“Blessed Adversity”

The first time I remember hearing one of my now favorite words, “unflappable”, I was listening to a speaker in college describe a movie scene in a movie made in the 80s, The Man From Snowy River. Movie makers went through 9 horses before they found one unflappable enough to make this scene, which requires a practically blind leap over a ledge to land and run down a seemingly vertical downhill slope, with a rider on his back.

One of my clients described an experience this week that reminded me of this scene, ’my word’, and the unflappable coming alive in her again. After a painful and eye opening experience in business, she made it her mission these past few months to heal and soar again. At the time she wondered if she would ever believe in herself again, if she’d made a mistake in walking away.

This week she attended a conference where each person chose a fear they wanted to break through. Then they were to break a board by pressing through it with their hand, while the board represented their fear. 

She broke hers. The first time.

“We’ve done so much work together and breaking that board made it real for me as if anything residual went away.” In that moment she knew how far she had come. 

Sorrow prepares you for joy,” says Rumi. “It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” 

This is the odyssey we can make through adversity. As it sweeps through us making us feel like we’ve lost all that’s valuable to us or within us, to trust its real purpose. Anybody can experience adversity with positive platitudes that keep them going. Those with the courage (heart) to fall apart, to do what it takes to heal, to leave their old self behind going all the way to the other side, will break themselves open to their unflappable core and a far greater joy to fill its place.

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~Shelley Hawkins

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