A scientific study published today analyzes how a person responds to a challenging life crisis, such as a death, illness or divorce. How the event shapes the development of the person's wisdom over time. The study indicates a painful life event serves to disrupt the sense of personal meaning, raising questions about their understanding of their world.
We become humbled by hard events, realizing our existential selves.
I imagine droves of folks lost in the tedium of wasting time, waiting for some distant circumstance to land before they start living how they truly want. Then the big event happens, walloping the person with a sense of impending finality. Maybe the event derails plans permanently; perhaps they never realize the goal. Imagine what this does to your psyche.
I held this perspective during my early twenties and throughout my teenage years. Not only did I have a view "that life is all in front of me; I have time for it all," but I also hadn't been touched by significant events--yet. I hadn't known the depths of pain, anxiety, and darkness that would arrive deep in my twenties and spread into my thirties.
When big events started crashing ashore, I was terrified more than any other outcome of going down a self-destructive path, of losing myself in the aftermath. I didn't know how the events would stack up, but I knew many people who imploded over hard times. I look back on the fears I had for losing my job, failing an assignment, not graduating on time. All these non-problems. They're always in our life, reminders of adaptability. They prod us onward.
Hard times can be either your teacher or your tormentor.