“I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent — no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.”SENECA, ON PROVIDENCE, 4.3
Today’s page in The Daily Stoic book teaches us that when hard things come our way in life, they’re ultimately learning experiences that shape who we are.
We often look back on those difficult times in our lives as being ultimately ‘good for us’. They toughened us up, taught us about life, and made us into who we are today. They’re the experiences that formed our upbringing, and even though they weren’t always easy, they enriched our souls with resiliency and character.
Author Ryan Holiday goes further, and explains that misfortune helps us understand “our own capacity and inner strength”. Hard times show us what we’re made of, what we’re capable of. We see evidence of our resilience when times are tough. Misfortune proves us to ourselves.
In a way, we should even welcome adversity, because it’s an opportunity for growth. If our soul is to be made stronger, then we’re not afraid to be forged by fire. Philosophy hurts sometimes, but it’s all to our advantage as we grow and evolve as people.