Getting out of Adversity – Using it Become Stronger
Adversity is often seen as an obstacle that prevents us from attaining something in life. It first appears as a formidable opponent that will keep us from achieving joy, happiness and the meaningful life we desire. It can however, if approached with the right attitude and perspective, become a place for tremendous, transformational, and positive growth, launching us to heights without it that would be impossible for us to see.
A beautiful, majestic oak tree begins its life under great adversity, Starting as an acorn (seed,) it gets buried and packed deeply in the dark hard and heavy dirt, If not eaten by a squirrel, it lives to fight for the necessary ingredients to survive and grow in these challenging surroundings. It reaches down to set its roots and pushes up to find the light of day needed to develop its base, branches and leaves. The tallest of trees never gives up. Its trunk expands and branches reach for the best access to the sun. Even after it reaches its powerful size and strength, wind, storms, lightening, snow, and other natural and man-made elements beat down on it. Diseases work to rot its core. Season after season, the mighty oak deals with adversity of its environment, but never gives up. So the face of adversity makes the mighty oak ever stronger.
Many times in my life I have faced adversity, relationship failures, death of a child, passing of both parents, multiple job losses, financial hardship, and more. Each time, I try to focus on the key things I can own and work hard at moving forward despite the circumstances. I ask myself “what CAN I do” and ignore the temptation to dwell on what caused the adversity. There will be time for that later when I want to look back and reflect on doing what I can to prevent that adversity from occurring again. I look for the smallest positive result from my work (something I can control) and take each element of positivity, apply it to the next move or action and work to become stronger each day. So, I have come to embrace adversity in a strange way. I don’t look for it, nor wish it upon myself. Instead, when it does appear, I draw on it as an opportunity to grow even stronger as I work through it.
Just as with the life of the oak tree, try facing and using adversity to grow and become stronger. In the end, the lives there supports beyond itself is a gift to others (air for us to breathe, housing for birds and squirrels, shade from the hot sun, and even when trimmed logs for warmth in the winter fire.
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