Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes; do not resist them, that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Lao Tzu

Adversity is a facet of life. It is universal and impartial.

A time of difficulty. A time of distress. A time of misery. A time of suffering, or loss.

It’s hard to describe and share struggling with others. Its very personal. There is no escaping adversity, but there is a useful way to respond to it.

My life has continually been filled with adversity and along the way, I have come to a better understanding of why it is there and how I can use it to benefit myself and others.

Were you aware that there is a seed of equivalent benefit from any adversity?

Being a slave to alcohol was the primary method I used to handle adversity.

I was afraid to tackle my challenges squarely. I postponed them and procrastinated any effort to meet them immediately.

What happened by not taking action in spite of adversity caused me to live in fear. This emotion blocked my feelings.

I found in recovery that I am more aware of the language I use internally and externally to describe adversity.

Words have power backed by tremendous energy. They can call us to action or into retreat.

Feeling victimized is so defeating because it stifles any personal responsibility about changing the situation. We are disempowered to make any further movement.

We often cannot control our circumstances, but we can control or influence our attitude towards them by our language.

Language affects our behavior. Being aware of this does not mean no more adversity will not come your way, but as stated earlier, it is how you respond that matters.

A new found freedom is experienced when I don’t react by reflex. When I can pause when agitated, and in that “gap” of thought, choose a better word, I come to a new understanding. My challenges seem manageable. This requires time and patience with myself.

Also, the stories we are told shape us; they shape our world. We do what stories tell us to do. We’re wired this way intentionally, because adversity is a reflection of what most needs to be changed in us for us to grow.

When there is a trigger to a thought, a new story is developed or an old one is replayed.

Our decisions sometimes are the cause. When I’m experiencing suffering the last thought on my mind is that I caused this circumstance.

When I can pause and separate from the situation, there is one new skill I have developed that is powerful to bring my difficulties and mind back to order. This is prayer.

Prayer is asking or imagining a better way to interpret adversity. It protects me into getting conscious and emotional contact with the ultimate source.

It is vitally important to understand what and how you are asking? Thoughts manifest. This is your responsibility.

Trial and error tests our faith and trust in ourselves. Ultimately adversity is there to help us. We only grow through resistance. This is how we learn to respond.

Also, I am never alone because if you know there is a higher presence with me at all times, I am never alone.

What if you viewed adversity as a precious gift that guides you into new thinking?

In college, my alcoholism was at a stage of binge drinking and blackouts. I had missed classes and my grades dropped off a cliff. My scholarship was in peril. I received the letter from the university that I would have to go in front of a committee to discuss whether my suspension would turn into expulsion.

At 20 years old that was a lot of adversity to handle alone. I remember vividly, I suddenly turned within and asked a power greater than me to help. Not exactly sure how I articulated it, but it was simple….I need help! Help me! Then I took action.

I was guided to a counselor who by no coincidence served on the committee and said he could help. He did and it resulted in a pardon and propelled me to graduate college.

Belief, trust, faith, action, patience, and surrender are all needed in adversity. More than likely, you will survive to fight another day.

Feel the pain and heal. Learn from it.

The best is always yet to come!

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