struggling has been on my mind a lot recently. i had not considered it to always be “violent efforts” as described above. strenuous yes. uncomfortable, sometimes painful, difficult to endure and difficult to watch another experience. struggle is everywhere - struggling to get up in the morning, loose weight, get through exams, in relationships, to make it through the day. it is in the big and the small, the immediate and the long term. i started to wonder, does every story out there involve struggle? is a story worth telling if it doesn’t involve struggle? is struggle what makes a story?
aren’t some of the best stories the ones of the journey of the underdog emerging triumphant? in other words - the struggle. i love those kinds of movies!
i know there is so much good in struggling and i think we (well i did and i wonder if much of the world) have forgotten the benefits of struggling. in my ever evolving role as a parent, i believe it is important for my kids to struggle. they need to learn how to handle the hurdles in life, how to manage their emotions and perceptions, to build their physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual ‘muscles’. but boy do i struggle to let them struggle! it is almost like this new and growing struggle for me to watch them without jumping in, advise them when/if asked, and just let them know i’m always here and will love them no matter what. don’t we want our kids to grow and be strong and have amazing stories? stories that are, as i said earlier, best when about becoming/journeying/triumphing - struggling!
i also struggle to ‘tell my story’ here, via social media, wherever really, because i tend to think two things: 1. i have a pretty mundane, easy going life and 2. who the heck wants to hear about my struggles?! i mean, just to write this. i’m struggling with worries; of what people are thinking, how i sound, what the point of sharing anything really is. but i want to have a ‘good’ story and maybe part of my story will be making strenuous (sometimes violent) efforts in the face of difficulties of self doubt.
there are so many stories of struggle to draw inspiration and strength from, in the movies (Schindler’s List, Shawshank Redemption and on and on), in nature (the butterfly emerging from its cocoon, the baby turtle making its way to the sea…) and in the bible (Joseph and his brothers, Job and his friends, let’s be honest, the list is endless).
i hope my struggle through my own inner critic will emerge as one of strength and substance, making a good story. in the meantime, i struggle…