19 Sep 2015 | John Stamoulos
“ Fall down seven times, get up eight ” Japanese Proverb
Trouble, difficulty, hardship, distress, disaster, suffering, tragedy, crisis, catastrophe…adversity has many faces.
It can leave you feeling vulnerable, raw, without resources and can cause you to question everything you believe in. It can drain your vitality, cut you off from inspiration and upset your healthy sense of well-being.
So what can you do to get back up when life knocks you down?
The answer is in the word itself! “Adversity” comes from the French and Latin meanings to ‘turn toward’. A conscious response to a challenging experience requires turning toward and working through the problem. Next time you find yourself in the fiery grip of adversity, try this progressive process to help you deal with it:
Allow yourself the time to experience the raw emotions associated with the problem. Reach out for support from your community. Get feedback and talk it through to normalise it.
Get crystal clear about what is true for you in the situation – what matters to you? what are you being called to discover within yourself? what are your ultimate goals and life focus?
Look at the source of the problem – if it is another person, try to understand their reality, motives and life situation; if it is a health or financial issue, educate yourself about what generated the crisis as it relates to you.
Resolving the difficulty can sometimes mean simply coming to an acceptance of its presence and letting go of your attachment to it, or it can involve a decision to walk away with no response because none is required or it can result in you making a conscious choice to confront and set distinct boundaries.
The circumstances surrounding the adversity may have provided you a perfect experience to reassess, refocus and affirm your direction, and to develop your inner strength. Take the time to see the opportunity and not the defeat.
When you turn toward it, adversity’s deeper message can be the catalyst that builds resilience, provides meaningful perspective, generates inner strength and builds confidence in your capability to succeed with grace and integrity.