I learned to have a thicker skin. I have learned how to tell the difference between innocent curiosity and a person who is intentionally being disrespectful. I have learned that every person and every day is beautifully different.
Adversity becomes you, making you who you are, adding to your desirable qualities, building character. You grow stronger, more reliable, consistently resilient, and creatively resourceful. Your ability to overcome obstacles defines who you are.
When a family faces challenging times -- illness, loss of a job, the end of the marriage, financial stress or a myriad of other problems life sometimes throws our way -- parenting can be even more difficult, especially when there is just not enough time, energy or resources.
Yes, I was still the same seated figure moving through a crowd in a motor-powered vehicle. Yes, all my physical limitations were just as they had been previously. But my mind, my soul, and my feelings became liberated.
It has always fascinated me that creativity and positive thinking are often born out of limitation. When there is adversity, it seems, we humans have all the greater incentive to work out ingenious ways to overcome obstacles, protect ourselves from harm, and chart new territory.
With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia approaching, more attention is being paid to the sports that don't get the attention they deserve during the three years between quadrennial competition. One such sport is alpine ski racing.
One has to indeed wonder if taking a selfie while you're twerking is even physically possible (at least, without the use of mirrors). I mean, is there a hashtag for #gotwerkyourself yet, out there in the Twittersphere? Or a fan base, for that matter?
I had always been segregated from people who were different. But look at what is happening in today's society. The younger generations are friends with their classmates who are "different," and even making them prom queens and kings.
We repeatedly find ourselves in stormy waters, strong tides, and facing fierce winds. But that elemental energy can be harnessed and converted into productive, sustainable, and positive relationships and outcomes.
How often have you heard people say, after sustaining a major trauma, "It was terrible at the time, but it turned out for the best?" Can this really be true, or are they kidding themselves? Was it really a change for the better or just a rationalization to make them feel better?
There is a sense of achievement that should stem from completing a day's fast during the intense heat and long hours of the Summer, but the process and challenge of the fast can yield much more than that.
While I don't believe that we have to necessarily suffer and struggle in order to grow and evolve in life, one of the best things we can do when dealing with adversity or challenge is to look for the gifts and find the gold in the situation as much as possible.