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  1. devy

    Having gone through anxiety and depression throughout many periods in my life and recognizing the reasons, I have learned to dig deep into my feelings, experiencing sadness and anger then by means of gratitude and living in the present, I have grown emotionally, learn how to deal with problems, remained alcohol free for 10 and a half years. Even though it took my 60 years of being alive, I feel proud of myself for my strength and resilience through the lows in my life. I am a survivor..

    2 years ago
  2. Malag

    This question feels transactional to me: that these character strengths are wages to be earned. Life acts on me and forges character: it’s just that. The strongest trait for me is keeping getting up and moving every time something knocks me down.

    2 years ago
  3. O.Christina

    These times shifted perspective, from being internally centered around my state to overcome my own limiting imprints, pain, fears and despair. It opened up to the needs of others, to feel and to be with and act accordingly to whatever presents itself. Not yet in any moment, but much more often already and good work in process. It opened the door to more simplicity, to gratitude, to humbleness, to joy and to a deeper sense of friendship and helped to find back to care for all from my heart. Rather as a side effect and of course meanwhile being aware of it as a natural consequence, this lessened my own pain also. Thank you dearly for this precious question, dear Gratefulness-team. 💜

    2 years ago
  4. c

    I don’t know if I have earned them. Maybe more like finding out they were there all along and only had to be valued and evolved and set to use.

    2 years ago
  5. Holly in Ohio

    It is interesting to reflect on hard times in a different way and look for the gifts, rather than the damage. I think most would agree we become stronger by enduring through hard times. Even seedlings grow stronger with the presence of wind. But another strength we usually gain is the ability to focus on what is more important. If in our hard times we went hungry, we learn the importance of feeding the hungry, even if it is someone we don’t know. If we experienced violence, we learn the importance of safety and intervening on behalf of those who can’t well defend themselves. Likewise if we lost our home, or lost a loved one, or injustice, or whatever the nature of our hardship. In short, hardships teach us compassion for others.

    2 years ago
  6. Mary

    I have been surprised by my own endurance during difficult times. I have been able to keep going, doing more than I would have thought I could do for many months at a time. It is catching up with me now though, so I will stop for a bit, and take better care of myself. It is hard for me to care for a loved one and take good care of myself too. I need to learn to do both.

    2 years ago
    1. Holly in Ohio

      Yes, it is very hard, Mary. I admire your courage.
      Sending you strength… ❤

      2 years ago
      1. Mary

        Thank you Holly. 🙂

        2 years ago
  7. Don Jones

    A lot of years now have been directed to dismantling this character. The hardest times usually equaled, the greatest times of resistance, (like trying to swim up waterfalls). I can’t recall there ever being a paycheck (meaning entitlement) during these times.

    2 years ago
  8. pkr

    …just a few…🙏❤️

    2 years ago
  9. Maeve

    That I am able to continue and keep moving. That I am more resilient than I thought I was That in the hardest times, there are chance unexpected encounters to lift my spirits, whether it be the song of a robin at dawn, magnolia blossoms outside my window, or a chance surprising conversation with a stranger on the subway.

    2 years ago
  10. Hot Sauce

    The hardest times in my life have given me wisdom, compassion, and resilience.

    2 years ago
  11. Ed Schulte

    The present-day personality has , by way of many, many, misguided selfish habits, accepting non-supportive life conditioning, etc, etc, all of which only lead to hard times, confusion, anxiety etc , etc. But these life events were opportunitiesl which allowed the Spirit-Soul-Self to be “felt” as the ever present “True Self” alway THERE , never changing and powerful when the present-day personality chooses to align itself with the Spirit-Soul-Self within it.
    It can’t say “I earned or learned the power of the Spirit-Soul Self” because there was no gained “earning or leaning” for what was THERE all along!

    The ancient ones say it best “There is a rising up, and a falling away”.

    2 years ago
  12. Dusty Su

    Compassion, resilience, integration or reframing. How to take caca and work through it and make it into a bridge of growth, understanding, and compassion that serves others too.

    2 years ago
  13. Barb C

    I’m with those who chose verbs that come closer to expressing these changes. Learn. Evolve. Attain. Grow into. Develop.
    As an adult who will turn 60 this year I’m far more patient, kind, and accepting of different perspectives, approaches, or outcomes than my 17-year-old self could have understood or wanted.

    2 years ago
    1. Dusty Su

      Yes, I’m 61 and get what you’ve shared. So true.

      2 years ago
  14. Marnie Jackson

    The desire to understand the other person’s perspective and the willingness to agree to disagree so that I can let go……both of these are from practice and hard work to learn

    2 years ago
  15. Charlie T

    Like some of you, I prefer learned rather than earned and it’s definitely a work in progress. Compassion, resilience, and forgiveness come to mind.

    2 years ago
  16. alara

    Reflecting on the hardest times in my life I can’t come up with any strengths of character I have earned.

    During those times I just kept breathing, and hoping, and sometimes put one foot in front of the other.

    As I sat with the question this morning I realized that the breathing was a gift that allowed/allows this life to continue under any circumstance.


    2 years ago
  17. dragonfly

    My autoimmune disease has taught me to show compassion and be kind to and patient with all people because not all hardship and pain is obvious. There is no knowing what a person is going through. When I encounter somebody whom I perceive as especially nasty and my feelings get hurt I tell myself that hurt people hurt people and that it is important to not strike back in kind but to be extra loving. Does not always work but I’m not giving up. 🙂

    2 years ago
    1. Mary

      You are very wise, dragonfly.
      Your approach is the opposite of taking things personally,
      which leads to misunderstanding, conflict and pain.
      Hurt people, hurt people. So true.
      I need to remember that not everything is about me.

      2 years ago
    2. Barb C

      “Hurt people hurt people” describes a difficult encounter this week. Thank you for this. I can try to keep this at least within view, if not centered, if I have to deal with that person any more. I’ve tried to give them grace but they’re hurting my daughters and Mama Bear comes out when that happens.

      2 years ago
  18. Laura

    Whether earned or revealed, it’s patience, perseverance, acceptance, staying in the moment.

    2 years ago
  19. Hermann-Josef

    The insight that nothing is mine. I can‘t loose anything because I came with nothing. But the essence of everything is always. I call it beauty and love. But this beauty is beyond the form of things and myself. Not whose it is and how it is, is the question to me so much but what it is. The answer gives me peace. (At least for a while) 😌

    2 years ago
  20. EJP

    I’ve learned that I possess great inner strength, courage, compassion and patience.

    2 years ago
  21. Manuela

    I couldn´t earn or learn , only pray for not to be left and the gifts of this times were faith and patience

    2 years ago
  22. Mary Pat

    That I need to grieve before I can truly move on in my life. And that takes courage, and strength. And another thing I learned…I am never alone. That has given me so much soothing, comforting strength I can see the future in a better light when things are really diffucult.

    2 years ago
  23. sunnypatti48317

    Interesting question, as this has been a hard week, and I’ve been trying to figure out what the lessons for me are in the things that are happening.

    As for my character, I’d rather say it’s grown than something I’ve earned. I’ve grown stronger and more resilient, as well as more grounded and compassionate.

    2 years ago
  24. Michele

    Inner strength and perseverance.

    2 years ago
  25. Kevin

    Not “earned,” but learned, and sometimes from unlikely sources. What I’ve gained in lecture halls and practicums pales compared to what I’ve learned out on the streets of life and front-row seating of life arriving and departing, and the joys and wonder and the heartache in between. Whatever all that was and will be equals what I am today.

    2 years ago
  26. Antoinette


    2 years ago
  27. Christine


    2 years ago

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