BENEFITING FROM ADVERSITY
For thousands of years, teachers of conscious living have been telling us that we grow through adversity. A Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction,” while a German proverb echoes a similar thought: “Who has never tasted the bitter can never know the sweet.” Yet it’s always hard to remember these wise words at the moment you’re actually going through adversity. When fear comes up strongly in your body, it often shuts down the philosophical center of your brain for a while. It’s hard to philosophize about rhinoceroses when there’s one actually chasing you. Your first task is always to acknowledge your present “feeling state,” whether it’s fear or anger or joy. Then you can recommit to learning through adversity.
You can also surround yourself with friends who know how to ask the right questions. In times of adversity, your best friends ask, “What can you learn from this?” Your false friends ask, “Why is the world treating you this way?”
A CONSCIOUS LIVING PRACTICE FOR TODAY – NOVEMBER 18
Pause to wonder about your present life. Think of where you are currently experiencing adversity. Focus on one area and ask, “What am I needing to learn that I’ve created this adversity for?”
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