Initially the old mule was frantic, but as the dirt kept hitting his back, something happened. It dawned on the mule that every time a shovel load landed on his back, he should SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This he did, blow after blow. Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up. No matter how painful the blows or how distressing the situation, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!
Before long, the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly through the mouth of the well. What seemed like it would bury him, actually helped him...all because of how he handled his adversity.
Such is life. If we face our problems and respond to them positively, refusing to surrender to panic, bitterness, or self-pity, the adversities that come along to bury us usually possess the potential to benefit us.
Many on my friend's list here have gone through or are going through hard situations, myself included. I can't say that I have arrive at this place of always stepping up and shaking it off, but this does seem a good attitude to aim for.