It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

20 January 2012

Better not Bitter

2:39 AM Posted by steve flores No comments
I wrote this post for a friend of mine, Chris, who had an idea to create a Facebook page about Love & Relationships. Chris, great idea! I want to share a little encouragement with the group. This was heavy on my heart, so I sat down and began typing. As I type this, it is 2:12AM. 

"It is important to note that societal need and crisis often give rise to creativity and ingenuity among people. Human strengths flourish, individually and collectively, when necessary for the greater good. Times of distress can bring out the best in people. Need is often the precursor to invention, with people finding new and ingenious ways to rally when called upon. ‘A severely adverse event can serve as a wake-up call…signaling that it is time to make significant changes.’ People often benefit from adversity because they are forced to reevaluate their beliefs about the world and human potential.” (Macro Social Work Practice by Long, Tice, & Morrison)

In Soul Print by Mark Batterson, he simply stated it this way, “Alfred Adler believed that perceived disadvantages often prove to be disguised advantages because they force us to develop attitudes and abilities that would have otherwise gone undiscovered. Adler concluded that perceived disadvantages can be springboards to success. And that success is not achieved in spite of those perceived disadvantages. It’s achieved because of them.”

The story of Bethany Hamilton is moving. You may have heard of the movie made about her, Soul Surfer. On October 31, 2003, Bethany Hamilton went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai with her friend Alana Blanchard and Alana’s father and brother. Around 7:30 a.m., Bethany was lying sideways on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water when suddenly a 14 ft tiger shark attacked her, ripping her left arm off just below the shoulder. The story is gut-wrenching. She had so much promise, so much potential, and so many dreams of becoming a professional surfer. She may have lost her left arm, but not her passion. One of the most powerful quotes I have ever read is Bethany’s perspective shift when facing adversity, “I could never have embraced this many people with two arms.” Bethany understands something profound about her negative experience—it, and her life, can still be used to make a positive impact.

Why do I share this? Hurt has a way of defining us. It can make an individual bitter or better. I hope it is the latter. Use adversity as a springboard to reinvent yourself. See through the disguise of disadvantages leverage them for greater success. If you have been hurt by a relationship, mourn the loss of it and move forward. The relationship might have died, but you have not. You still have purpose. Let us be better not bitter.

I created a blog post on how Experiences Affect Identity. I’d be honored if you read it.
If you are on Twitter, I’d love to connect with you there. Follow me @steverayflores
My wife and I have also created a parenting site: I’d love to have your feedback.