The story of your life has many chapters. One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end of the book.
The Lessons of Adversity
Life is challenging, to say the least. The good times are amazing, but the bad times can really weigh you down, make you want to disconnect and sometimes just give up. But you can’t. Because even when things seem to be at their worst, you need to keep going.
When you have tough moments, when things look like they will not work out, or not in the way you would like them to, have faith. Trust that you will be okay. When you go through something difficult or heart wrenching, it can feel terrible. But when you come out on the other side of that difficulty, you can learn so much about your resilience and strength.
These experiences will help you to develop empathy. When you feel down, remember it is inevitable that you will feel pain and disappointment in life. The key is to not give up. It is important to remember that you have too much to gain. Do this rather than focusing on what you have to lose or have lost.
Going through pain makes you more vulnerable, empathetic, and kinder because you experience something that changes your self-awareness, perception, and belief systems.
Think of it this way. Have you had a moment in your life where you made a quick judgment of someone based on how they look, dressed, where they lived, how they spoke or handled themselves? Oftentimes that judgment changes once you interact with that particular individual, learn who they are and what shapes them. Sometimes your opinion of someone you previously judged changes when you experience something like they have gone through.
How Adversity Makes You Stronger
Life’s experiences, both good and bad, can teach us important lessons. Often it is the difficult circumstances you encounter in which you learn more. This is hard to see when you are in the middle of a crisis. But as time goes on, you might realize that each difficult moment was preparation for the next step or stage in your life. And when adversity hits you again, there is a familiarity and a grasp of the learning you gain from adversity that pushes you through. And so on with the next one and next one.
A good analogy is when you start a regular exercise regimen. At the first workout, results are not noticeable. Early in the process of working out, you may want to give up because you do not see immediate results from your hard work. But, over time, with consistency and by pushing through each workout even when you may want to give up, you start to see small but significant results. And if you are consistent in your workout routine, the results begin to manifest themselves. You become more toned, leaner, with a slimmer or more muscular build.
Your adversity muscles are much the same. During the tough times you cannot always see the point. At times it seems futile and frustrating. Then there is the light bulb moment when you learn something important in the process. Maybe it changes your priorities, helping you re-evaluate your value system. Maybe you to help someone else who experiences something similar. But you can only learn this if you go through adversity. This is the only way to build your adversity muscles. Each time that you do so, you become that more resilient. You eventually realize that you are much stronger than you initially thought.
This is only one chapter in your life. When you face adversity, remember this. Today is not your entire story. So, when facing adversity, build your adversity muscles. Then use them to make your story a powerful one.
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