Adversity: A Shining Light

Teen boy and girl in comforting embrace

To a certain degree, everybody experiences misfortunes  that will inevitably lead to things like anxiety, fear and an overall feeling of discontent. As a result, it’s sometimes difficult for people to “let go” of these negative feelings, which in turn has a detrimental long-term affect mentally and emotionally.

In essence, people sometimes use these “misfortunes” as a tool for removing themselves even farther from what could potentially be a positive and healthy mental state. But for those of us that who’ve gone through an adversity (or adversities for that matter) and successfully overcame, you understand the power behind an inherent truth: adversity is and always should be a guidance tool.

What do I mean? Well, it’s simple – Actionable responses to adversities can result in you going in one of two directions: upwards and onwards, or regretfully downward. And although I’d like to entertain the thought that most people succeed in using adversity as a tool for moving forward, it surely does not always happen that way.

Personally, I spent some (brief) time behind bars because I was pulled over and after some very brief testing, was given a DWI. Now, this is a circumstance that some don’t necessarily get over, and they use it as a crutch for never engaging in fun activities again. This is especially true for those who are involved in actual accidents and sustain and or give injuries to others. Other than requiring a fabulous car accident attorney, these people need to eventually learn how to forgive themselves before they can continue a happy existence.

Needless to say, instead of playing the “poor me” role, I got off my ass, did my community service, and used this experience to improve my behavior(s). And luckily enough I had a good

But I want to use another example that I think will help drive my point home – Let’s say you’re in a serious relationship with somebody with whom you’ve come to find out has just recently betrayed your trust by cheating. Understandably, your initial reaction to this would be anger, soon followed by sadness or disappointment. How you choose to respond moving forward is a decision that will be hard at that; however you should consider any and all factors that may help shed a little more light on what could be a potentially bad decision. Will this person do it again? What type of tendencies do they have, or what have you noticed from their actions following your emotional response?

For all intents and purposes however, let’s say that you choose to remove yourself from that relationship. In this case, you need to learn to embrace forgiveness, and eventually turn over your heart and soul to that person who once betrayed your trust. This is probably the more difficult of the two scenarios, considering most cheaters don’t stray too far from the common ideology of “once a cheater, always a cheater.” But there definitely are steps that you can take to ensure the person who hurt you isn’t a repeat offender, and the first involves realizing that time is a force not to be reckoned with; take time to realize that the person whom you once trusted is taking actionable steps to repair and reinforce the bonds of your relationship going forward. Allow yourself just enough space so that you can realize the sincerity of everything.

Time isn’t everything however; communication should always accompany time. The longer you understand that the person who’s cheated is willing to re-commit, the better the outcome for both of you. Combined, they not only allow you to realize what’s best, but they also give the cheater a chance to “epiphanize” as well. In other words, if the person who chose to act in a way that resulted in a poor outcome for them and they realize it, they’ll do everything in their power to win you back.

Yet, the unfortunate truth is that sometimes these “cheaters” don’t realize that they aren’t happy with the relationship that they’re in, and cheating (to them) was their way out. In either case, once you’ve allowed yourself time, engaged in constant communication and embraced forgiveness, you’ve successfully taken that misfortune and used it as a tool to guide you through the repair. Ultimately, the adversity you experienced influenced you to react based on the experience itself. You made carefully calculated decisions based on what you knew, and what you needed from that point on. It doesn’t matter the path you choose, as long as you have a justifiably positive outcome.

So, don’t mope; don’t let life’s challenges drag you down into a dark tunnel of emotional decay. Instead, let these adversities become the light at the end of that once dark and dreary tunnel.

Posted in Learning, Personal Growth, Relationships
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One comment on “Adversity: A Shining Light
  1. This is a great article and I totally agree with mostly everything you said. Except for the cheating part. You did not talk about the steps you take if you decide that is not the person you want to be with anymore because they have cheated on you. I would have said that do not let the cheating stop you from being trusting in other relationships. The cheating should make you wiser in who you decide to be with next but not stop you completely in trusting and being healthy in your next.

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