The Other Side of Reason – Adversity and perception

[Dawn’s breath]

I am nothing,
Here and now,
In this very moment,
I am nothing and yet I am everything.
Hold me together,
Not as it was. I promise.
Dawn’s breath, short gasps, and a remembrance: dreams come in kaleidoscope flashes of colour and shapes.
Our breath is many voices waiting for us to catch it so time can finally make its changes.
But for today, our breath is in just being.


“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis

How do you prepare yourself for something you don’t know is coming?

Well you can’t really, can you?

Adversity is a reasonably simple concept. It’s an event, situation or thing that challenges you and makes life more difficult. It can vary in length, intensity or unpleasantness.

“The worth of any journey,” said A.W. Tozer, “can always be measured by the difficulties along the way. The more difficult the journey, the more satisfying the destination.”  This sentiment rings true for me.  My head even nods in agreement when I read such quotes.  However, the “journey” is more than a sentence written in a book, it is a reality recorded in the decibel of life’s challenging moments.  Hard-pressed, gut-wrenching, faith-tempting, storm-tossing moments.

The easiest thing to do is wax eloquent about adversity when you are not going through its waters.  But when you are hurled back and forth on that proverbial sea, you desperately reach for any and everything you can to stay above water.  But the truth is we don’t always see the end.  We don’t appreciate the growth and development that adversity can bring until days, or even years, after reaching the shore.

Growth and development after adversity can come to us when we are present through perception, not always action. Yes, action and interaction can be a powerful way to force us to pay attention, but it is also common to use action to shut down our awareness. Most often we want to do more than look, but to see deeply, and to see what is ignored and glossed over, is for us to “find and see ourselves sometimes for the first time.”

Through adversity, we bring the outside world inside us, inside the body, inside our awareness. The boundary between self and the world is bridged by moments of adversity. Through adversity we touch, we feel, we internalize, we connect, we participate, and we come alive. Through adversity we move and we see different perspectives that might have been hidden or never present in our lives previously.

Until next time.