Finding Meaning in Adversity

We talk about healing trauma by transforming pain into purpose – using it as fuel for a creative offering, or helping others through hard times. 

It feels important right now to figure out how to navigate the major stressors in our lives and move forward even when we’re struggling. Some of the people close to us are going through hard times right now, like infertility, serious illness, and loss of a loved one. It makes sense that as we get older, the more illness and loss we experience, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

We’ve been coping by reading books about finding hope, beauty, and meaning in the midst of pain. We wanted to share the takeaways that we’ve found most helpful, and how they’ve carried each of us through adversity.

The three themes we discuss for finding meaning in adversity are: 

  1. The only way out of pain is through it. Don’t try to carry it on your own. Let others help you witness it, validate it, and carry the weight of it. 
  1. Pain is unavoidable; suffering is optional. Even in the worst circumstances, we can find meaning and purpose that grows out of our pain.
  1. Hold space for whatever type of pain you’re feeling. There’s enough room for it all. 

Note that we talk about dealing with difficult experiences such as illness, grief, and loss, so you may want to listen with headphones around young kids. If you’re going through something tough right now, we hope this conversation can be a support to you, but if it’s triggering in any way, feel free to skip this one.

Get In Touch

Tell us: How have you experienced finding meaning during difficult times?

Email us at podcast@semitogether.com or send us a voice memo.

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Episode 39: Dodging the Second Arrow

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, by Susan Cain

Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief, by David Kessler 

Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl

The Comfort Book, by Matt Haig  

No Cure for Being Human: (And Other Truths I Need to Hear), by Kate Bowler

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved, by Kate Bowler

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chodron

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