The Struggle is Real, And, It Isn’t
I actually hate the saying “The struggle is real.” Like really hate it. It draws attention to all the things not working in life, and casts a shadow over the ridiculous multitude of things we all have going good for us.
That being said, I also hate the phrase “Good vibes only.” Like really hate it. Because it’s a form of spiritual bypassing; pretending like things are always sunshine and rainbows when you haven’t dealt with some of the negative things in life is like putting whip cream on garbage. You can try to make it look all great but if you don’t deal with what’s underneath, it’ll come out eventually, and likely come out sideways. I put a caveat on this phrase that goes something like “Good vibes as much as you can, and also deal with your shit.” Classy, I know.
I don’t know a single person who isn’t, on some level, with one thing or another, struggling. This changes with age and time and life circumstances; I know people who have struggled with their children’s off sleep schedules, with their marriages, with addictions, with their life’s purpose, with their career, with their family relationships, among a zillion other things. Money, perfectionism, worthiness, impatience, loneliness, identity. I could keep going.
My current biggest struggle has been the discomfort of looking at all of my inner mental and emotional patterns that stem from childhood from people who didn’t know any better because they learned from people who didn’t know any better. It’s a life goal of mine to break that pattern in my own history and family. I’m doing a pretty damn good job, might I add, but to say it’s easy or fun is a massive understatement.
It’s maybe the biggest commitment I currently have, because the more I work on it the more I heal, and the more I heal me, by default the more I can help other people heal. And helping other people heal is more than a worthy cause in my book.
OH, and surrender, trust, and letting go. I struggle with those too, like why can’t I just know everything before it happens? That would be so much easier.
The point though, is that no matter how or with what you’re struggling, it’s totally valid.
I said something the other day that made me realize how important this validity is. What I said went something like this, “I’m struggling with X thing, and I don’t even have kids.” The notion being that it’s harder and/or more valid of a struggle if you have children.
In this moment, I want to acknowledge that certain circumstances might be harder if you have children. Or maybe not, this is an individual experience and everyone is different. What I am saying though is that by thinking this way, with this form of hierarchy of struggle, makes it more socially acceptable for some struggles than others. But that’s simply just not true, and/or fair. Because then those people who haven’t struggled on the same “level” will often invalidate their own difficulties because they didn’t deal with whatever “worse” scenario that someone else did. And so they push their own stuff aside as if it’s small when it in fact has impacted them their whole lives and how they function.
The example I used had to do with children because it’s what came out of my own mouth. But struggle comes in a million forms, and no matter how many good vibes you aim for, it happens to everyone.
If you’re struggling, at ALL, with anything, it’s totally valid. It doesn’t matter if society may have deemed your life “easier” than someone else’s; if it’s up for you and you’re in it, then it’s yours to deal with in this current time and place, and that’s totally ok. It’s not a better or worse struggle than anyone else. It’s just different.
And because I have to tell myself this a million times, all the time, I’m going to say it to you as well in case you needed to hear it:
You’re doing a great job.
Wherever you are with whatever you’re dealing with is exactly perfect. You shouldn’t be any “farther along” than you are right now. It’s here for you to learn and navigate and grow (or not) and it’s gonna stay until you get whatever you needed to out of it.
Also, no matter what you’re in, I’m very sure there’s also some really awesome things in your life you can look at to remind yourself that you’ve also got a lot going for you. If you’re reading this then at the very least you have access to the internet; start there.
The more you work through things, the better you get at working through things. And the better you get, the less there is to deal with, and the more good vibes you can allow in.
You got this.