We generally start out wanting our lives to be perfect.

We promise ourselves we won’t make the mistakes our parents made and that we will right the wrongs of the past.

It’s so easy in the beginning to keep our personal word. Life is uncomplicated when we initially have only ourselves to worry about. It’s not even that difficult once we are newly married. Nor when that first beautiful baby comes along.

We still feel like we have a handle on life.

But as our lives expand we can experience both glorious chaos and heartbreaking complications. 

The moments we experience failure, loss, unwanted change, or other sufferings.

It’s tempting to allow these periods of time to change who we are. To give in to the stress and sadness. And we should for a time, but these challenges should only temporarily impact who we are. They should not change our innate disposition.

They should simply proffer the spiritual growth of our true personality.

It is human nature to resist challenges but hardship absolutely makes us better people…if we allow it.

Anything less, means we have held onto suffering rather than spirituality.

5 Ways Adversity Makes Us Better People


There is tremendous clarity in an emotionally and physically pared-down world. 

We are able to devote our attention to the people and things that matter most in our lives. Unfortunately, adversity often forces this upon us. We are left to discover the people who still see the best in us at our worst. The individuals who show up not just in good times but in bad.

Initially, this is a painful loss but recognizing our most valuable relationships is a gift.

Life isn’t about the multitude, it is about the meaningful relationships we experience.


There is no emotional gym – no infrastructure we can visit for spiritual bodybuilding. 

We can attend church but that doesn’t necessarily flex our emotional muscles. We can pray, we can find respite, we can learn lessons to go out into the world and hopefully make a difference.

Yet, again, there does not exist a place emotionally as there does physically like a gym. Where we can sweat, feel the pain of pushing our endurance, and shaping our physical bodies.

Adversity is the personal trainer of emotions. It induces the sweat, the pain of pushing our endurance, and of shaping our emotional bodies. 


Nothing is more humbling than adversity.

And let’s face it. Nothing makes us better people than being humbled.

To accept we aren’t always doing everything right, that bad things can happen to even good people, that the person who had it all together somehow lost their job, or encountered some other type of financial hardship, that even overly responsible people can encounter situations where they need help and so on.

We may encounter challenging times that thrust us into physical or emotional pain, embarrass us, overwhelm us, or make us feel bad about ourselves.

Admitting we are not perfect and our lives are not perfect is not only humbling it is freeing.


Empathy quite simply promotes kindness.

It’s difficult to watch another suffer but it’s nearly impossible to watch another suffer in the same manner we once have.

Adversity doesn’t just increase our empathy it leads us towards the areas we are meant to minister others in.

If one were raised by a single parent they may be inclined to help single parents. A job loss may mean ministering to those who need help finding jobs. A divorce may mean reaching out to another going through the same thing.

Empathy is the ability to feel another individual’s pain and often this prompts us to action.

Less Judgment

Nothing knocks judgment out of us as quickly as our own imperfection.

Adversity can happen to anyone. And once we experience it, we understand it’s wrong to judge others for their choices unless we have walked in their shoes. It’s easy to oversimplify and assess someone from the outside but life isn’t always easy and there are times people are forced to do the best they can do on any particular day.

When we have our own problems we have less time nor inclination to scoff at the choices of others.

These are 5 ways we can become better people through unwanted adversity.

It is human nature to resist challenges but hardship absolutely makes us better people…if we allow it.

Anything less, means we have held onto suffering rather than spirituality.

I’m contributing pieces on Family Today and Medium. Follow me on social below. #WomanResurrected

On Medium @ColleenOrme

Follow me on Instagram @colleenorme 

Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist


E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

(Photo courtesy of Nina Uhlikova on Pexels)


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