Recovering from Adversity

stained-glass-love-handsWhen life bruises us.

A king once owned a large, pure diamond of which he was justly proud, for it had no equal anywhere. One day, the diamond accidentally sustained a deep scratch. The king called in the most skilled diamond cutters and offered them a great reward if they could remove the imperfection from his treasured jewel. But no one could repair the blemish. The king was sorely distressed.

After some time a gifted lapidary came to the king and promised to make the rare diamond even more beautiful than it had been before the mishap. The king was impressed by his confidence and entrusted his precious stone to his care. And the man kept his word. With superb artistry he engraved a lovely rosebud around the imperfection and he used the scratch to make the stem.

Linda: We can emulate that craftsman. When life bruises and wounds us, we can use even the scratches to etch a portrait of beauty and charm. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, the trust begins to build, bringing out deeper feelings, becoming more vulnerable with each other again, or perhaps for the first time. As we practice the new skills of looking through different eyes, through eyes of appreciation and gratitude, the other person actually starts to look different, more beautiful, not like a self-centered “taker.” We start to see a decent human being who is struggling with difficulties, we see a person who is lost, and who is not intentionally causing destruction, but who is unconscious.

It is a great tragedy that some couples lose their relationships at a point of despair that is only the darkest hour before the dawn. It is amazing how quickly a comprehensive healing can take place if both partners commit themselves to the project of building trust. A relationship that has deteriorated into shambles, characterized by a slow burn of resentment, angry outbursts, and a chronic undertone of resignation, can revive and flourish in a matter of months.

When we are steeped in the hopelessness and frustration, it seems as if it would take years to pull out of the destruction, if indeed we will ever pull out of it. Instead we may find that our badly damaged trust, that looked so impossible to repair, can make a startling and rapid recovery, if we invoke the presence of the artist and the healer, to bring vital energies to heal, and create a new relationship. The possibility exists of attaining not only the level of trust that was established before the breakdown, but that surpasses that which we have ever known.

If we take the point of view that we have all been wounded and harmed in some ways, and are in need of healing, our minds begin to reach for the ways that we can be readjusted and upgraded. It all begins with the recognition that we are flawed and imperfect. No one is to blame for our condition not ourselves, or those who failed us. But they do have responsibility for letting us down.

Facing the truth about who is responsible for the wounding, our families, our culture, our educational or religious institutions, etc., and the specific ways in which they left us with learning deficits and pain empowers us to begin the repair work. The more mending that we do on ourselves the more use we can be to others who suffer. Attending to our brokenness calls for our compassion for others who struggle. Then we become wounded healers, who are in a position to heal ourselves, others and the breaks in our relationships.


Linda and Charlie Bloom are excited to announce the release of their third book, Happily Ever After . . . and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams.

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Shared by: Linda Bloom, LCSW, & Charlie Bloom, MSW, Contributing Bloggers

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