6-27-21 Growing Through Adversity

Growing Through Adversity

If none of us had grown and learned some from our adversity, we wouldn’t be here now. 

People and circumstances can and do enrich our lives, or they can make life harder, but neither outside enrichment nor adversity define who I am, or what my possibilities are.  

Adversity is a window into seeing what we believe defines us, and showing it to be false.

“If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it ‘round. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don’t embrace trouble; that’s as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

When sorrows come, we have no right to ask, “Why did this happen to me?” unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.

“The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he’s got an abscess on his knee or in his soul.” ~Rona Barrett

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” ~African Proverb

“The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” ~Voltaire

“I smile when I look back at the troubles that have strengthened me. What seemed to be 

insurmountable struggles then, are now beautiful ornaments illuminating my soul.” ~Dodinsky 

When something difficult arises we acknowledge it, and let it be as it is. We do not try to fix or avoid it; these actions only enlarge the difficulty. We first need to give our difficulty and
ourselves some space. Space to calm the seas and sense what the right way to proceed is.

Blame and resentments, towards others or ourselves, will expand difficulty and promote
negativity. We may have lessened self-pity as we’ve progressed in recovery, but we need to realize that when we have a resentment or are blaming someone or something for our problems, it is just another way of feeling sorry for ourselves.

When we can let go of a resentment at another or ourselves, we feel a useless weight drop, and our vision and heart begin to clear. We can recognize that another may have acted in a way that distressed us.  Instead of blaming them, we can have Compassion for the pain or fear they are experiencing. This is one instance of what is meant by “getting out of ourselves.” No, it is not all about me (actually, none of it is), but it takes new behavior to realize this. We accept and work with the difficulty, and get on with life. Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. To get over wallowing around in that rich, smelly POOR ME mud. We can then move forward.

I saw a picture of a child that was a skeleton, skin and bones, and probably a day or two from dying. It has stayed with me, and reminds me that I really do not have any problems. And it is important that I do what I can to help the world and those with real problems as much as I can.
I need to feel and be healthy so I can help others, not for my own trivial, superficial pleasures. How we are able to help others will vary. Start by not gossiping, blaming, holding doors open for people and controlling anger and selfishness. These small things have a large effect on others and on ourselves. We do have our own lives and interests, and they are important. But we need to balance “ME” with others, or we will wonder why we feel out of balance, even when we have so much. When we feel we do not have much and are needy, we help someone else and that feeling dissolves.

We have been given a precious gift—Life. We need to be as big and as grateful as possible and avoid petty mentalities that rob us of our amazing spiritual life force and make us small, dirty and confused. We can waste our most precious gift with selfishness and blame.

Noticing small things helps too. When I am agitated or mourning, I can take a walk and clear my mind the best I can, and notice with my senses—not my mind—all there is to see, hear, feel, taste and smell. I walk slowly and with the purpose of experiencing the world through my senses. I let go of everything for a little bit. This always brings me a sense of being grounded. I am simply feeling, letting the world in. I connect, and I begin to heal.

Our addiction has kept us in a jail cell of selfishness…disconnected from the world and others. We can begin (and we only need to begin) opening our hearts and minds to the possibility that we are Worthy, Capable of being happy, that a deeper connection with our world and ourselves is possible. We see that others have done it.  Beginning to embrace life, letting the “sunlight of the spirit” start shining through the cracks in our armor, is a wondrous experience.

Our armor cracked when we accepted our addiction and grew up a bit. We need to let more cracks appear, to let more sunshine in. We do need to mourn or truly feel our pain when it is there, in order to be able to let go. To let go is to open up to all the other possibilities. Possibilities that were there but we could not see them because of the ME blinders we had, and sometimes still have on.

Notice how many times a day you become a little upset because things are not going your way. Do you have many small dramas because someone said something, or you ran out of your favorite tea, or something broke, or traffic is bad? You feel at odds with the world, until you let go of that ME, ME, ME, needy feeling. Drop the drama, Laugh a bit and see where you can be of use. Grow through your adversity. You have created it and you can release it if you choose.

Bark or cower less, wag more. Put your best out there, right through the fear.

Keep going and you will get there. Well…there isn’t really a There to get to, so just keep going.

And Smile.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com