Adversity as our Teacher

Imagine if every time you felt challenged, hurt, stuck or confused you saw it as a sign to grow. Sound like a stretch? We’re so conditioned in our culture to think that something’s wrong when we’re not in the flow. However, think of how many times that you’ve learned a great lesson when, in retrospect, you’ve been able to review a life challenge and discover that it’s made you a wiser and more compassionate human being.

Perhaps adversity is more a state of mind than a reality. The Random House Dictionary’s definition of the word adverse is:

1.    Antagonistic in purpose or effect.
2.    Opposing one’s interest.

Is the world really against us when we’re feeling in the dumps? Feeling victimized is a state of mind that most of us are deeply conditioned to believe (to some degree) since childhood. Imagine in your youth, falling down and getting a scraped, bloody knee. You run into the house crying, your mother picks you up with great concern and says, “You poor thing! Let me kiss it and make it feel better.”  Consequently, a seed is planted in your subconscious that whenever you get hurt, you’re a poor thing.  On a deeper level, you might equate this to mean that the environment around you is unsafe and unpredictable.

It’s up to us as adults to catch these knee-jerk responses whenever we begin to feel like a victim. Whenever you find yourself entertaining the question, “Why is this happening to me?” allow yourself to shift the question to, “What is there for me to learn in this moment to give me greater strength, wisdom and compassion?”

On a spiritual level, if we truly are all one with the Creator and with each other, then who or what can be against us?

I’m not implying that someone around you might not be really angry and wish to take it out on you. This could be a reality, but how we respond to the anger or accusation is the issue. We never need feel like we have to react adversely, in kind to a situation. In fact, when we’re able to take a step back and become aware that no one’s against us, we’re then able to be a greater witness to the lessons and wisdom at hand to be integrated.

Like rocks in a riverbed that become beautifully shaped over time by the water’s erosion, they do not ask why the water is hurting and changing them, they simply become smooth and non-resistant to the change that’s constantly present.

So, the next time that you fall and scrape your knee, slow down, give yourself a hug, and trust that life is simply whispering in your ear, “You are Love’s perfection, always.”

About Carl Studna

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