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Friday, January 18, 2013

Overcoming Adversity is not Easy

Hi A.B.!

I enjoyed your last two blog posts. Thanks! Reading the myths of happiness & your reflection on suffering was interesting & helpful.

In a chat room I frequent, one of the questions asked was, "Why are there so many bad things in life?" The woman who posted the questions wondered about events like the shootings at Sandy Hook, other crimes, war, & poverty.

Your books & other writings, A. B.,  have shaped my approach to things. We can view life & its vast array of experiences as an obstacle, or an enemy, or we can open the possibility that whatever is in front of us is meant to be, even if we didn't (& never would have) asked for it! There is so much more going on in life than our thoughts about it!

This is what I wrote to the questioner. Thanks, A. B., for reading if you have time!

You're asking the big questions, & you are getting a lot of wonderful responses that are speaking to Truth, if not providing concrete "answers."

There is something to be said for Surrender...accepting that we don't have all the answers & never will. Life is largely a mystery that can't be contained by our minds- within our concepts & thoughts about it.

But while we will never have all the answers tied up with a bow, there are pointers! A common theme you see over & over on this thread is the redemptive nature of adversity.

Repeatedly, we see that without losses, hardships, suffering, the better angels of our human nature would not have been revealed, much less developed. We can't help but conclude that ultimately, Suffering, the situation we would never ask for, serves a purpose in our evolution as humans.

I like this quote from Eckhart Tolle- "Even within the seemingly most unacceptable & painful situation is concealed a deeper good, & within every disaster is contained the seed of grace."

Dear G,

Thank you for your reflections. We are each a part of each other's solution to adversity. A chance word, a thoughtful remark, a hand extended toward you in a gesture of understanding. It all helps. And without each other, nothing helps.

And, of course, it's always easy to be philosophical about adversity once we have overcome it. The hard is, while we are in the throes of suffering adversity, that we keep our wits about us, and keep thinking about some bit of philosophical reminder to bouy us up, and remember to reach out to others in some small way. A. B. Curtiss

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