October 4     

Today's quotation:

Adversity introduces a person to him or herself.  On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use.

Epictetus

Today's Meditation:

"Turn to yourself and inquire what power you have."  Those are extremely strong words, and great advice for all of us in many situations.  So many of us are willing to give up in certain circumstances without ever trying to dig inside and find out just what we have that will help us to work our ways through them.  We do have great powers inside of ourselves, but they often lay dormant for years-- or forever-- because we never try to tap into them.  Adversity can be a wonderful catalyst for getting us to find out some of the amazing powers that are inside us.

That doesn't mean at all that we always have to do things alone.  Asking for help is a completely legitimate strategy for dealing with many of the things that life throws our way, and when we do so it's beneficial usually for both us and the people helping us.  We weren't put on this planet alone, and it doesn't make sense to try to make our ways through everything on our own.  But when adversity strikes, sometimes the best strategy we can employ is to try to find out what we can do on our own, what kinds of ways we can use our strengths to deal with the adversity.

We spend much of our lives trying to avoid adversity, but really, when we do so we're letting our fears dictate our lives and our actions.  We all have some of that fear that when adversity strikes it will overcome us, and that we won't be able to deal with it.  Adversity is scary that way.  But the truth is that we're almost always able to make it through, and when we do we're stronger for the experience and wiser for what we've learned from it-- or in spite of it.

While I don't know that I'd actually call adversity a "friend," per se, I do know that it has helped me an awful lot to learn and grow as it's come into my life in many different forms.  When adversity does rear its head and say "I'm here," perhaps it's better that we respond, "And what lessons do you bring to me?" rather than, "Oh, no-- stay away!"

Questions to consider:

What are some important lessons that you've learned through adverse situations?

Why do we so often fear adversity?  Will it expose our weaknesses or our strengths?

In what ways can we search out adversity in somewhat "safe" ways to help ourselves to grow even more?

For further thought:

There's a tremendous amount to be gained through what appears to be adversity.  If we don't allow the crisis, these challenges to take place, then we remain fixed in life and never really ripen or mature.

Thomas More

more thoughts and ideas on adversity

  

  

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