Coping With Adversity

Twisted Cucumber.jpg


As I was working in my garden this summer, I saw a sight so intriguing that I had to take this picture.  A cucumber had become twisted, growing around the fence that surrounded my garden.

The other cucumbers in the garden were all what you’d expect the “Straight Eight” variety to be, straight and about eight inches long.  Each seed had the same DNA but not the same obstacle to challenge its growth. 

Seeing this cucumber brought to mind the obstacles we face each day and how we respond to them.  Confronted with an unfaithful spouse, a job loss, a financial setback or the diagnosis of a chronic disease, our reaction may be hopelessness or helplessness.  We may feel flawed and lost and experience shame or guilt.


Getting beyond the initial shock takes courage to learn that how we cope with adversity is a matter of choice.  The devastating situation can be seen as an opportunity.  Encountering barriers they cannot break through, some people adopt The Winning Way. It’s a mindset that requires creativity and a positive outlook.

Despite facing hardships that some would find daunting, they continue to grow and thrive.  While their lives do not follow the same straight line they would have chosen, they learn to see each twist they have navigated as a sign of courage or ingenuity or simply the refusal to give up.

Our lives are rarely free of adversity.  While it is relatively easy to stay on track when nothing gets in your way, the real judge of character – and ultimately quality of life – is how you view and deal with obstacles.  Will you allow your life to become a twisted mess due to events you cannot change?  Or will you take control of yourself and forge onward even when you can’t control what life throws your way?

The choice is ours.