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What a great question. My immediate thought is, “I can’t think of any” but I know that’s not true. I’ve turned many challenges into opportunities and lessons in the past. I just have to sit and remember. Like the time I was ostracized from a friend group as a teen, which led me to a much more loving group of friends and someone who I bonded with deeply. Like the time I didn’t get into a teacher-training program and instead used it to get into grad school and live in a whole new part of the country (and meet more wonderful people, before things took a turn). Like the experience of having grown up poor, but doing what I could to bring peace to my life and to my family’s by way of my education.
I haven’t always. And things recently have felt far, far away from these experiences. But I remember now. This was once my life.
My situation with my daughter enhances my want to help others in need. As much as I dislike some of my current challenges I do act on them & quickly and seem to know what I need to do immediately.
Hmmm, this is a tough one. I think I’m
getting better at handling challenges.
There’s usually lots of dread approaching
a challenge, but I generally rise to the
I think it is when I am in service to others – quietly, unobtrusively, largely invisible, and with grace.
I remember a story about people coming out in the street to help each other after the 1906 earthquake and fire. I almost feel as though extraordinary challenges make being the best version of oneself easier. I was a lifeguard many years ago. The one time that we dealt with a fatal rescue*, I knew exactly what to do in the moment, clearing the beach and providing care.
Several years ago, something happened (I won’t go into the details) that absolutely gutted me. It made me see the world as a completely different place than I had known. I felt compelled to just start speaking to strangers, which is out of my comfort zone. I ended up getting to know some people that I commuted with. In particular, I became friendly with a Sikh bus driver at a time when — unfortunately — Sikh bus drivers were the victims of anti-Islamic assaults. I hope I brought that person some comfort and security.
I notice several people here mentioning divorce. I have spent pretty much the whole day miserable over something that happened with my partner last night. This happens more days than not, and it has for years now. Without going too deep into the situation here, I believe that I have been willing to accept what seemed like petty grievances with the hope that we both ultimately care for each other and are motivated to overcome our obstacles. Recently, my partner was asked how she felt about me and the relationship, and her answer was that, frankly, she didn’t know why she was continuing.
Since then, I have really been asking myself if I am sacrificing my own happiness and joy in this relationship. The prospect of divorce brings me down. But perhaps we will separate, and I suspect that I will find fulfillment and solace with myself. Maybe someday I will find a partner who brings me joy and finds joy in me. I believe I have that to offer and that I deserve it for myself.
* My understanding of the situation is that the person who drowned had epilepsy and went to the beach with just their child and no other adults. They had a seizure, slipped under the water, and drowned while their child went to get help. The water was unusually murky that day — for some reason I don’t recall — and finding this person underwater took unusually long. I am retelling this absolutely tragic story as a precaution to anybody who might need to hear it. ***PLEASE be cautious in the ocean and follow the protocol for any preexisting conditions you may have.***
Perhaps you’ve heard people say, When one door closes, another one opens? That happened to me, after my first rocky marriage. We split up and one year later I met my life partner. It’s possible something like this is what the universe has in store for you.
The family situations we have gone through this past year. It has clarified and reinforced that being there for my family is my deepest priority.
The effects of childhood trauma became cellular and imbedded within me. Over thirty five years ago I was introduced to tools and resources to drop the “perpetual victim” ideology. Opportunities unfolded by the Universe to share my story and pass on those tools. I’m deeply grateful for these gifts, born from my own gestation within my life cycle.
Thank you for your comment, Carla. May I ask what tools and resources helped you most?
My husband and I have recently been faced with some health issues. I am hoping that this challenge will bring out our strength, faith, trust and resilience.
Going thru a divorce in 2017, I found my freedom and finally I could be myself. I had been holding in all of my anxiety and depression over that relationship until a force stronger than myself gave me the strength to do right for ME. There have been more positive situations as well, like when I became a Team Leader while still working at Whole Foods. I have always been a good leader, and that gave me the opportunity to step up my game at the store. I’m hoping my current worklife situation will bring out yet another best part of me…
It was a challenge moving down to FL from Pa 15 yrs ago going through a divorce at the time. I am a work in progress so I keep striving to be the best me I can.
Argh. I wish I could say they all do. Sometimes it’s enough to just become aware of resilience. I’m becoming aware of my reactiveness and recovering to equanimity more quickly. My husband has really been struggling with grief over his daughter. I’ve been able to see his gruff exterior in a more impersonal way. Staying connected to source is everything.
I’ll share a quotation I wrote down, from the advice columnist Carolyn Hax. It felt so true in the moment I had to save it.
“You ask me what I would do, and that’s always so hard, because what we imagine doing in a tough situation tends to be a lot more decisive, heroic and unburdened by our personal frailties than what we actually do.”
— Carolyn Hax, Washington Post column of Oct. 29, 2023
Avril, I relate to your first statement. I can’t say all my challenging times HAVE brought out the best in me. Still thinking about this one.
I was just meditating on the blessings which have come out of my recent cancer diagnoses, treatments & subsequent recovery. I marvel at Divine Providence always active in my life, bringing about ever-deepening growth & potential~~ and I am so grateful today.
Challenging situations have many times in my past required me to self-medicate and numb my feelings and emotions with alcohol. What was once a way have fun, to thumb my nose at authority (underage drinking) and fitting in with people of like minds became a coping tool. Happy, sad, funerals, wakes, weddings, baptisms, good weather, bad weather, any reason to placate that monkey in my mind. For the past 22 months the challenge I set in front of me was to once again be abstinent from alcohol. My exploration and as I call it my “discovery”, an attitude of gratitude, meditation, staying in the present, not future tripping. mindful standing yoga has brought out the better in me. I am not sure if there is a best or there ever will be a best. “I am an old man who has known many troubles, most of which never came to pass.” Attributed to Samuel Clemmens.
I have a very very bad case eczema for the past 6 weeks. It just does not seem to be getting better. I also lost my job a couple of weeks ago and my son had a severe allergic reaction while playing soccer and had to rush to Emergency. I am a generally upbeat positive person and thing that really annoys me is that the Eczema doesn’t allow me to enjoy the gift of time I’ve been given after losing my job. I always always try and remember that many others have worse health and life problems and live through them with such grace. The last time I had really bad Eczema was in 2020 during the pandemic and I could stay home and heal and this time I’ve lost my job so again I can stay home and heal. I thank God for that. This site is a reminder to find a reason to be grateful no matter what.
I hope your son is now OK and recovered. May you be blessed with moments of peace and interior silence, Journey, while you recover from the eczema.
The pandemic brought out my greatest strength, courage, patience, wisdom and to live outside of my comfort zone.
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