It is a little known fact that many millionaires go broke several times in their life. But due to the fact they can handle great wealth they can also handle great adversity so have the ability to return to their former status.
10. John A. Passaro grew up as a wrestler and points out that is were he learnt to be a better person not in his Science and Math and English classes. Perhaps this is what Pink Floyd meant when they sang We don’t need no Education.
11. If we lived our whole lives between the lines, in the safe zone, how much meaning would there be in our lives, I often here people referring to the Nanny State these days, that everything is so controlled people don’t know what to do when they are challenged in life.
12. Climatic disasters are what this quote reminds me of. It brings out the best in people because at the heart of it, we all want to make a difference with others and these occurrences are when we are needed to do it most.
13. When we look at our politicians and how many of them have to resign due to corruption this quote from Abraham Lincoln hits home. It seems to bring out the worst of behaviour in some people who seek to be elected to make a difference. As JOhn Lennon sang Power to the People.
14. Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was an American entrepreneur, cartoonist, animator, voice actor, and film producer. He was a prominent figure within the American animation industry and throughout the world, and is regarded as a cultural icon, known for his influence and contributions to entertainment during the Twentieth century. Flowers grow in deserts and mountains , areas we do not expect them to.
15. Roads keeps us well under control, discoveries do not come from staying on the road, but trying out the adversity of the Unknown, not many life changing inventions were made driving the car down the road.
I have learnt to deal with adversity much better these days, I do not recommend waiting 58 years as I did, many of these spent trying to fix myself.
Namaste until Thursday, my dear friends.
Adversity does test one’s character, for sure. Throughout Peter’s illness, we have interacted with many health professionals and would sometimes comment that we wondered if they would treat us better if they had been through the same experience. Our favourite practioner turned out to be an orthopedic surgeon who had indeed been through the same grueling treatment. His empathy was immediately apparent and he even referred to Peter as a fellow journeyman. I’m not saying a person has to have been through difficult times to be able to empathize, some people are naturally compassionate, however that shared experience can be an important connection.