by Tammy Hart

I have a close friend who has overcome a lot of adversity in the short amount of time that I have known her. She probably doesn’t know it, but she has become a role model for me so I thought I would share her story. She was a divorced mother of three when she met her new husband. They had only been married for three months when he was injured on the job and incurred serious head injuries. She had been employed at the same company for about 17 years and had worked herself into a management position with decent pay, but due to the time that she needed to take to help him with therapy and recovery, she was demoted to a production position where she had to stand on her feet all day long. The odd thing is that I don’t remember hearing her complain about it.

She was told by doctors that her husband would never recover and that he should be admitted to a nursing home rather than a rehabilitation center. She fought until they gave in and allowed him to be admitted into a rehabilitation center. After months of intense therapy he was finally allowed to return home, but for him it meant facing the reality that he had extreme limitations. He was about to begin a continuous process of learning things that were once things he did without giving it a thought. Old friends of his would stop over, but since they had not been there from the beginning of his recovery, they didn’t understand how far along he had come. All they could see was that he wasn’t the same person anymore, and a lot of people were scared away. She didn’t let it get her down, and she wouldn’t allow it to get him down. This was not the life they dreamed of, and it’s a lot of hard work keeping it together every day. But as an outsider looking in, it’s amazing to see what a close family they have become. I’ve asked her many times, how did you do it? I think a lot of people might have just walked away; but not her. I think about how different things would be if she hadn’t had the will- power to fight the doctors and insist that he be allowed in rehabilitation. They are both very strong, determined people.

The book Dare to Live Without Limits divides adverse situations into three categories:

–  Events you have no control or influence over

–  Situations resulting from decisions you made

–  Circumstances caused by someone else’s actions

Personally, I agree that anytime I have faced adversity it could have fallen into one of the three categories. I don’t think it’s about what is put in front of you, but what you do to overcome the obstacles in your path and what you learn in the process. Sometimes doing the right thing might not seem like the right thing to everyone else, and you have to be prepared to face opposition to the decision you make.

It is very important to study the subject you are struggling with and really do some soul searching to decide where you stand on the issue. It’s important to respect others and listen to their ideas; however you should stick to your true beliefs and convictions and if you do that, not everyone will agree with you, but the majority of them will respect you. In many cases where you are faced with adversity it can be an opportunity to strengthen your character.

The following are some motivational quotes about facing adversity:

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere ~ Frank A. Clark

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors ~ African Proverb

The difficulties in life are intended to make us better, not bitter ~ Author Unknown

Damaged people are dangerous, they know they can survive ~ Josephine Hart

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning ~ Bill Gates

And my favorite one of all is a song by Buddy Buie and J.R. Cobb:

Rock bottom is good solid ground, and a dead end street is just a place to turn around.”