As I was tucking my son into bed the other night we were having a discussion about behavior. I said something like, “When we work against, there is struggle; when we work together, it’s easier.” I didn’t want to send the message that it’s a good idea to simply be passive, though (he’s far from that, but I don’t want to break his spirit, either), so, I also reminded him, “When you have ideas you’d like to share, it’s wonderful for you to respectfully do that.” I want him to understand that his strong will can work in his favor. He can function in opposition (struggle) or use his passion for creativity, making positive changes, and/or promoting cohesiveness and a coming together in ease.
This conversation with him got me thinking further about something I’ve been working around in my mind this week a lot anyway. Why do we struggle “against” so much? We struggle against feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, frustration and maybe even happiness. We struggle against the work or chores we have to do. And conversely, we struggle against taking time off from the stuff we have to do. It seems so often that myself and the people I connect with are in a struggle “against” something, usually several things, in our lives.
I’ll share a personal example from this week…
With the changes in weather and the drastic changes to our routine at this time of year when I resume home schooling my kids, I often start to experience more brain fog and fatigue again (following the summer during which I often have significantly fewer experiences of this). It’s frustrating for me as over the past several years we (my healthcare team, my family, myself) haven’t been able to nail down the cause of the quick turn my symptoms take. We have had numerous hypotheses, but nothing that we’ve been able to act on well enough at this point to keep them from happening. I have found myself fighting against these symptoms this week and asking, “What is wrong with me?”
After a couple days of the struggle I remembered to stop and ask myself, “What happens when I stop fighting against all of this?” I still have the symptoms, yes. But I feel less frustration and angst if I quit the struggle “against.” And when I remind myself that nothing is “wrong” with me, that I am whole and my body is working FOR me, I have a new sense of appreciation for what my body is trying to do FOR ME (not against me). This doesn’t mean I stop seeking to understand myself better and get at the root cause of these symptoms. I just do so with less fight and more love!
“And when I remind myself that nothing is “wrong” with me, that I am whole and my body is working FOR me, I have a new sense of appreciation for what my body is trying to do FOR ME (not against me).”
So, just as I’ve been reminding myself this week, and as I was reminding my son the other night, let’s do less struggling “against.” Sometimes when we stop the struggle, the answers we seek come to us or our needs become more apparent. I feel like the struggle just holds us back. Letting it go is not about becoming passive, but getting “quiet” enough that we can listen for the truth. We can even ask, “What is here for me in this challenge? What wisdom can I gain? It gives us a chance to allow God to guide us, our intuition to inform us, our love to flow, and our authenticity to come forth.
What might you be able to stop the struggle against this week?
What could you learn from the struggle itself, or from letting it go?