Life is as easy as ABC - Adversity Builds Character

"Adversity Builds Character"
The first time I heard this phrase I was living in a game reserve in South Africa and it came from an 18 year old trainee game ranger. I can't remember what had happened but he had simply grinned and said 'Adversity Builds Character'. I, like many people, had suffered much adversity by that time but had never been given a formula by my parents or teachers to help me cope. Even this one passed me by as the years went on and my inability to cope created even more problems in my life.

However, one day the phrase jumped back into my consciousness and made me think. Just what was that about? Do we have no character without adversity? Does the promise of character through adversity provide a lifeline, a support through the bad times? I started to examine life, asking questions like 'What is my purpose in life? Why does humanity suffer? If God is so good why do bad things happen to good people?

The conclusion I came to after much searching was that 'these things are sent to try us', another old phrase that is undoubtedly true. We need to be tried, tested, some of us more than others. I believe that some of us arrive in this level of existence with more karma, more unsolved issues, to clear, than others - therefore life often seems very unfair. Problems that occur in our lives generally push particular buttons, the specific areas of our lives that need sorting out to make us better people, more advanced souls. This is why some people react strongly to certain issues while others may see the same issues as unimportant. This is also why the same things keep happening to us until we sort them out.

How do we do it?

We need to recognise that problems or issues that push our buttons are Opportunities. Not Problems. Opportunities to delve deep into ourselves and dig out the old karma. To look at it honestly and openly and decide that we no longer need to react in a particular way. To create new ways to react. New, productive, positive and creative ways.

To help us, we can use a phrase like 'Adversity Builds Character'. To give us courage, fortitude and stamina. To give us insight, to humble us enough to forgive, others and ourselves. To help us re-invent ourselves, to make us stronger, wiser, more compassionate, more generous and more positive. To build character.

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