Adversity introduces you to yourself...
Adversity introduces you to yourself.
I heard those words at a conference this week. And I have found them to be particularly true.
I think growing up I had the erroneous idea that at some point I would reach the plateau I was working toward. But instead I've learned that adversity is a bit of a permanent condition.
Of course, there are the big, dramatic adversities that get all the press. Major illness, accident, divorce, job loss, betrayal, death of a loved one... You know, the adversity that hits us blindside and forces us to walk through paths we didn't want to walk through. That focused, concentrated hardship either leaves us bitter or transforms us into who we were always supposed to be.
More insidious are the small hardships. The days we can't catch a break. The daily negativity of someone we can't get out of our space. The small betrayals that rarely result in a showdown. Those tiny, daily adversities also introduce us to ourselves.
Are we kind or are we cruel?
Are we thankful or oblivious?
Are we faithful or are we inconsistent?
Are we gentle or are we harsh?
Are we peaceful or are we frantic?
Here's the thing, just as the choosing has to occur in the big adversities, it has to occur in the small ones as well. Because though adversity may introduce us to ourselves, it also offers us the opportunity to choose to change if we don't like what we see.