Blessings Found in Adversity
Updated: Oct 30, 2021
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. - C.G.Jung
I have travelled the world, dated a prince, lived on a yacht..... worked in management, obtained a psychology degree, opened my own counselling practice, aaaannnnd....raised 3 wonderful children. Simultaneously, I commenced my journey into spiritualism, honing my psychic and mediumship gifts. Given the experiences I’ve had and my natural interest in the study of human nature, I’d say I had a pretty well rounded and balanced view on life.
Like many people who are dedicated to the search for truth and meaning, I devoted a great deal of time to reading self-help books, attending workshops, and counselling others on how to “live right”. It gave me the belief that I had all the answers. I judged myself to be living a divinely spiritually based life. Yet I made the most common of mistakes. While having all the knowledge, I was actually not truly applying it in my own life. I didn't recognise that my feeling of inner disconnection and discontent was due to the gap that existed between what I aspired to be, and what I was actually creating.
It had always been my desire to lead by example and teach others the way. Hearing the intentions of my heart, the universe finally stepped in to give me a wake-up call, sending adversity, with all it’s wisdom, knocking on my door.
In 2014, at the age of 53, my marriage of 30yrs came to an end via text message. By 2016 I’d been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. A year later, I nursed my ex husband (Andrew) through his own diagnosis with lung cancer. He passed away 5 weeks after his diagnosis.
Do I feel blessed? Absolutely. Adversity sent me towards my most authentic self. Adversity gave me an opportunity to create real change - all it needed was for me to be prepared to let go of what was familiar. That's no easy task let me tell you! Sometimes, we live a lie for so long that it becomes our truth. If I truly wanted to find the blessings that adversity held, I needed to shove my ego out of the way. Ego's want to continue blaming and playing victim because that leaves the onus of change in somebody else hands. But ultimately the price we pay is a life of misery as we continue to attract dysfunction in all its forms.
Adversity, let me tell you, is the mother of wisdom. When I fell face down, I saw a perspective on the world that taught me about myself in world. What did I learn from my fall?
When my marriage of 30 years ended in 2014, it forced me to look back at my childhood to where negative belief patterns began, where early influences shaped my beliefs about myself and caused me to attract relationships that mirrored the most insecure parts of me. Not only my marriage, but all my relationship re-enforced my belief that I was never enough, and had me clinging to a deep-seated fear of abandonment. I learnt to ‘let go’. In embracing the gift found in losing my marriage, I was able to take personal responsibility for the role I played in my unhappiness, and it moved me out of victim mode.
Forgiveness played a vital role in healing my heart. In all honesty, forgiveness it took the longest of times. When I developed self-worth, and an understanding of what was driving the dysfunction in my marriage, forgiveness seemed to become irrelevant.
I never had values before, so I was easily manipulated. When my marriage broke down, I began to explore my values and set boundaries. Developing self-worth has given me the courage to stand by those boundaries. I now balance my masculine and feminine energies. Oh the joy of that!
Through my cancer I discovered just how truly resilient I am. I had wasted too much of my life never feeling capable enough to fully achieve my goals. Never feeling like I had something worthwhile to offer. Always comparing myself to others and feeling ‘less than’. Now I embrace vulnerability and run head-first into my dreams. Life is much more joyous now that I feel deserving of happiness, love, and success, unencumbered by fear of judgement from others.
Cancer changed my careless attitude towards the gifts that surrounded me, and I began a daily practice of deep heartfelt gratitude. Through practicing gratitude I experienced a sense of abundance that never existed before. Gratitude left me feeling like I was walking ‘consciously’ through my life for the first time. There was so much beauty all around me - how had I not seen it before?
Because of cancer, I took a big brave breath, and cut loose the toxic friends I’d hung onto out of fear of being alone. Sometimes the weight we need to lose is not in our bodies! When I did this, the door opened wide and a flood of friends came through who aligned with the new loving vibration I was emitting. And at the same time, the 'circle' of friends around me became smaller. That's difficult to explain really.... but when you only fill your life with everything that's truly valuable and meaningful to 'you', life feels fuller somehow.
And finally, I'd focused so much attention on forgiving my husband, that cancer made me realise I needed to forgive myself. Forgive myself for not respecting and loving myself enough to believe I deserved better throughout my marriage. Forgive myself for staying too long in a toxic environment. Forgive myself for holding on to anger and resentment for so long that I created this dis-ease in my own body.
Through my husbands cancer, I learnt the true meaning of unconditional giving, unconditional love.
While caring for him during his final weeks, I realised that during our marriage, in fact, during ALL my past relationships, with friends and lovers, I had made the most common of mistakes. I didn’t truly love or give unconditionally. Of course, at the time I believed I gave with the purest of intentions. After all, giving feels good doesn't it? In truth, on an unconscious level I was seeking more attention, more love, more reciprocity, more acknowledgements that I was a good wife, a good mother, a good person. But this kind of giving had me in servitude to others, which is vastly different. Servitude left me feeling drained, instead of uplifted.
And so, during his diagnosis and short time in palliative care, I lovingly, unconditionally, cared for the man who I once felt had abandoned me. His passing was, beyond doubt, the greatest gift he could have given me.
Life IS the miracle you’re searching for. Normal is just another name for lifeless. – Shah Rukh Khan
Every difficulty in life presents us with an opportunity to turn inward and invoke our own inner resources, and introduce us to our strengths. Adversity gives us an opportunity to create real change if we’re prepared to let go of what's familiar, and find the gifts within.
I'd love to share with you everything I've learnt. To help you realise that you're stronger than you know. To help you breathe fully the gift of life. Scary? You bet. Worth it? ABSOLUTELY! It starts with a breath. Truly stopping, and breathing. Now that you've used this simplest of life forces to become centred, you can freely open yourself up to experiencing Love.
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