How to Deal with Struggles

Most of us have come face-to-face with many struggles. Life has ups and downs. For some, these ups and downs are extreme, catapulting a person from the heights of euphoria to the depths of despair in a matter of the time it takes to draw a breath. Life tests us. Heartache is inevitable. As human beings, we can’t escape struggle. To fight it is futile. But, to embrace it is empowering.

Accept Struggles as Pathway to Peace

We serve ourselves better when we stroll on the path of learning and accepting struggles as a way to peace. Space opens up for us to widen our stride, breathe deeper, capture a wide-angle view of what’s really happening alongside of us. Not shackled to the underbrush of hatred, anger, or other deflating emotions brought on by life’s blows, we’re free to absorb the lessons it is trying to teach us.

reflection

Absorb the Lessons in Struggles

What we resist persists, right? Let’s face it, we’re all going to face turmoil. So, how can be protect ourselves from its potential damage? How can we stand strong against its relentless push? How can we best survive these disappointments and heartaches?

If we look at struggles as an earthquake, we’ll see that we can’t avoid the quake, the destruction of what was, and the dust as it begins to settle on top and form new layers. We can’t. This is life. If we fight struggles, we stir up more of the suffocating dust and enshroud ourselves deeper into its destructive new landscape. But, if we can learn to accept the natural power of life by remaining peaceful and patient to turmoil’s fury, we can retain our wit and ability to survive.

Just as in an earthquake, struggles will continue to transform the landscape. They will shake us, re-shake us, and redefine the temporary. And just as with life, an earthquake may change the shape of what we fight to maintain, but it cannot break the sum of all that made it. For the dirt, rock and grass is, in fact, still the same dirt, rock and grass – just in renewed form.

Here’s the empowering thought:

Once the dust settles, we’re free to climb to our feet with renewed energy and clarity to define our new landscape in a way that suits our here and now. Weathered by struggles, we’re made stronger by our experiences with them.

I’ve come to a personal realization to not fight when life strikes an inevitable blow. Perhaps if we learn to embrace the fact that life may shake and knock us down temporarily, then we’ll grow to understand the other important fact that once the dust settles we will come out stronger, wiser, and mightier than before.

Do you have a different analogy you can share on how you view struggles? Let’s empower each other.

Wishing you the very best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

24 replies
  1. Scott Fornwall
    Scott Fornwall says:

    It really is the truth…It’s not how we get knocked down, it’s how we get back up that matters.

    Reply
  2. Cindy Sykes
    Cindy Sykes says:

    Knowing that everything in life is all part of the plan. Faith and prayer are the resources of my strength!

    Reply
  3. patricia lavit
    patricia lavit says:

    We learn a lot through hard blows, failures in life! Once passed the storm, calm always returns! Personally, yoga practice and meditation helps me to face some tension, accept things as they are, I regain my serenity and my strength! It is not always easy but positive thoughts, compassion and sharing makes you happier and wiser 🙂

    Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      They sure do, Pat. I love meditation. It centers me and helps me to say… “Let go”. I realize I don’t have control over things external of me. Meditation teaches me how to reach inward and tap into the strength so I can then extend that outwards and enjoy the life and friendships that surround me:) Hugs!

      Reply
  4. joanna
    joanna says:

    Acorns grow into ok trees because they learn to flex with the wind, resistance causes tension, which can lead to breaking

    And cake……theres always cake…….

    Reply
  5. Amy Berger
    Amy Berger says:

    Wow. Yes. Good analogy. You should be a writer…oh, wait.

    I loved reading this and things like it because you are right. Heartache and difficulty is a part of life.
    When I am hit with it, it can be all consuming. But over the years I have learned to accept what has happened, feel what I need to feel for as long as I need to feel it, then get up, ask “what have I got and what do I need?”, then move on.

    To be honest, I have never really been able to “think on the bright side” when I am in the middle of feeling the loss. However, having learned “to cope” has allowed pain to ease with time.

    These kinds of posts are an important part of the learning process. They teach us how to swim. The implementation is the hard part (figuring out how not to drown) but that is the bit that makes us a stronger swimmer.

    Nicely done.

    Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      Thank you for this comment Amy. The question you ask yourself “what have I got and what do I need” is one that deeply resonates. I’m going to ask myself that same question next time life deals its blow. I never understood the gravity of pain until recently when I lost my sweet dog, Sunshine, and my grandfather within a few days of each other. I always thought… eh, think on the bright side and you’ll get past things… yeah, no… not as easy as I thought when pain stomped on my heart as it did. I learned through this that it’s okay to feel the pain (actually necessary to feel it). It was important for me to ride out the storm, embracing and accepting the hurt. When I was deep into the pain of it all, I couldn’t feel positive. The more I fought the pain, the harder it hit. Then, a friend told me, let go… just embrace the pain and feel it deeply because in doing so, it will heal you. And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened!

      Reply
  6. Alak
    Alak says:

    We can’t choose what life will offer. What we can choice is our response to it. In essence, it is essentially our response that defines who we are.

    As for life, isn’t it like a box of chocolates 🙂

    Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      Yes Alak! Yes, it is. Life is just like a box of chocolates 🙂 I prefer the smooth and rich chocolates, but every once in a while, it’s important to accept a different type… After all, variety in that context is what makes us stronger and more open-minded to the dynamics of life. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Isobel McCauley
    Isobel McCauley says:

    You are absolutely right Suzie! I don’t know if this is a suitable analogy but I would like to say that we can’t give up in the ‘rainy seasons’ for when the storms have passed, the sun will shine again. I suffered a traumatic experience as a child. There is no set time when you should relinquish the cloak of despair, you can only do that when the time is right, and you come to your own truth in your own time. I was 37 when I came to my own truth. I realized that I could not change what had happened to me, and my destiny was in my hands. Through visualization I managed to throw off the yoke I had put around my neck. It was an unbelievable experience and was instantaneous. That worked for me!

    Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      Hi Isobel, thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry you had to deal with such trauma in your early life. I am so happy to hear that you have been able to push through that rainy season and are able to feel the sun again. You are a beautiful person and deserve the very best. Hugs!

      Reply
  8. Health
    Health says:

    I have to say that I love this subject, probably because I am really human and I have, just like everybody else gone through my fair share of struggles and painful experiences in my life. Right now I am in a good place and in times like these it is good to gather around and absorb the lessons looking back before ‘another earthquake’ happens and we need to be prepared. I share the same opinion as you, you have to let your experiences build you, you have to embrace your past in order to be ready for your future. I think one thing that stayed with me throughout my journey so far is that everything happens for a reason. I noticed that when times are good it is very easy to respect that phrase and as times go harder and harder, I did notice that it is harder and harder to say it, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Only looking back, and seeing the forest better-the whole experience- I can actually see how real that statement is. It is hard to see the forest through the trees. Everything does happen for a reason and sometimes we can only see our point of view, however, if we could just look back on the whole picture, we would have a point of view, so faith does play a very important part. However, we get stronger in our trying times, more so than through our easy, pleasant experiences.

    Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      Thank you so much for chiming in on this post. You are so on target, the easier the situation, the easier it is to embrace the phrase. The harder the situation, the harder it is to accept it. But, if we can learn to look back on pivotal moments in our lives and see that we made it through, we’ll see they shaped us into people who are better equipped for the next moment… I wish you many positive moments in life!

      Reply

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