Shifting adversity to opportunity

Photo credit L Meyer

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging

Joseph Campbell

Typically at this time of the year children return to school and many people are back in the full swing of work following summer vacation and are getting set to resume a myriad of activities. This year there is nothing really “typical” about any of this. Many people around the globe have been challenged by uncertainty caused by the pandemic and our anxiety seems to be hovering at peak levels these days.

Reframing some of the current challenges in our lives as circumstances in which we can develop and strengthen resilience may be helpful. Drawing on the concept of transformational coping, we can learn to perceive stressful events less as threats and more as opportunities for personal growth and development.

Many of our daily routines and plans, both short term and long term, have been disrupted. But there is really choice in how we go about choosing to respond to these chaotic times. If we dig deep to understand how we are adapting and becoming creative, there is a mother lode of lessons that may be helpful for our future selves.

Taking time to focus on what could be rather than what we had hoped would be happening in our lives can help us to remain positive. It is all too easy to dwell on the negative events in our lives and keep ourselves in a place of feeling stuck and overwhelmed. Nothing in our lives has ever been “certain” and clinging to that illusory notion can take us to dark places.

What learning must occur in our lives in order to become more comfortable with constant changes – to foster skills to help us become more resilient? And how does this learning create empathy for those around us who are struggling with the same circumstances? These times are ripe for personal growth that might be missed if we choose not to look for it. Knowing that we still have choice about how we wish to grow during this moment in time seems like it might be key to helping us pivot to where we need to go.

Stay healthy and safe!