I love Andy Andrews’ words in The Traveler’s Gift, “Adversity is preparation for greatness.”
I can complain about the difficulty, blame others for it, or be transformed by it. I can use it as a excuse to stop or a challenge to keep moving—an obstacle or opportunity. My results will depend on if I seek and find the seed of advantage within the adversity.
When I was a child, I had a painfully defining experience with abuse. It left me seeing myself as damaged, less than, not good enough and broken. For years, I saw that time of my life as evil and destructive, and carried the marks of it with shame as I struggled to forgive and heal. There was nothing good there for me to see. But since learning to intentionally look for the seed of advantage, I discovered a powerful truth buried deep within that experience: what happens to me is not who I am.
Events are temporary and cannot define me (unless I allow it), because they are a separate matter than who I am. Who I am is an eternal being, who I am is my word, who I am is free, complete and whole. Temporary events cannot touch that, ever. That seed has taken years to grow, and now the clarity of knowing who I really am is a source of great strength and power I live from as I coach and counsel and empower others to see themselves for who they truly are as well.
Our difficulties can be physical, mental, relational, emotional, spiritual and financial. They can come from other people, our own choices or circumstances beyond our control. It is easy to view them as tormentors in our lives. But what if we could see them as our teachers instead? What lessons, what seeds of advantage might we recognize and glean with that intention?
Remember, a seed is tiny, dried up and lifeless on its own. It must be planted and cultivated before any fruit comes from it. It would be awesome to find the fruit of advantage in any difficulty! But that’s not what is there to be found; it will be a seed, always a tiny blasted seed. Many people have no idea this even exists, and so miss the raw opportunity being offered to them in the form of adversity. But if we look we will find it.
What seed have you been given? Yes given; it’s actually a gift. And it’s not just for you. Keep looking; it’s there. The world is waiting for you to find it, grow it and give it away!