— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Struggle. It’s trained into us that we are required to struggle. We say things like, “we must power through it, no pain, no gain, we will overcome,” and such. We are taught to focus on the problem until it is solved. Sometimes we are instructed that to solve the problem, we must focus on the solution. There is some small kind of results in all of that, but not the satisfaction generally that we imagined.
For most of my life I believed that stuff. Now, I notice that I always feel crappy when I am struggling, trying so hard to power through, giving it my full attention to try to overcome, and I’ve never been very fond of pain. In fact, that’s all a pain, don’t you agree?
There is a far better way. There are lots of ways to say it, and here are a few.
Get out of the way. Often we are just in there mucking things up. We are in our own way thwarting the achievement we are desiring. We so often assign things far more power than they deserve. We make things so damn important when they are not very important at all in the scheme of things. That’s all part of being in our own way.
I like how Mike Dooley states it when he says that you have to avoid the curs-ed “how.” We get so focused on how to solve the problem or situation, and we get so hung up on how to solve it that we are messing up the results. I’ve talked about the sign still on my wall prominently displayed that I need to remind me of what my job is in life. It says, What is my job. How is Gods job. It is my job to know what I want, and it is not my job to know how to get it. I can certainly play with that if I want to, and the key part of that phrase is to “play with it.” As soon as it becomes more important than playing with it, the struggle is on.
Another favorite mentor is Eckhart Tolle. He is all about focusing on not only the present, but more importantly, BEING present. Another way to say that is being very observant of what is going on around you. Trees dancing in the wind, kindnesses people show each other that we don’t see when we are all tensed up, and more. Again, we are taking our attention away from problem solving, problem focusing, solution focusing, and as he says, all those things are in the past and future anyway, where you can do nothing about them. There is only the present.
But back to the beginning. Nothing external to me has any power over me EXCEPT that which I choose to give it. To remember that we are always in control, whether things are going well or going poorly is great to remember. The best way I’ve found to get past the rough spots is by being present, releasing any kind of worry thoughts, not projecting into the future, or analyzing the past–just being present and paying attention to that that is going on around me and being alive without the struggle. The struggle will always be there if I ever want it bad enough to go back to it.
Often when we just “chill” we will find that problems often will evaporate or become solved without our struggle. And, that is the best part. The struggle is not a requirement. In fact, you may find as I have that it is actually a poor choice.
“Every Wall Is A Door.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Spread Some Joy Today–Lighten up. Take a break. Go for a ride. Go see an uplifting movie. Sit and watch people go by. Get into the country. Pamper yourself. Recognize God is constantly surrounding and touching you. Seek joy first and foremost.