I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have to face adversity at some point in their lifetime. Whether in our personal relationships, professional lives, in regards to a health issue, academically or financially, hardships seem to be a standard component of life.
Of late, many people have adopted the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” philosophy, realizing that certain situations appear in our lives as a way of strengthening us. Some circumstances provide valuable lessons that are necessary for our personal growth. Still other hardships redirect the course of our lives. Yet even in the presence of this understanding, many become angry and frustrated that such events showed up at all. “Life would be so much easier if things just went according to my plans.” Easier, yes; better? Well, that’s questionable. An easy life does not guarantee a happier or better life.
Very often, anger follows adversity: an unexpected situation throws a monkey wrench in our plans and the frustration is overwhelming. We momentarily feel lost and confused, unable to find a satisfactory solution. Frustration can lead to anxiety and fear as time passes without significant change. With no proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness translate to anger and may easily progress to bitterness and resentment. Without the ability to influence change, one may soon find them self consumed with rage.
Yet adversity is one of life’s greatest teachers. We learn to persevere under duress, to appreciate the gifts we have in our lives even and especially when things don’t go according to our plans; we learn to prepare ourselves for the unexpected and not take life or the people in it for granted. We are challenged to dig deep within ourselves and uncover the hidden abilities we have yet to acknowledge. In some instances, difficulties have actually altered the course of a person’s life. One young woman, who was brutally raped as a young child, became an advocate for rape victims and has helped thousands of women in her long rewarding career. Knowing and applying this belief allows one to avert anger and experience a sense of gratitude as well. This leads us now to the subject of awareness:
There is a much deeper understanding to life’s challenges that many individuals are unaware of. Intellectual understanding exists in the mind and consists of rational information and facts. Awareness is a deeper knowing that goes beyond the intellect. It is the ability to connect with a Higher Intelligence to access reasoning beyond human comprehension. Awareness enables us to see beyond our circumstances and recognize the intrinsic purpose to every adversity that enters our life: and that is to bring us into a deeper understand of the nature of the Divine, and to draw us ever closer to Him.
But how does this process work? When life moves along smoothly many people are remiss in communicating with God. They tend to put Him on the back burners of their minds with their daily responsibilities taking priority. However, when life throws us a curve ball of significant magnitude, inevitably we turn to God for help. We may be seeking comfort, assistance in preventing or reversing the unbearable situation, strength to endure the impending difficulty, wisdom to know how to best handle our current circumstances or guidance as to what to do next. In doing so, we learn that God is a God of His Word. “Come to me and I will give you rest.” “Cast your worries upon the Lord.” “Never will I abandon you.””Trust in the Lord God with your whole heart, and mind, and body.” “I have great plans for you.” In our darkest moments, we learn to trust the One who has created us, who loves us beyond measure, who ultimately provides all of our needs. And in every instant, God affords us exactly what He knows we need for our higher purpose, which is ultimately to form a deep and intimate bond with Him, to experience His Love in a way never revealed to us before, to depend on Him more than our own limited understanding – to trust Him implicitly. Once we have created intimacy with the Divine, we can never return to what we had before. And it is in this awareness that all possibilities for anger to manifest are eliminated for only gratitude and peace can reign in the knowing.
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