Overcoming Adversity

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“It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear the adversity.”

Father James Keller was visiting the Tower of London when he found the inscription above.  It was written almost four hundred years ago by a condemned prisoner who carved the words on the wall of his cell to keep up his spirits during a long imprisonment.  Keller was moved by the hope and courage that was embodied in the message.  Adversity will come for each of us during our travel through life.  How we deal with these difficulties makes all of the difference.

Photo by David L Gross

None of us need to be paralyzed by the adversity that comes our way.  We have the opportunity to rise above it.  We can allow ourselves to be strengthened by our personal faith followed by dogged determination and hard work.

We have choices when presented with adversity.  Despite the fact that we might feel trapped or cornered with only one way to go, we can choose our attitude and practice patience.  We can choose to be models of inspiration through the courage and poise with which we meet the hardship.

We can embrace the situation with a spirit of acceptance.  There is nothing more powerful than the example of grace under pressure.  It is what Ernest Hemingway called ‘guts’.

We can prevail over almost anything as long as we are willing to keep making the best choices.  They won’t always be right but we just keep trying and ultimately the good things will overcome the bad.

“Life’s about adversity.  The whole key to it, when adversity comes, you either get bitter or you get better.”  ~ Dabo Swinney

 

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Sometimes the Runner Stumbles

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“Deep down we know that what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What really matters is helping others win, too, even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then.” ~ Mr. Rogers

One of my favorite movies was the 1981 classic Chariots of Fire.  It was a story of faith and a dedication to the pursuit of our passion.  It also dealt with overcoming the expectations and negative perspective of detractors.

It gave me the sense that following my dreams was more important than the opinions of others.  It also led me to an understanding that ‘sometimes the runner stumbles’.  We don’t get it right all of the time.  We fall to the ground in dejection.  We feel like giving in or giving up.  But if we ask for help and get back up we will find that there are always resources enough to carry on.

Great things begin to happen when we grasp the idea that it is our mission to be passionately engaged with one another.  It is of the highest priority.  My wife was a teacher of Special Education who was actively engaged in Special Olympics.

There is a story that circulates quite frequently about that great program, founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.  It seems that nine contestants had signed up for the hundred yard dash one year at an Olympic site.  They lined up and took off at the sound of the starter pistol.  One of the little boys didn’t get very far before stumbling and falling.

His knee was skinned and he started to cry. The other eight kids heard him, and rather than running ahead, turned around, and ran back to him.  All eight of them went back!  The boy got up, his friends linked their arms together and joyfully walked to the finish line.  They all completed the race at the same time to the roar of the crowd, cheers and whistles.  The celebration went on for a long time.

We are reminded that when we help the one who stumbles and lock arms in solidarity with God that the words of the prophets are fulfilled;

‘We will regain our strength.  We will sprout wings like eagles.  Though we run we will not grow weary.  Though we walk we will never tire’.

 

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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