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Today Gwen and I had some not very good news. It was not something that either of us wanted to hear at all but something that we must both deal with and both must deal with in our own ways but still be there for the strength that she will need. I will always be there for her and do whatever I can.

With the wave of emotions that we feel and that she feels more so as it affects her directly I was trying to think of some of the things that I always write about to help. Today I could not do that. Today I was at a loss to an extent. As the evening has gone on I have had time to think and we both have had time to cry and to get mad and to go through some of the hurt and then to start thinking of the future.

With that some clarity has come back so I write this for Gwen and I more than anything but I hope that my thoughts can in some way help one of you. I starting coming up with this after reading a post called LIFE IS A RIVER that I wrote a few years ago.

Sometimes it seems that there is no end to the problems that we face in life. Sometimes we feel that each step we take forward, adverse circumstances pull us two steps back. You know this is probably the majority of us. I bet that most of you feel or have felt the same way. A wise person once said that pain is inevitable but the suffering is optional. You have to decide how much suffering and emotional stress your pain is going to inflict upon yourself and those around you. As this is easy to write for me it is equally as hard to put into practice but I do know from my experience in life that the following ways of thinking can help turn any adversity into a positive experience and its even more possible when you’re surrounded by love and support from friends and family.

Adversity is not a cause but a symptom

More often than not our adversity is a symptom of some other, deeper issue or problem. You lose a job and you think that this is a devastating turn of events but do you try to figure out why you lost your job? What is it that made you so forgettable or dispensable? Was it even the right fit for you? Similarly, if you or a loved one is sick, try to figure out why the sickness has happened. Is it a lifestyle? Is it the environment around you? Is it a combination of them? Sometimes there is no reason but what I ask is that you look at it differently and try things that have not been done before. Overall whatever the situation is, as physical pain is a symptom of some illness or injury, you should take note of the source of a problem if possible. Unless you solve it, you will keep getting into similar situations.

Adversity can be a Lesson

The day to day business of our lives does not allow us the time to pause and to appreciate the people we have around us most of the time. This is one of the reasons I write what I do most of the time. More often than not adversity often awakens us to the opportunities and treasures that are before our eyes and that are far more important than money or material possessions; our health, our family and our friend’s. Sudden loss of money teaches us that we should not base our happiness on money. An illness teaches us to be humble and to lead a healthy life as much as possible. It also teaches us who is really important and whom thinks that you are important. A sudden loss in the family makes us appreciate the cycle of birth, life and then death and hopefully makes you realize that there is so much more after we are gone. Such things may seem shallow but we must each learn from our adversities if we do not want them to control our lives or the lives of those around us.

Adversity can be Guidance

Sometimes if you’re paying close attention, adversity can come to your life to suggest that it’s time to change course in the river of life and to swim like hell. For example when someone leaves you there is no use in sulking and blaming yourself or others. Instead you need to take it as a sign that a newer and more enlightened relationship should be sought that is more meaningful and one that is meant for you and the other. This is how Gwen and I came to be. Our maybe you need to or should invest your time in other pursuits for the time being or on your own relationship with yourself. “I was complaining that I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet,” Confucius said, and this is so true you know. Rather than getting bogged down with our own problems we should pay attention to people who happily survive and even prosper despite all of the odds. When you open your eyes and heart and have a look at the whole of the world, you can be happy to then know how well life has treated you after all not matter the situation.

Be thankful for each moment of each day. Open up to those around you and be human. None of us are superhuman and we all cry from time to time and we all need to. We all need help and should ask for it when we do. We all should pay it forward as well to those who need the help for one day it may be you doing the asking.

So each day try to see the world in a different light. If it does not go your way one day we have tomorrow and the next.

God Bless each of you and all of those to whom you are connected.