December 10, 2019 Stacey Mendelson 0 Comments

Welcome to December…the month of giving and receiving!

For those of you who are in the thick of a separation or divorce, you may NOT feel like this is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.¬†It may seem more like you are on the receiving end of the worst poker hand that has ever been dealt. You are experiencing the gift of adversity.

Leaving a toxic relationship

Having the courage to end a toxic relationship often takes several attempts usually because of the challenges and obstacles that are encountered. If it were easy, none of us would keep going back for what we know is  unhealthy. Knowing we will have to deal with custody issues, financial issues, safety issues, and possible litigation is enough to intimidate even the bravest among us. It is a matter of facing the pain now or later.

What is your adversity quotient?

An adversity quotient is your tolerance to challenges and obstacles. People with a low adversity quotient will be very reluctant to put themselves out there to be challenged. They may opt for a life free of relationships, academic rigour, or daring goals.

The decision to not re-apply for med school after being rejected would put you in the lower range on the adversity quotient. The decision to have children would put you in at least mid range on the adversity quotient. The decision to compete in the Ironman would put your fairly high on the adversity quotient.

Reframing adverity

How have you handled adversity in the past? Did you feel like “this should not be happening” and argue with reality? Do you feel like a victim of your historical circumstances?

Perhaps when things do not go as planned, you feel frustrated or overwhelmed.

Do you find yourself lamenting about how unfair your divorce is on your children?

I want to offer you the possibility that maybe everything is exactly as it should be. Maybe nothing has gone wrong in your life, or your children’s life.

How do I know this? Actually I don’t, but I choose to believe it anyway. There is no downside to doing so, and I show up as a much better parent when I don’t feel as if me or my son are victims of someone else’s behaviour.

Dealing with adversity head on

An inevitable fact of life is that adversity will present itself unexpectedly and catastrophically. There is no escaping adversity.

Cultivating grit, resiliency and determination requires commitment and courage. This skill needs to be practiced like weight lifting in the gym. With repetition, it gets easier and you get stronger.

Strive to increase your adversity quotient and move toward it. Rise to meet it and choose not to get overwhelmed. It is an essential ingredient to achieving your goals. It will draw out the strength you never imagined lay dormant within you.