Sometimes, life just hurts. And while the holiday season fills many people with gratitude and warm fuzzies, for others, it seems to make their pain worse, and their hearts feel a little colder.
If you’re someone who feels on top of the world and abundantly blessed, you don’t need to finish reading this post; enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.
But, if your grip is weakening because regret, loneliness, and emptiness are begining to frost over your hope, please keep reading.
Let’s get real for a minute. We have two choices: we can give up, or we can endure.
We can choose to focus on what we’ve lost or on what we can become. One perspective prolongs the pain; the other begins the healing process.
Thankfully, most people choose to endure, especially during the holidays, according to the CDC. Let’s be one of them.
Misfortune, calamity, and distress can be a time of profound personal growth. We have the power to take charge of adversity and make it serve us; although unwanted, pain can be one of life’s greatest teachers.
Here are five reasons we can choose to be grateful for adversity this Thanksgiving so that it’s a blessing instead of a curse.
Few things have the power to put us in tune with our feelings and desires more honestly than adversity if we let it.
Facing misfortune causes us to reflect on our beliefs and feelings. Loss and hardship tend to reveal the driving forces behind our thoughts, decisions, and actions.
Adversity creates the opportunity for deep self-reflection.
It forces us to examine our values, beliefs, needs, wants, desires, and actions, especially those that contributed to the painful experience if any.
Self-reflection is a chance to grow, improve, and reaffirm or tweak our purpose and calling.
Adversity teaches us the benefit of being self-aware in both good times and bad, so we’ll have fewer “bad” times in the future or navigate them more effectively.
Adversity builds patience and endurance because hardship is rarely in a rush; it sticks around for a while – it can be grueling.
Adversity teaches us endurance.
We learn to take charge of our emotions while we endure the darkness. We gain self-control and discipline along the way too.
Resilience is our ability to bounce back after hardship. Facing and overcoming adversity boosts resilience.
According to a study cited by WebMD in 2011, the mental health and well-being of approximately 2000 people were tracked for several years. Participants had faced events such as divorce, loss, or natural disasters that occurred before the study began. Also tracked were any adverse events that occurred during the study.
The study concluded that people who face and endure hardships are generally happier with life later because they learned how to overcome adversity, developed coping strategies, identified support networks, and gained the confidence needed to persevere when facing adversity later on.
Adversity and hardship can strain relationships, but people often learn that adversity creates an environment where relationships can grow and strengthen.
People are “forced” to pool resources and figure things out when things aren’t going well. They lean on each other for encouragement and strength as they work together to overcome the challenge. They communicate, open up, share, and are usually more transparent and supportive.
Wisdom and Knowledge
Through adversity, we gain information and learn skills. We become wiser and more knowledgeable. Hardship forces us to become solution-focused so we can solve problems and overcome setbacks and challenges.
We learn to identify the problem or challenge, find resources, analyze possible solutions, and implement options. Through hardship, we learn problem-solving skills, analytical skills, research skills, among others.
Look, no one wants hardship or adversity. But life happens. So, what are you going to do? Quit, or endure? We have the power to transform adversity into a blessing. We can use it to grow beyond our limits and what’s possible. Because of misfortune, we can develop self-awareness, patience, resilience, knowledge, and strong relationships that help us unlock our best life, in both good times and “bad.”
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