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Quotations about Adversity

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The earth is sliced into furrows that seeds may burst with life; even thus with our wounds. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "The Eternal Balance," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940

The fact that life is a grind is what sharpens many a man's wits. ~Boston Transcript, 1923

The only thing that's the end of the world is the end of the world. ~President Barack Obama, farewell press conference, 2017 January 18th

I shall come, not as one who has escaped pain, but as one who has glorified it. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XXII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire—then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. Learn to separate the inconveniences from the real problems. You will live longer. ~Sigmund Wollman, quoted by Robert Fulghum, Uh-Oh, 1991

For thirty years now, in times of stress and strain, when something has me backed against the wall and I'm ready to do something really stupid with my anger, a sorrowful face appears in my mind and asks... "Problem or inconvenience?" I think of this as the Wollman Test of Reality. Life is lumpy. And a lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in the breast are not the same lump. One should learn the difference. ~Robert Fulghum, Uh-Oh

Say not that this or that thing came to thwart you; it only came to test you. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903

Many things are hard... Life comes at you in pieces sometimes too big to avoid. ~Simon Van Booy, The Illusion of Separateness, 2013

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey

Child, when hard luck fall it just keep fallin'. ~Alice Childress, Wine in the Wilderness, 1969 [Oldtimer –tg]

We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way. ~Author Unknown

You peer into my life to find a lingering past, but I tell you it was sunk ten thousand fathoms deep and weighted down with my dead self. You look into my breast to find that old, old open wound, but I tell you I seared it with my hot tears and only the cicatrix is there. You look into my eyes to read that oft-told story of defeat, but I tell you that the plot was changed and you will see the flag of conquest waving from the turrets of my soul. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn. ~Author Unknown

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief. ~William Shakespeare, Othello

Earth's tribulations diminish in proportion to the elevation of our souls. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. ~Harry Golden

We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can't run away from trouble. There ain't no place that far. ~Uncle Remus

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, 1990

Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life. ~Author Unknown

Enduring habits I hate.... Yes, at the very bottom of my soul I feel grateful to all my misery and bouts of sickness and everything about me that is imperfect, because this sort of thing leaves me with a hundred backdoors through which I can escape from enduring habits. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 1882

If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he's got an abscess on his knee or in his soul. ~Rona Barrett

Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. ~Garth Brooks

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. ~Garrison Keillor

And then again in the very effort to do anything, however small, one is hampered by circumstances at every step till we are inclined to throw up the fight in despair... "Circumstances" spur as much as they hinder us; it is in the struggle day by day with them that we gain muscle for the real life fight... ~John Richard Green, letter to Louise von Glehn, 1870

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. ~Erich Fromm

I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders. ~Jewish Proverb

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? ~Rose F. Kennedy

You have come into a hard world. I know of only one easy place in it, and that is the grave. ~Henry Ward Beecher

If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes. ~The Houghton Line, November 1965

Turn your wounds into wisdom. ~Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes the littlest things in life are the hardest to take. You can sit on a mountain more comfortably than on a tack. ~Author Unknown

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. ~Frank A. Clark

As long as you keep getting born, it's alright to die some times. ~Orson Scott Card

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa

Pain is the great teacher of mankind. Beneath its breath souls develop. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882

Bad is never good until worse happens. ~Danish Proverb

So, boys and girls, you must learn to rough it a little. Don't be a china doll, going to smash at every hard knock. If you get hard blows take them cheerily and as easily as you can. Even if some blow comes when you least expect it, and knocks you off your feet for a minute, don't let it floor you long.... keep right on in a happy, companionable, courageous, helpful spirit, and let the world know that you don't break easily. ~Silas X. Floyd (1869–1923), "The Strenuous Life," Floyd's Flowers: or, Duty and Beauty for Colored Children, 1905

It just wouldn't be a picnic without the ants. ~Author Unknown

Life may take everything out of my days, but the real things remain. You may destroy my castles, but I have the timbers to build ten thousand more. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXXIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ~Barbara Bloom

Don't mind a few bruises. Life's paths are full of stones and thorns. All are bound to hurt a little. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Don'ts for Girls, 1902

If, when most desperate, we examine our misery, we find it but a drop spattered from seas of trouble. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out. ~Lou Reed, "Magic and Loss"

We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them. ~Charles C. West

Things are never so bad they can't be made worse. ~From the movie The African Queen

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. ~Theodore Rubin

Every path hath a puddle. ~George Herbert, "Jacula Prudentum"

A bad grade is only one letter in the Essay of life. ~Lee Drake

I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. ~Agatha Christie

Sometimes in tragedy we find our life's purpose — the eye sheds a tear to find its focus. ~Robert Brault,

I believe there are more urgent and honorable occupations than the incomparable waste of time we call suffering. ~Colette

Sleep, riches, and health to be truly enjoyed must be interrupted. ~Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, Flower, Fruit, and Thorn

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. ~African Proverb

Not alone for that which is mine will I rejoice, but for that which has been withheld, which was coveted and longed for, but denied, for I am what I am for having had to rise superior to the need. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

There is no education like adversity. ~Disraeli

We find comfort among those who agree with us — growth among those who don't. ~Frank A. Clark

If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change. ~John A. Simone, Sr.

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

We carry our burden on and on, until one day, suddenly, we laugh and set it down upon the ground. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

The problem with troubleshooting is that trouble shoots back. ~Author Unknown

There are some defeats more triumphant than victories. ~Michel de Montaigne

Adversity introduces a man to himself. ~Author Unknown

It's not easy taking my problems one at a time when they refuse to get in line. ~Ashleigh Brilliant

Even our misfortunes are a part of our belongings. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Night Flight, 1931, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert

That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not. ~James K. Feibleman

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears. ~John Vance Cheney

If you know someone who tries to drown their sorrows, you might tell them sorrows know how to swim. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. ~John Steinbeck

Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out. ~Edwin Markham

Life didn't promise to be wonderful. ~Teddy Pendergrass

The smoothest path is no guarantee against a broken neck. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Adversity is the first path to truth. ~Lord Byron

Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires — disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way. ~Bernie S. Siegel

We do survive every moment, after all, except the last one. ~John Updike

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel. ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1909

The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter. ~Author Unknown

A problem is a chance for you to do your best. ~Duke Ellington

Suffering is above, not below. And everyone thinks that suffering is below. And everyone wants to rise. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

They say a reasonable amount 'o fleas is good fer a dog — keeps him from broodin' over bein' a dog, mebbe. ~Edward Westcott

Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections

Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. ~O. Henry, The Gifts of the Magi

Linger not in your sorrows. You do not belong there. ~Dodinsky

The Lord gives us friends to push us to our potential — and enemies to push us beyond it. ~Robert Brault,

I owe much to my friends; but, all things considered, it strikes me that I owe even more to my enemies. The real person springs life under a sting even better than under a caress. ~André Gide

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it's going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming. ~Author unknown

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.... [A]ccept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.... ~Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder. ~Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, 1929

I had a lover's quarrel with the world. ~Robert Frost, The Lesson for Today, 1942

Fortune knocks but once, but misfortune has much more patience. ~Author Unknown

Adversity and failure are woven into the fabric of existence; without them, there can be neither test of mettle nor triumph of success. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

Difficulties were opportunities inside out, she assured herself... ~Gwen Davis, Marriage, 1981

Convert difficulties into opportunities, for difficulties are divine surgeries to make you better. ~Author unknown

Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them. ~Hugh Miller, Snow on the Wind

Hast thou not seen, impatient Boy?
Hast thou not read the solemn Truth,
That grey Experience writes for giddy Youth
On every Mortal Joy?
Pleasure must be dash'd with Pain...
The Rills of Pleasure never run sincere;
(Earth has no unpolluted Spring)
From the curs'd Soil some dang'rous Taint they bear;
So Roses grow on Thorns, and Honey wears a Sting.
~Isaac Watts (1674–1748), "Earth and Heaven," Horæ Lyricæ

But ne'er the rose without the thorn. ~Robert Herrick

Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us. ~Voltaire

Thorns and stings
And those such things
Just make stronger
Our angel wings.
~Terri Guillemets, "Pierced flight," 2003

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. ~Horace

The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities. ~Sophocles

Half the annoyances of life will disappear if one is only patient under them. Almost all the other half will go the same way if one does not worry over them. ~Frank A. De Puy, "Happiness in the Home: Be Patient," The New Century Home Book, 1900

Have the courage to face a difficulty lest it kick you harder than you bargained for. ~Stanislaus I, Maxims

Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. ~Robert Service

Sometimes I think my life would make a great TV movie. It even has the part where they say, "Stand by. We are experiencing temporary difficulties." ~Robert Brault,

Life may break my body and my days — and my soul may laugh at her impotency.
She may destroy me, and I may go laughing over the hills. A few hours mutilated, and eternity lies in the residuum.
She may mar the realities, but what of my dreams!
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: V," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive. ~Josephine Hart

Yes, one must suffer, even in vain, so as not to have lived in vain. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

When in sickness, age, or sorrow,
Through great shadows we must move,
Of all earthly lights the dearest
Shines from hearts of those we love.
~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Don't cry when the sun is gone, because the tears won't let you see the stars. ~Violeta Parra

There is no ghost so difficult to lay as the ghost of an injury. ~Alexander Smith

Despair is anger with no place to go. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Every flower must grow through dirt. ~Proverb

What a pity human beings can't exchange problems. Everyone knows exactly how to solve the other fellow's. ~Olin Miller (1893–1981)

Problems are messages. ~Shakti Gawain

This we know:
We were
not meant
to suffer
so much
& to learn
~Alice Walker, from "The Taste of Grudge," Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, 2010

I guess if you take away the pain in life it means having no beauty to hope for. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet

There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. ~Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, 1820

For fate has wove the thread of life with pain,
And twins ev'n from the birth are Misery and Man!
~Homer, Odyssey

Blessings will only come from uncomfortable states. ~Rev. Jacob A. Brooks, New Life Ministry of Silsbee

      Edith. It seems in the deep waters of social life, as in those of the sea, we should not be able to get the beautiful things they contained, if it was not that storms threw them on our shores. We can discern much, as you say, when they are clear, but their greatest treasures are only given up after agitation. The waters must be troubled before they heal.
      Lyulph. I am afraid our waters are as restless as the ocean, so they should at least be always healing. Human progression is a strange thing, such oscillations backwards and forwards, it is often most difficult to see that any advance is made....
      Edith. Antagonism and division seem ruling spirits of our age. We struggle for union and seek the wells of contentment, and find only the waters of strife; but let us have comfort and remember that when the waters are troubled it is only that they may heal. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation XIII: A Rocky Lane in Summer," 1850

I need to get over the hard times of my past. They've left scars, but scars are just memories. ~Terri Guillemets

Remember when life's path is steep to keep your mind even. ~Quintus Horatius Flaccus

People are resilient. After all, every person born has recovered from nine months on life support. ~Robert Brault,

To have become a deeper man is the privilege of those who have suffered. ~Oscar Wilde

I am the strength that was born of my weakness. I am the steadfastness that came out of my wavering. I am the joy of living that was born of my despair. I am the poise that was born of my great unrest. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

So do the Winds, and Thunders cleanse the Air:
So working Seas settle and purge the Wine;
So lop't and pruned Trees do flourish fair,
So doth the Fire the drossy Gold refine.
~John Davies, "Nosce Teipsum," 1599

A man is insensible to the relish of prosperity 'til he has tasted adversity. ~Saʿdī

The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them. ~Bernard M. Baruch

Again and again we cry "I can bear no more!" — that is the human of us. And again and again we bear more, — that is the god of us. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXI," A Soul's Faring, 1921

A new wound makes all the old ones ache again. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. ~Author Unknown

When life gives you lemons, please, just don't squirt them in other people's eyes. ~J. Andrew Helt

I think it's good to get knocked around a little bit sometimes. I think it's good to rise from the fire... It's a good opportunity to rejuvenate your motivation, to see that hill and go climb it. ~k.d. lang, 1997

The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt. ~Max Lerner, The Unfinished Country, 1950

God uses suffering as a whetstone, to make men sharp with. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Calamity, n. A more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

There are sufferings that have lost their memory and do not remember why they are suffering. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Had life been more abundant, I could not know the deep craving that comes from the sparsity of it. Had it been more verdant, I could not know the desert's pain. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Real pain can alone cure us of imaginary ills. We feel a thousand miseries till we are lucky enough to feel misery. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice. ~William James

Sooner or later, you will need to make friends with Disappointment. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2016 April 29th tweet,

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. ~Helen Keller

It went in a Sorrow, but through the alchemy of Self, it came out a Song. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. ~Edmund Burke, The Revolution in France, 1790

The course of true anything never does run smooth. ~Samuel Butler

I remembered Tucker telling me that luck was no lady; luck was a mean drunk who didn't know when to stop punching. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

Invite your melancholy outside for a walk. Or read it a poem. Or bake it chocolate chip cookies. ~Dr. SunWolf,

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. ~Steven Kloves, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (movie)

Break bread with your darkness. Put down the stone in your fist. Write a poem on it, instead. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2016 December 31st tweet,

Lost dreams may help you find new dreams. ~J Charles White, January 2013 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter

Don't allow your wounds to turn you into a person you are not. ~Author Unknown

Nothing prevents happiness like the memory of happiness. ~André Gide, L'immoraliste

If the thunder is not loud, the peasant forgets to cross himself. ~Russian Proverb

If we don't face and overcome unsettling events in life, we are ruled by them. ~Bones, "The Babe in the Bar," original airdate 2010 November 18th, spoken by the character Dr. Sweets, writing credits K.Rosenthal, H.Hanson, K.Reichs, D.Lopata, and M.Peterson

Life is hard to bear. But do not pretend to be so frail! We are all good he-asses and she-asses of burden. ~Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), "Of Reading and Writing," Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, translated from the German by Alexander Tille, 1896

Pain is sometimes the cost of a meaningful existence. I can handle that. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson

I fell off my pink cloud with a thud. ~Elizabeth Taylor

At times, challenges hit with the force of a roaring, rushing waterfall. The true test, however, is whether you can put your arms up and enjoy the feel of the water. ~Aviva Kaufman

Us to teach that love and grace
In darkest days may blossom,
And that a tender bloom of hope
May shine in sorrow's bosom.
~J.J. Britton (1832–1913), "A White Hyacinth"

The rays of happiness, like those of light, are colorless when unbroken. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh, 1849

Perhaps this was rock bottom. But then, she had thought that before, and there was always a little farther to fall. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

[L]ook evil in the face; walk up to it, and you will find it less than you imagined, and often you will not find it at all; for it will recede as you advance. ~Sydney Smith, "A Little Moral Advice: A Fragment on the Cultivation and Improvement of the Animal Spirits"

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too...
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, 1990

When you forget to take the sail at all, then the wind is constantly in your favour both ways. But there! this world is only a probation, and man was born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889

Past and to come, seems best; things present, worse. ~William Shakespeare, Henry IV

When I see a man who, bravely,
      Meets realities in life,
      Who carries on, courageously,
      In the face of grief and strife;
Then, I bow my head in honour
      Of this man, with courage rare,
      Who has such strength of character,
      Who, bravely, his burdens bears!
~Gertrude T. Buckingham, "Courage"

During the darkest indigo midnight, yet will countless stars blossom. ~Dr. SunWolf,

People don't ever seem to relate that doing what's right is no guarantee against misfortune. ~William McFee, Casuals of the Sea, 1916

Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. ~William Hazlitt

Allow yourself a moment of grief when life's misfortunes visit you. However, do not spend your days building a monument in honor of them. ~Dodinsky

Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles. ~Maltbie D. Babcock

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. ~Author unknown

Notice the disappointing things and marvelous things at the same time, because they dance with one another. ~Dr. SunWolf,

Life leaves bootprints all over us, we just have to keep getting back up. ~Terri Guillemets

Aversion is a form of bondage. We are tied to what we hate or fear. That is why, in our lives, the same problem, the same danger or difficulty, will present itself over and over again in various prospects, as long as we continue to resist or run away from it instead of examining it and solving it. ~Patañjali

If you want a place in the sun, you've got to expect a few blisters. ~Abigail van Buren

Your heart has been sore wounded too. Dear Light, love shall cherish you, till you again look on life with happy eyes. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens

Perhaps, it takes a touch of pain, or sorrow or of woe,
To make man truly grateful for his blessings here below!
Perhaps, it takes a few hard knocks to open up his eyes
To facts pertaining to God's laws and make him realize
That while he has his being here, much sorrow he must meet;
And, if he's wise, he'll bravely take the bitter with the sweet!
Perhaps, Twill make him stronger if he overcomes each woe;
Perhaps, Twill make him kinder, and will help his Soul to grow!
~Gertrude T. Buckingham, "Perhaps"

Everything was in ruins. But her soul was still intact. ~Naomi Ragen, The Tenth Song, 2010

No man ever understood the true meaning of life, or caught a glimpse of heaven, until repeated misfortunes had dispelled the flattering dream of a selfish imagination, and cured the blindness of his spiritual nature. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

We paint our lives with peace and passion, with love and laughter — to cover the pain and scars, the bitterness and tears. ~Terri Guillemets, "War paint," 2009

Strange how we decorate pain. ~Margaret Atwood

Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough. ~Jean-Paul Sartre

I bear a little more than I can bear. ~Elinor Hoyt Wylie

Every evil is some good spelt backwards, and in it the wise know how to read Wisdom. ~Coventry Patmore

May you get what you wish for. ~Old Chinese curse

The great doctors all got their education off dirt pavements and poverty — not marble floors and foundations. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

You'll never find a better sparring partner than adversity. ~Walt Schmidt

Sometimes a man is intensely, even passionately, attached to suffering — that is a fact. ~Fyodor Dostoevsky

Watch a man in times of... adversity to discover what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off. ~Lucretius, On the Nature of Things

"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget!" "You will, though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it. ~Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass, 1872

Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Soul connections are often formed through the currents of adversity. ~Terri Guillemets

When life takes the wind out of your sails, it is to test you at the oars. ~Robert Brault,

Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose. ~Billie Holiday

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. ~Henry David Thoreau

Human suffering, while it is asleep, is shapeless. If it is wakened it takes the form of the waker. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

There are times in everyone's life when something constructive is born out of adversity... when things seem so bad that you've got to grab your fate by the shoulders and shake it. ~Author Unknown

Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. ~Francis Bacon

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Beautiful rainbows and life water
come from a dark rain cloud —
What gifts can you bring the world
even in your times of darkness?
~Terri Guillemets

It is better to drink of deep griefs than to taste shallow pleasures. ~William Hazlitt, Characteristics, 1823

Better bread with water than cake with trouble. ~Russian Proverb

The darkest hour has only sixty minutes. ~Morris Mandel

The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials. ~Confucius

God gave burdens, also shoulders. ~Yiddish Proverb

It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes. ~Dorothy Parker

When suffering comes, we yearn for some sign from God, forgetting we have just had one. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Man performs and engenders so much more than he can or should have to bear. That's how he finds that he can bear anything. ~William Faulkner

The brook would lose its song if you removed the rocks. ~Fred Beck

Sometimes the best way to fight a personal demon is to turn your back on it and let it wither away. Often you need to face it head-on and slay it with every ounce of your being. And occasionally it will do simply to draw a halo on it and convert it to an angel or a friend. ~Terri Guillemets, "Don't dis any advantages," 2006

The spiritual path is not strewn with roses. ~Haridas Chaudhuri

Would you touch a nettle without being stung by it? take hold of it stoutly. Do the same to other annoyances, and hardly will any thing annoy you. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

I cursed my misfortune, — and it remained one. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Pain gives you the memory of things you shouldn't do. ~Craig D. Slovak

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. ~Winston Churchill

Even when life isn't good on the outside, you have an option to make it good from the inside out. ~Terri Guillemets

It is always in the midst, in the epicenter, of your troubles that you find serenity. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell

The emotions are part of the wound. ~Terri Guillemets

Some days, we're just looking for a soft place to land. ~Dr. SunWolf,

Life is rough. If it were smooth, we'd slide right through it without noticing. A bumpy ride teaches us gratitude and perspective. ~Terri Guillemets

I do not ask you to help me, but I would appreciate it if you did not hinder me. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Many a man can overcome a difficulty in the path of another, which he could not surmount were it in his own. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Sometimes our hearts get tangled
And our souls a little off-kilter
Friends and family can set us right
And help guide us back to the light.
~Terri Guillemets

Tragedy is restful: and the reason is that hope, that foul, deceitful thing, has no part in it. ~Jean Anouilh, Antigone, 1942

Happy is the man who can endure the highest and lowest fortune. He who has endured such vicissitudes with equanimity has deprived misfortune of its power. ~Seneca

Sadness flowers to the next renewing joy. ~Terri Guillemets

[M]y strength is made perfect in weakness. ~Bible, II Corinthians 12:9

Problems are the price you pay for progress. ~Branch Rickey

Can one deal with realities that are not shaken with sobs and wet with tears? ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: VIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

When you're feeling your worst, that's when you get to know yourself the best. ~Leslie Grossman

The dark and the light are braided and bound. ~Marc Ian Barasch

Adversity enhances this tale we call life. ~Terri Guillemets

Happiness is beneficial for the body but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind. ~Marcel Proust, The Past Recaptured, Remembrance of Things Past

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. ~Bill Gates, Business @ the Speed of Thought

The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them. ~Bernard M. Baruch

Like a plant that starts up in showers and sunshine and does not know which has best helped it to grow, it is difficult to say whether the hard things or the pleasant things did me the most good. ~Lucy Larcom

Storms question the weak and the strong alike — and the strong may not always have answers but they always have resolve. ~Terri Guillemets

If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. ~Socrates

Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than of war. ~Homer, Iliad

There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you. ~Woody Hayes

It is foolish to tear one's hair in grief, as though sorrow would be made less by baldness. ~Cicero

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. ~Truman Capote

Flowers never emit so sweet and strong a fragrance as before a storm. When a storm approaches thee, be as fragrant as a sweet-smelling flower. ~Jean Paul Richter

Let the stormy sky be your prayer, raining faith down upon you. ~Terri Guillemets

Having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting, it may not be logical but it is often true. ~Mr. Spock, Star Trek

Hardship is best sailed with a heart ship. ~Terri Guillemets, "Knocking hard," 1989

I have woven a parachute out of everything broken. ~William Stafford

The misfortunes of mankind are of varied plumage. ~Aeschylus, The Suppliant Maidens

And I learned there are troubles
Of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead
And some come from behind...
So I said to myself, "Now, I'll just have to start
To be twice as careful and be twice as smart.
I'll watch out for trouble in front and back sections
By aiming my eyeballs in different directions."
...Then NEW troubles came!
From above!
And below!... I had so many troubles, I just couldn't think!...
~Dr. Seuss, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, 1965

I know I'll have troubles.
I'll, maybe, get stung.
I'll always have troubles.
I'll, maybe, get bit...
But I've bought a big bat.
I'm all ready, you see.
Now my troubles are going
To have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, 1965

In most cases, misfortune is an acquired habit. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn't of much value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them. ~Boris Pasternak

We must try not to sink beneath our anguish... but battle on. ~J.K. Rowling

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. ~Bertrand Russell

Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. ~James Russell Lowell, "Cambridge Thirty Years Ago," Literary Essays

No man ought to lay a cross upon himself, or to adopt tribulation, as is done in popedom; but if a cross or tribulation come upon him, then let him suffer it patiently, and know that it is good and profitable for him. ~Martin Luther

If God asks that you bend, bend and do not complain. He is making you more flexible, and for this be thankful. ~Terri Guillemets

Bygone troubles are good to tell. ~Yiddish Proverb

The cold is a good counselor, but it is cold. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. ~Winston Churchill

Let your joy scream across the pain. ~Terri Guillemets

Rock bottom is good solid ground, and a dead end street is just a place to turn around. ~Buddy Buie & J.R. Cobb, "Rock Bottom" ♫

If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. ~Latin Proverb

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not;
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to a Sky Lark"

In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. ~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windemere's Fan, 1896

Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll. ~Author Unknown

Poverty, Frost, Famine, Rain, Disease, are the beadles and guardsmen that hold us to Common Sense. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight. ~Josh Billings

Alas, my Lord God, how small matters trouble me! every petty occurrence is ready to rob me of my peace; so as, methinks, I am like some little cock-boat in a rough sea, which every billow topples up and down, and threats to sink.... Lord, work my heart to so firm a settledness upon thee, that it may never be shaken; no, not with the violent gusts of temptation, much less with the easy gales of secular mis-accidents. Even when I am hardest pressed in the multitude of the sorrows of my heart, let thy comforts refresh my soul: but for these slight crosses, oh teach me to despise them; as not worthy of my notice, much less of my vexation. Let my heart be taken up with thee; and then, what care I, whether the world smile or frown? ~Joseph Hall (1574–1656), Bishop of Norwich, The Breathings of the Devout Soul (XXXIV), 1644

You never know what you've got until it's gone. ~Author Unknown

That was rough.... Thing to do now is try and forget it.... I guess I don't quite mean that. It's not a thing you can forget. Maybe not even a thing you want to forget.... Life's like that sometimes... Now and then for no good reason a man can figure out, life will just haul off and knock him flat, slam him agin' the ground so hard it seems like all his insides is busted. But it's not all like that. A lot of it's mighty fine, and you can't afford to waste the good part frettin' about the bad. That makes it all bad.... Sure, I know — sayin' it's one thing and feelin' it's another. But I'll tell you a trick that's sometimes a big help. When you start lookin' around for something good to take the place of the bad, as a general rule you can find it. ~From the movie Old Yeller

God brings men into deep waters, not to drown them, but to cleanse them. ~John Aughey

Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course. ~William Shakespeare

There are two things that one must get used to or one will find life unendurable: the damages of time and injustices of men. ~Sébastien-Roch Nicolas (Chamfort)

O God, whate'er befall, spare me that supreme calamity — let no after-bitterness settle down with me. Misfortune is not mine until that hour. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

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