How To Not Let Adversity Dis-empower You
The Formula of Life….
Life is 95% of what you attract through thoughts, actions, intent, energy etc..
and the other 5% is made up of obstacles, curve balls, lessons and adversities that sometimes can not be explained or understood.
Your reality is not what happens to you but rather how you deal with what happens to you.
There is a saying in Tibet - ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster – Dalai Lama XIV
It is hard to not lose our hope when the evening news is plagued with devastating tragedies, world poverty, senseless wars and acts of cruel injustice. Then there are the acts of everyday cruelty that happen in our own neighbourhoods from violence, abuse, murder to the diseases that kill everyday innocent people. The cruelty of such events can leave many of us broken and tainted - transforming our once open and loving heart to one filled with hatred, hopelessness and bitterness.
We must not let tragic events and unjust situations harden us, drown us in fear and lead us into developing a cynical view of the mostly beautiful world we are blessed to live in. Finding forgiveness is essential for spiritual growth. Your experience of something that has hurt you, while painful, is now nothing more than a thought or feeling that you carry around. If thoughts of resentment, anger, and hatred occupy your headspace their negative energies will dis-empower you. To find a way to release them will lead you to a place of peace and transformation.
So why does adversity happen? Yes at times it is to teach us a lesson, make us stronger, but at times it is just so random and unfair that you may never understand the reason behind it.
While you may never come to fully understand or accept a bad situation or experience, trust that you will find peace if you can find the strength to transform your own pain and suffering into being of service to others.
Innocent victims [both human and animal] die for senseless reasons everyday, dying at the hands of war, greed, ego and power. It truly is senseless killing, but lets not let their deaths be in vain. Let’s honour their lives by stepping up, seeking the light and then keeping that light alive for the rest of our lives.
Here are some ways that have helped me deal with my own adversity. Maybe they will help you?
Take comfort in what you do have: This is extremely hard, however you need to shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. You may have lost what seems your world, but you have not lost everything. Think about what you do have, and how your situation could have been worse. There are always people worse off than you – never get so lost in your own pain and suffering that you lose sight of this.
Try to see a lesson learned: When life hands you an adversity choose to find the lesson, because at least it gives the adversity some purpose. Think how can you be stronger from this? How can you inspire others? Has it opened up your heart and mind? Have you learnt compassion? No matter what you are going through, it is a complex experience of emotions, it is a new experience for you, and it gives you a greater understanding of what other people may be suffering through. Hold on to this lesson and pass it on.
Make “I am strong” your daily mantra: Wake up and tell yourself that you are strong, you can get things done, know that you can make a difference and in the process inspire others to stay strong. I often think of Nelson Mandela, he is the shining light of how you can turn an adversity into an inspiration. Know that whatever comes along, you can handle it and grow from it.
Seek out a spiritual practice: The one thing I am certain about is that the universe is always watching. There is a higher purpose to everything that happens in this world and once you reconnect back to your source you will realise that you are not alone. Once you know who walks beside you on a daily basis you will never feel alone or afraid ever again.
Remember life goes on from this new place: No matter what has happened, who you have lost or what you have lost, remember this “life will go on”. No matter what changes have happened in your life – and yes they may be permanent - know that opportunities still exist. If you choose, you will laugh again, love again, believe again, enjoy again. There is beauty, miracles and opportunity to be found in every window of life – never forget that.
How would someone you respect deal with this situation: To help you stay strong, think about somebody who has been in this same situation, somebody who is great today. Ask yourself how did they deal with it, what did they do? If you don’t know of anyone then google it, find a book or join a forum. When you can relate to somebody elses story it ignites your own power, strength and self-healing.
Remember that sometimes life just isn’t fair: Sometimes the bad guy wins and the good guy loses everything. Sometimes the criminal gets off Scot-free, the cheater gets all the wins and the hardworking honest employee gets no acknowledgment. Don't get so bogged down in the details, just focus on personal growth and remain to have faith in trusting that over time the pain will become less disempowering - and that you will move on from this painful space.
So what does the universe want us to do about it? It wants us to be like water. Bend and flex, go with the flow and not get to rigid in what is right, wrong, fair or unfair.
Feeling outraged about life’s injustices won’t change the fact that things are often random and beyond your control. When you start going on an unfair spiral, remind yourself, “It is what it is.” And then choose a reaction that aligns with the way you’d like the world to be.
What happens within you is more important than what happens to you: Things are going to happen in life that you are powerless to change, but it is how you deal with it that truly matters. Refuse to relive the experience or pain over and over in your head. Stop telling yourself that it is “so unfair”. Quit sitting around feeling bad, looking for people to blame and complain to. Stop rehashing on what you could have done to make things happen differently. Or what you would have done if you had only realized earlier. Or what other people should have done to help you. Stop reliving the experience, simply give yourself the time to feel the pain, then take a deep breath and walk on. Reconnect with yourself knowing that it is your perception that creates your reality.
We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. ” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
One thing certain in life - it is not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you. Life is about building and strengthening your character. Life is about experiencing as many different things as possible in order to crack open your heart and mind, which in return will fill you with more love, strength and wisdom.
Never bow to bitterness: Never become jaded, bitter or cynical. Never allow your experiences to break your spirit. Learn to embrace and accept your life. Proudly own your experiences. For it is the people who have been dealt the most unjust of situations that have the power to change and inspire others. Your life is your message to the world, make it inspiring.
Let unconditional love burn brightly in your heart: Drop the judgement and blame and choose to live from a place of genuine love and forgiveness. When you live like this - no matter what tragedies you have endured - others will be inspired by your actions and it has the power to transform those in pain and suffering. Love unites us. Love leaves a positive imprint forever etched on the world and its people. It inspires those who live from a place of fear to step up and care. It has a ripple effect, leaving every one it has touched a little more shifted. Love is the answer to absolutely every problem out there. Together lets shift to a love mindset and change the world.
Be open to a more united world: Tragedies have the ability to divide or unite us. Instead of fearing 'the others' choose to unite with those that are different to us. Have the conversations and open up your mind to different point of views. Fear and hatred cannot exist if we have a respectful appreciation for all our differences.
Seek out forgiveness and acceptance: Things that happen to us and others can be terribly painful, for at times life can be so horrible and unjust. But I do know that by choosing to accept our experiences is what will ultimately set us free. The beauty of the human spirit is that it is so strong; it can overcome almost anything. I have learned that love and kindness really do matter and even when horrible things are done to one another, we can still band together and find forgiveness. And in times of tragedy, if we can find the strength to love over hate, it makes both the world and us stronger. The absence of hate does not tarnish the memory of the person we mourn, infact it shines a brighter light on them.
We are much stronger than we think: Time after time the human spirit has risen after a tragedy. We have seen people who we believe should be broken, stand up and make a positive impact in the world. They take their pain and transform it into a positive use or cause. We can all be pillars of strength and compassion. You just have to choose it. Allowing the brunt of your emotions to be fully felt does not cause you any more pain. Resisting the need to blame, hate and seek revenge does not mean you condone the tragic event. Rather; it heals you and makes you stronger. Spread loving kindness, good vibrational energy, positive emotions, and see what it does for you and those around you.
Pain invites us to grow: Look at the painful event and see how you can use it to change the world or yourself. You don’t need lights and stages to change the world or validate your self-growth. You can send positive vibes to the people you come into contact with on a daily basis, and this will have a ripple effect. Even if you can’t find the right words or actions, make the choice to not allow hate to consume you. This small action of choosing love over hate has the power to change the world more than any perfect speech, selfless act or awareness campaign.
We all endure hard times, whether you are devastated by the loss of a loved one, financial hardship, health concerns, personal heartbreak or any other form of troubled times – choose to shine a light through the pain by choosing love over hate.
Life is a blend of good and bad, tragic and joyous, sick and healthy….it's simply a buffet of mixed experiences and emotions. When the world hands you heartache, slips war and hatred under your door and offers you handouts of cynicism and defeat, refuse to be hardened by the unjust acts of the world or the disappointments you face. Keep reminding yourself that amongst all the bad there is still hope and beauty that can be found – you may just have to open your heart, mind and eyes a little wider.
We could all crawl into a dark hole and shut ourselves off from the rest of the world after tragic things happen to us. Or we could bury our pain with cynicism and view the world through eyes of bitterness. But I beg you not to do that. You deserve better and the world needs your light to shine on the path of love. For the brighter the path is lit up – the easier it will be for those in need to find it.
"We have two eyes to see two sides of things, but there must be a third eye which will see everything at the same time and yet not see anything. That is to understand Zen" - by Scoop Nisker
Resources I Recommend
The Essential Crazy Wisdom by Scoop Nisker: Scoop Nisker patches together the unorthodox teachings that have bubbled up through the words of such visionaries as Rumi, Gautama the Buddha, Mark Twain, Lao Tzu, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Allen Ginsberg, and Lily Tomlin. Discover the common thread in these multiple perspectives and travel on a course to enlightenment
When Things Fall Apart By Pema Chodron:This accessible guide to compassionate living shows us how we can use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion and courage.