By no means am I an expert on adversity but I am passionate about overcoming it. Adversity is like a workout for your intestinal fortitude insomuch that when you experience it, it makes you embrace the fetal position as if you’ve taken an unexpected body shot to the abdomen from a young Mike Tyson. Imaginatively that has to feel as if death is performing CPR especially if it is unexpected. Remember the movie “Waiting to Exhale” well this is the waiting to inhale version. Nonetheless we have two options… One: We stay in the fetal position, remain stagnant, and never give ourselves permission to move beyond the pain. Or two: catch that second wind, stand up and examine the vulnerabilities that allowed the adversity to hit so hard. The beauty about this experience, as long as you don’t panic, is that not only will you be able to breathe again but you now have the experience of what a body shot feels like (awareness). You will also recognize what a body shot looks like as it approaches (wisdom), become inspired to train/learn how to defend against it (growth) by working on the areas that made you vulnerable to it in the first place (change), and potentially train others on how to deal with the unexpected body shots that life delivers (advocate). Under these circumstances adversity can create our best experiences. I am speaking metaphorically to your understanding of adversity as it pertains to relationships, rejection, racism, social injustices, poverty, privilege etc. These are all laced with potential body shots that will challenge a person’s will to sink or swim.
A few blogs ago I spoke about processing experiences as neither good nor bad. Adversity is a part of that equation. Adversity seems way too scary and the fears associated with it can place people in a blinding state where they are unable to see past the hardship or obstacle. At times people fail/fear to examine their own adversity because the pain, shame, or embarrassment of it hinders them from doing so. It is a serious predicament that can produce feelings of hopelessness and frustration that in some cases suicide would seem more preferable than battling through the event. However we should press on and examine our irrational beliefs and accept the things (like the past or people) we cannot change. Reframing adversity into a learning moment gives birth to a self-taught relationship between you and yourself which equates to you becoming wiser than you were prior to the adversity. My adversities have driven me to become more passionate about the goals I have set for myself. It makes me stronger. The more haters I have, the more I know I am doing something right. The more hardships I face, the more I realize God knows I am tough enough to handle it, the tougher the going gets, the tougher I become at going. You get the point….
For me blogging and evolving into a therapist is more than using clinical jargon, an extended vocabulary, or placing credentials behind my name, rather, it is an opportunity to convey that as a competent professional my personal inventory reveals that I am not perfect nor am I a guru by a long shot. In order for my clients to feel comfortable with me, they need to be able to understand that I understand them. It is always a good feeling when someone understands where you are coming from. All I have is the genuine positive regard for all people and a desire to see them do well with their life which motivates me to be resilient during my own adversities so I can inspire others to be resilient as well. If you are facing adversity in your life read the poem “See it Through” by Edgar Albert Guest and do just that…. Be encouraged friends and remember you have control over your actions in every reaction! See it through!