Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Adversity

Spirit understands adversity as opportunity.  When adversity slaps us in the face, we are shocked, stunned, and surprised that “something bad” could ever happen to us.  Our normal reaction is to resist, retaliate, or retreat into denial.  When encountering difficult times we sometimes doubt the good which is unfolding.  We actually block ourselves from adversity’s gift.  

We’ve all heard the expression, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  When adversity strikes, no matter what our spiritual inclination, we find ourselves praying fervently in our threatened, helpless state-of-being.  When things finally settle down, our reliance on Spirit wanes, and we go back to handling things ourselves.  We step out of spirit and back into ego. . .until adversity rears its monstrous face again.


Adversity is life’s unwanted gift, but it is also our "spiritunity" -- our spiritual opportunity -- to broaden and deepen the channels between ourselves and Spirit.  Suffering forces us to change, but it is a way to strengthen our soul.  We have all suffered adversity in one form or another; it is the inevitable result of the passage of time.  Things change.  Nothing is permanent.  That is a hard pill to swallow because we like to remain in emotionally familiar places, even though those places may not always be healthy for us.  Sometimes, suffering is so great that we have to give up.  We surrender.  And that’s when the alchemy begins.  As we face our resistance to change, we choose to align ourselves with events as they are unfolding.  We find in our acceptance a strange sense of peace.  




Adversity, though uncomfortable, prunes us for our Highest Good.  It helps us to define and nourish ourselves.  Life is full of re-directions because of adversity.  How we deal with it is important.  The key is to keep an open mind while experiencing such times but not let them affect our outlook and attitude in a way that destroys the future.   When my mother was a young child in war-torn Germany, she lost her home, her family, and her innocence.  She was skirted away to an orphanage with other forgotten children in Czechoslovakia.  But later in life she called it one of the best things that happened to her because it taught her how to survive, to help others in need, and to value everything in life, from big to small.  


Finding constructive (rather than destructive) ways to channel our energy helps us to cope with and move through the experience.  When adversity shows up unannounced, what do we do with the experience?  Do we curse God, grow bitter and grieve the rest of our lives, or do we embrace this re-direction as a spiritunity to bring more meaning into our lives?

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