Journaling Through Adversity

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If God asks that you bend, bend and do not complain. He is making you more flexible, and for this be thankful. ~Terri Guillemets

 

Welcome!

Today, I am extending an invitation of sorts. A few moments with your pen, paper and quietness as it finds you. Grab your journal, scrap paper or whatever is available.

Reflect with me on the topic below and see where you are led in your reflective writing, or pondering.

I’m not grading or collecting homework, so relax.

My main topics for reflection and journal writing today are adversity, ruts, and the proverbial sucker punch (in LIFE, of course- unless you have actually been sucker punched in the gut for real).

First a few brief definitions to get you stewing:

*Adversity: a difficult situation or condition : misfortune or tragedy.

*Rut: A habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.

*Sucker Punch: to punch (a person) suddenly without warning and often without apparent provocation.

Are you facing any trials? Adversity wearing you down? Well for just $9. 99 you can have your  trials, adversities and all difficulties removed. But wait- there’s MORE! Um, OK, no. Just kidding.

What I really want to say is, let’s take it to our journals.

I know I am not alone in battling discouragement, trying to stay positive through the bombardment of negative assaults daily and dealing with life’s unexpected difficulties.

I can’t be the only one who feels like buying a one way ticket to Australia with Alexander. It’s not just me having a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”…for like, the past year, or two…or ten, right?

Right now, you are thinking, “Dawn, you’re depressing me, what is the point?”

Good question.

Are you ready to have a journal session to break out of this rut, accept the adversity, and come back swinging in this fight for life? What say ye? I love the quote by Mother Theresa that states she knows God won’t give her more than she can handle, just that she wished He didn’t trust her so much. Well I am no Mother Theresa, but I do sometimes wonder what God is thinking.

Do you? Do you wonder beyond the pat answers casually thrown your way?

Or maybe there’s a rut you’re in, and you want to get out, but you feel stuck, and that you’ve failed too many times. Let’s journal it out, purge ourselves on paper, and make way for some fresh solutions and ideas to get ourselves unstuck!

Maybe you feel stuck spiritually, or with your health, career or marriage. Perhaps you are having trouble with a loved one or boss. Grab your journal, or if you want to really be brave but are afraid of what you might write, get paper and give yourself permission to destroy the papers after you have purged. I save all my writing, but do what feels right to you.

OR maybe you just would like some writing inspiration. I challenge you to look back on your life and consider the trials you’ve been through, write about one of them or write about the lessons you’ve learned through them. Focus on one specific trial, or an overriding them, or victory.

Consider yourself before the trial and after. What was different, circumstantially, emotionally, spiritually? What did you learn? How did you grow, mature?

Now here are some quotes to ponder as you prepare to write: 

There are defeats more triumphant than victories.
~ Michel de Montaigne

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
~ Winston Churchill

“When a poet digs himself into a hole, he doesn’t climb out. He digs deeper, enjoys the scenery, and comes out the other side enlightened.”
― Criss Jami

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden

We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them. ~Charles C. West

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. ~Theodore Rubin

There is no education like adversity. ~Disraeli

Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. ~O. Henry

What a pity human beings can’t exchange problems. Everyone knows exactly how to solve the other fellow’s. ~Olin Miller

Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles. ~Maltbie D. Babcock

If God asks that you bend, bend and do not complain. He is making you more flexible, and for this be thankful. ~Terri Guillemets

When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters — one represents danger and the other represents opportunity. ~John F. Kennedy

In my opinion, there  is nothing worse than a philosophy that teaches a doctrine of  life that is free of suffering and struggle. That we are owed anything is a great distortion that permeates our times. That seeking freedom from difficulty is our calling, our destiny. These are dangerous times indeed. But, I digress…

Life is hard. But that ain’t all.

Roll up your sleeves, friends and write. But be not deceived, we have been all born into adversity. As Job fairly states, “For man is born for trouble, As sparks fly upward.”

If not, what then would we write about?

 

Like a plant that starts up in showers and sunshine and does not know which has best helped it to grow, it is difficult to say whether the hard things or the pleasant things did me the most good. ~Lucy Larcom

 

I would love to know if you respond to this post through journal writing or blogging. Or if you share it! Please let me know in the comments or via e-mail. If you believe this exercise/article is inspiring in any way, I would appreciate you sharing it through your favorite Social Media Platform. Thanks so much! 

 

*I wrote this article 3 years ago and published as Got Trials, Write On. I have shared it at local journaling workshops.

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photo credit: Henry Hemming Harvest via photopin (license)

 

 

 

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photo credit: brianfagan IMG_1393 via photopin (license)

photo credit: brianfagan IMG_1393 via photopin (license)

 

 

 

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