1-6-19 Adversity


How do we confront (or try to avoid dealing with) the hard times?  Do we have the ability to bounce back from perceived adversity?

We will all experience loss and trauma in our lives. It is important to address these experiences and truly feel our loss and pain in order to work with it and grow. To not avoid difficulties, which only lets the difficulty grow and discolors all your experiences, nor to let the pain overwhelm us by not having a foundation of worthiness and kindness in our hearts.

The adversity we are looking at here is more of a self-inflicted wound.

You may distress yourself by expecting that you, others, and life should conform to your         expectations. The thinking that you are automatically entitled to have things go your way,        including happiness, inevitably results in unhappiness. You may grow your resilience by moving in the opposite direction: the unconditional acceptance of self, others, and life. This means you take things as they are—you accept reality unconditionally.  “The less you trouble yourself about   unattainable expectations, the less needless stress you’ll experience.” Psychology Today 

My addiction has roots in my wanting to avoid adversity. I found that drugs or alcohol or other behaviors kept me from having to address or confront my perceived problems.  When I was out drinking and drugging or betting at the track or buying things or eating too much, the last thing I wanted was for anything to interrupt my good time. Pursuing only good times became an overriding behavior that impaired my ability to cope with everyday life. As I recover, I notice that I still have a tendency at times to avoid problems because of my old behaviors.

I might complain a lot about something which is using my energies to garner pity from myself and others. Not an effective way of dealing with anything…it only promotes my misery with no solution.

I may turn pessimistic and be a dark cloud for everyone, while I rather enjoy my sense of poverty and wretchedness.  A poor coping mechanism—and again, not a solution.

I may procrastinate in dealing with a difficulty, which only prolongs the pain and may cause more problems.

Feeling sorry for myself works pretty well, if I want to continue being miserable.

The majority of life’s calamities are self-inflicted.  I see this in my addiction:  I do not blame  anyone else. What I did, I can also undo.  Me, not someone else. What I have found in recovery, from the others who are also invested in recovery, is not sympathy for any of my self-inflicted wounds, but an understanding and compassion for my dilemma. They share with me the tried and true lesson that I CAN recover.  I begin to trust myself and feel worthy IF I want to, and am willing to change my view of being selfish. 

By recognizing and combatting as many needless stresses as you can discover in yourself, you are likely to experience a rising tide of resilience. You’ll have greater emotional reserves to     address unfortunate situations that come your way. We may feel we are not worthy of a good life or cannot trust ourselves after what we have done. That is the magic of being in the company of others who have felt the same way, and we hear their stories of growth and acceptance of who they are and of the life that is possible.

When adversity strikes, meditation can be our best friend. Not as an escape, but as a weapon to fortify our minds and bodies, to create resilience and perspective. Meditation allows the mind to shift, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, to a state of calm and peace.

Meditation may not necessarily provide answers during the session — and it doesn’t have to. Meditators report that the deep coherent rest of meditation washes away stress, increases inner wakefulness and harmonizes emotions. Afterward, we feel a burden has lifted and we can more confidently navigate difficult waters.

“Look within to gauge your worth rather than depending on institutions or the opinions of others, for institutions rise and fall, and fashions come and go, but a good sense of your own value will see you through life’s ups and downs…Try to use difficulties, setbacks, and imperfections as a stimulus to creativity whenever they arise. When you feel trapped, like a fly bumping against glass, fly some other way! Sometimes you need to change directions; sometimes you need to  address the difficulty. When you believe in yourself and have a foundation of patience and kindness the right solution will arise. It is important to face your fears. By ignoring them, you        increase the risk that trouble will come when you least expect it and are least prepared to deal with it.” Paraphrased –Huffington Post

What can you LEARN from adversity, in order to be more intelligent, resilient, and not repeat the problem? We can create new ways of thinking if we persist and believe in ourselves.  

We need to change our thoughts and outlooks; someone else can’t do it for us.

We become Aware of when we are being negative, and Mindfully engage in the positive richness of our situation. What can you learn? Who can you help? Get out of yourself!!!

We “pursue” happiness because we think it comes outside of ourselves. I do have everything I need. I am an imperfect person, I make mistakes, and I am also capable of amazing things. I am complete when I feel connected to the world and to others.  I can live with dignity and have compassion for others, because I know what suffering is, and I am learning that peace, resiliency, and acceptance can give me a most wonderful experience. And I am worthy of that.

The vastness of our lives is only constrained by a limited mind and a small heart.  Let us wake and continue into the day with a large heart, a vast mind, and help create a world endowed with peace and dignity.

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.

Heart of Recovery web site:  fcheartofrecovery.com