We are living in the age of adversity; life has its ups and downs and, try as you might, adversity is impossible to avoid. Problems are part of the universal life process. Even the happiest people in the world face adversity from time to time. Look at the Dalai Lama for example…he’s had to face great adversity in his life, being forced out of his homeland and into exile in India. Suffering spares no-one.
Great spiritual leaders however, know that there is an escape. Your true self doesn’t live in this world of suffering. The real provider of lasting well-being is your soul.
However, this is not to belittle the feelings of adversity which can be very real and sometimes devastating. These feelings have to be ‘worked through’ and will not usually disappear overnight.
I’m not a counsellor or psychologist but this is what we have found, by personal experience, works for us:
6 Steps you can take if you are encountering adversity:
- First of all, recognise adversity for what it is. We re-frame and reduce the intensity of it by making fire engine siren noises (neeh-naah!) when we recognise it entering our lives!
- Next, realise that adversity is temporary and seldom affects all parts of your life e.g you may lose your house and your job but your family still loves you; you still have your health etc.
- Practise gratitude; be grateful for what you have already.
- Understand that you have control over your response to adversity. As soon as pain appears, change your focus. There is a positive side to any event if you look for it.
- Reach a higher state of self-awareness by practising detachment. Learn to become a witness of your thoughts, feelings and reactions. This will enable you to see things more clearly by reducing the emotional involvement.
- Decide what action steps you can take today to help yourself; no matter how small.
Eventually you will reach a point where you genuinely feel that you have the power to cope.
Each one of us is different. How well do you cope with adversity? What are your strategies?
Photo by Handeson Gomes