January 27

Today's quotation:

There is never really anything to be discouraged about, because
difficulties are opportunities for inner growth, and the greater
the difficulty, the greater the opportunity for growth.


Peace Pilgrim

Today's Meditation:

I used to get discouraged quite a lot when I was much younger.  Mostly, it happened because things didn't turn out the ways that I was trying to make them turn out, or the ways that I was sure they were supposed to turn out.  All my efforts seemed to be for naught because things weren't getting better or easier--at least, not according to my definitions.

The change hasn't come in how things turn out--the change has come in my perspective of life and living.  When something happens now that used to seem extremely negative, I see opportunities for growth and change.  When I start feeling discouraged now, I look for the positive in my life to counterbalance the things that seem negative.  Difficulties come along--at work, with money, with other people, with family--but they're almost never as bad as I used to imagine they were.  And even if they are bad, there are still positive elements of every situation, if I only look for them.

Inner growth rarely occurs when things are going well.  When we're coasting through life it can most definitely be enjoyable, but our opportunities for learning come more often in the form of adversity rather than prosperity.  We grow when we're unsure, when we're afraid, when we have to face a difficulty head-on and deal with it effectively.  That's when we grow.

It would be nice to have an entire life without any sort of difficulties, wouldn't it?  I would love to simply enjoy the world we're in without having to face adversity.  But we can enjoy the world, even with the troubles that come up--we just have to learn to not allow those troubles to bring us down, to see them as opportunities for growth rather than as tragedies that we'd be better off without.

Questions to consider:

In what ways have you grown in the past during times of difficulty?

How do we learn to see adversity as something necessarily negative?

How might you go about learning to see the chances for growth in some of the problems that come up in your life?
For further thought:

If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.

John R. Miller
  

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