Resilience in the Face of Adversity
Adversity. Defined as difficulties or hardships. Everyone experiences times in their life where they face adversity, whether it be a job loss, income change, pandemic, divorce, affair, or any other number of things that happen to us in our life. It's not so much what we experience, but how we experience it.
Adversity causes us to "pause" and assess our situation, have the courage to evaluate ourselves and make necessary changes. If you have ever read the book "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen you will understand that circumstances do not define you, but it reveals you. Take for instance, my last three years of life fighting an exhausting divorce that involved no contact with my sons for over a year. Instead of giving up, I fought for the truth to be revealed. I presented evidence to the court, our reunification counselor and guardian that exploited the lies and accusations. In the end, I gained the relationship with my youngest son back. I could have given up or chosen not to fight, but I chose to look at this adversity in my life as an opportunity to learn and grow. I learned a lot about the domestic laws in Ohio. I learned about parent alienation and how many families suffer from this. I educated myself about the psychological affects on children and how the other parent can manipulate the kids. All of these things were new to me and I only grew stronger in my believe that what was happening to me was unjust.
Throughout all of this, I kept a positive mindset. The same way I had done when I lost job or quit without a plan. Because of my determination, positive thinking and hard work, I always came out in a better place than where I started. Several things to keep in mind when you are working to be resilient in the face of adversity.
Don't wait for the problem to solve itself. In my divorce case, I never expected my lawyer to do all of the work. I did my research, provided proof and did the hard work.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. In every situation, I assess the worst case possible and mentally prepare myself for that to happen. Usually the worst doesn't happen and the result is between worst and best. But mentally preparing yourself helps to alleviate anxiety.
Accept your failures, learn from them and move on. We don't get it perfect every time and rarely do we get it right. The best part about failing is the lessons we learn that help us improve the next time.
Keep the right perspective. Mindset is key. Always looking at the situation as the glass is half full vs. half empty will only benefit your mental health in the end. God has a plan. It might not be what we had planned, but try to see the good in every situation or at least the lesson that is supposed to be learned.
Don't sweat the small stuff. I used to think it was important to keep the house clean, meals planned out for the week, laundry complete, but those were just small things compared to what really mattered, spending time with my sons. Sometimes we can get caught up in the daily activity and forget about the BIG things that really matter.