The struggle. One of the realest experiences in life that remains constant but often gets shunned because…discomfort. Struggle comes in many colors, shapes and sizes, and contrary to popular belief, it does not discriminate. Good feelings, make us feel well, good. We make a mental note of what occurrences bring in those desired feelings in hopes they keep on coming. You sandwich that with a fear of failing, extreme amounts of pressure from others that seem to be flourishing, and you have a society trying to get through life avoiding all accountability while still seeking rich, meaningful, and self- fulfilling results. They are shrilling “live life to the fullest!” “Ray Charles to the bullshit!” but rarely does one speak on the “bullshit” that just keeps on coming. Struggle and happiness are binary, one can’t live with out the other. I’m here to tell you about my relationship with the struggle and all it’s done for me.
Why do we fantasize a life with out pain? Why when we find ourselves in a tough rut we want to skip and fast forward? We are all attracted to things that are palatable with not much effort. We are often enamored by those that make it all look, easy, amazing, glam, a breeze and by all, I mean life. Distracted by our devices and the sites that provide an inside look into how others are navigating their journey, we have been bamboozled. We fantasize a life with out it not only because our neurons need a break but because we see others doing just fine or so we think. We often fall into the juxtaposition of wanting more with not much foot work, or questioning the journey that is oh so filled with hardship. Some do nothing at all to avoid the possible insanity that comes from the unwanted circumstances that have “handle with care” written all over. We run from discomfort, but when it gets a hold of us we may become paralyzed, helpless, and lost. Theres a crassness in my tone, because it’s important that while I disseminate I also do not completely glorify. The inspiring Toni Morrison beautifully asserted; “Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge-even wisdom” it is important that we do not succumb to the world’s malevolence but instead choose to feel it through, so that we can interpret it to heal and create. When you decide to shut down you can desensitize your emotions and impair your ability to feel. With struggle comes the responsibility of decision making, and what can be scary is that someone’s right can be somebody else’s wrong but if it feels right do it, if it doesn’t then do not. I say the defamation of the struggle has gone on long enough, let us now acknowledge and pay our respect.
Struggle builds character, you wear it in a fashion that exudes much pride and wisdom. Every time we encounter a person deemed as wise, we listen and gaze with much admiration because we want to know how they did it. You build a keen sense of resistance, you have now culminated and are fully equipped to take on what is next. It’s that thing Disney movies love to portray, courage and although the word itself is so typical it holds a meaning, there’s people out there living their version of it. Those that have accomplished historic greatness have surpassed an immense amount of shit. It was only done through the blood, the sweat, and the tears that we do not see, but only witness the end result of. Frida Kahlo, a woman that has been admired not only for her amazing works of art but also for her great strength, she wrote “I tried to drown my sorrows but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed with this decent and good feeling”. It humbles you, humility comes in when relating to others, such as our loved ones, when duty calls and you need to come to their aid, or to hold a conversation. Everyone on this planet gets to be human, no one is exempt from feeling. It is critical that we understand that it is not some special gift allowing those that you admire create some kind of magic, you too can do that with your pain. Everyone is doing it, everyone has been doing it, all the time, this is a fantastic and terrifying revelation that frees you. It will free you from the guilt trips, the self-pity and the fear.
Writing this gave me a great feeling, a feeling of responsibility that fuels my purpose, it added to the necessity of my struggles. Struggle is life’s equalizer, it is what puts things into the perspective needed to achieve that personal breakthrough. The breakthrough we yearn for that gives a sense of definition to who we are, and why the world works the way that it does. No pain no gain, you have to go through it to get to it, the light at the end of the tunnel, these are simply the basic laws of nature.