My Adversity will Help me Find Freedom?
Recently, I (Garrett) had the opportunity to discuss with George some things I’ve been struggling with.
Not surprisingly, he provided me with some great counsel and wisdom that I would like to share with you!
I explained to George that I felt unsure about my direction. The pressure of obligation to continue in one direction is conflicting with feelings of no longer wanting to pursue that direction at all. I’m consumed by an inner battle!
I continued to explain that I’m no longer sure of what direction I should be going or what I should be doing.
The key to George’s answer was that adversity will help me find freedom!
Keep reading to learn how to turn your adversity into freedom!
Deep Joy or Resignation: It's my Choice?
George began talking about how I have a choice how I will respond to adversity. He explained that I can be “softened” or “hardened” by the experience.
Before I go further into George’s explanation of the significance of my decision, take a look at how Mr. A explains to Max how to deal with adversity, suffering, or what Mr. A calls ‘colossal disruptions in life’ from the The Next Level Entrepreneur.
"One can choose to be hardened by the experience or tenderized by it.
Instinctively, people often choose to be hardened as a way to self-protect themselves from further suffering.
And yes Max, it is a choice. But, it also prevents them from experiencing the deeper joys. To be tenderized by suffering means to embrace the pain of the moment, forgive and move on. Essentially, one will miss a rich and abundant life, if they choose to be hardened."
~ from pages 110 and 111 of The Next Level Entrepreneur
Wow! This feels so true! It is instinctive for me to “harden” as a way to protect myself from further suffering. That is the easy thing to do.
But wait a minute, I don’t want to prevent myself from experiencing a rich and abundant life!
It feels impossible to soften to the experience. It is too painful, too vulnerable, too uncertain, too much risk of being hurt again, but I don’t want to settle and miss out on the deeper joys in life.
As I write this I can feel the inner turmoil bubbling up! George sensed my emotional distress and said, “Feelings always feel worse than they really are.”
Then he asked me a question. He asked, “How has your creativity been lately?”
My response was that I haven’t felt creative, just overwhelmed by the pressure and unsure of my direction.
This told George all he needed to know to see that I am hardening myself from the experiences that triggered feeling overwhelmed and uncertain.
Creativity flows from softening, embracing the pain, and moving forward.
That creativity can act as a gauge to help us see how we are responding to adversity.
Hardening ourselves is easier, but it is soul killing. Creativity cannot flow from a crushed soul.
A crushed soul retreats to safety, a safety that can feel like comfort. But it’s only a temporary comfort that is usually settling for a life that falls short of living out your dreams…
…that ultimately leads to a life of resignation and regret.
Creativity can flow from the disruption of adversity that is being embraced.
- Choosing to embrace the pain, forgive, and move on is softening.
- Hardening is goingthrough the pain.
- Softening is growingthrough the pain.
- Hardening leads to a crushed soul.
- Softening leads to healing, creativity, and freedom to grow through the adversity and live more fully into who you are.
But this feels nearly impossible!
To my surprise George agreed.
He told me that for him it feels safe to be hidden away “in the woods”. It’s where we are alone, where we are haunted by the memories of the faint battle sounds of our past, where we quit. It’s where we live life of resignation.
He showed me this clip from The Legend of Bagger Vance, and told me the message he has been endeavoring to live into for the last few years:
“Time for you to come on out of the shadows…
Now play your game. The one that only you was meant to play…
…Don’t hold nothin’ back! Give it everything. Now’s the time.”
So, that’s what I’m going to do!
Please watch this clip and be inspired to play your game!