Finding courage through adversity

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it” – Henry Ford

There comes a point in a person’s life when one experiences challenging times, offset by the inability to rise above it. It might be an agonising life lesson such as the death of a loved one or the dissolution of a romantic relationship. Whatever the situation, it feels too close to home and strikes at the very essence of our human nature. Such experiences test our resolve to withstand the torrents of life.

I wish to remind you of the power to transcend any experience life presents you with. This is not intended as a passing sentiment to motivate you. Rather, I urge you to embody this understanding at the deepest level.

Reflect on a previous time when you summoned the courage to see your way through a tumultuous event or circumstance. I’m certain you may have felt hampered by the experience at the time – as though your world collapsed to pieces.

With a degree of patience and willingness, you called upon inner resources to move through the adversity. In fact, each step we take towards suffering is an invitation to move through the pain. There are those who remain frozen by the sorrow and incapacitated by the event. It is as though they are unable to navigate their way through to reclaim inner peace. Your refusal to move through the experience impedes the flow of life revealing itself through you.

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Below are a number of points to help you traverse the torrents of life. Remember, your power lies dormant within, ready to be called upon at your time of need. You have survived previous life events and will continue to do so as long as you allow the experience to pass through you. You may not know what that means right now, yet in time all will be made clear. Do not wage inner war against life, as doing so will create more suffering. It is your resistance to what is which that causes suffering.


Human suffering is inevitable

The degree to which you endure suffering may be highlighted by your perception of it. We all suffer at some level whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. Every person has their cross to bear. In his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, author Haruki Murakami reminds us that “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”. He is of course referring to how we internalise suffering. Reframe your view on what it means to suffer by seeing it as an opportunity to transcend your problems. Don’t ask for an easier life – ask that you be given the tools and resources to handle what life bestows you.


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What is the experience calling you to become?

Your soul’s agenda differs from your ego’s agenda. Neale Donald Walsch suggests we live life from the soul’s agenda and not the egos. He invites us to expand our perspective of life as seen through our higher self. Your soul is not concerned with what you do for a living, where you live, what your credit rating is nor what your accumulated net worth is.

Your soul’s agenda is grounded in Personal Growth. What life lessons and experiences have been the theme of your life? What is life inviting you to witness? Is it financial hardship, gender equality, health matters or otherwise? Your life struggles may be your soul’s plan to help you realise your inner power. When viewed from this perspective, there are no accidents and everything which takes place has been perfectly co-created and orchestrated by a greater universal intelligence.


Retreat for a while if you must

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When you have experienced instability it is natural to retreat, so as to summon the courage to bounce back with renewed enthusiasm. What matters most is how you bounce back. Refuse to remain grounded and defeated by your experience. May people refuse to accept their ordeal and feel victimised as though the event should not have happened to them – why not you? Withdrawing to summon courage may be the best plan. Retreating is not defeat – remaining down is being defeated.


Time heals all wounds

Suspend your need to judge the experience as good or bad. Trying to makes sense of the event seems to bring a sense of inner peace. Oftentimes there is no explanation of why things happen the way they do. I recall Jim Rohn American motivational speaker and author said the following along the lines of “I don’t have all the answers. Life is a mystery. If you think you can design and orchestrate a better universe, go right ahead – be my guest.” Ultimately there is a great deal which takes place behind the scenes and beyond our logical mind. Trying to fill in the blanks is a recipe fuelled with wrong intentions.

It is natural to seek answers and draw meaning from the death of a loved one or the dissolution of a marriage. In time once the veil is lifted you may view the experience as a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. Trust when the pain has subsided, the lesson awaits you.


What has been a tough lesson you had to learn through adversity? What did it teach you? Tell us below.