The problem is not struggle itself, it’s that we’re afraid of it. We see struggle as pain and pain as danger. We want to avoid it or kill it. Or we see the discomfort up ahead, and we dearly hope that if we just make ourselves into a tree or a rock, it will eventually move on. Our most basic instincts are common knowledge. But not everyone knows how to engage with their personal obstacles in more productive ways. We get stuck.
Learning to stop and discern actual danger from the discomfort of growth is key. It might seem silly, but honestly, the mind tells all sorts of stories and the body reacts. With higher awareness, we can stop avoiding things that are actually going to make us better. Everything we want on a soul level–peace, ease, happiness, and fulfillment–is earned through engaging discomfort. Unhooking from reactivity means that we can observe the situation and see that we’re not our struggle and our struggle is not us. Then comes the interesting work of learn where that fear comes from and what purpose it’s been serving us. It always served a purpose at one time, but a lot of times, we can see that we’ve outgrown that need. We can develop new ways to handle it other than trying to destroy it or bypass it or hope it will leave us alone. We may not ever be friends with it, but it’s a start.
Pay close attention to what you keep coming up against even when you change paths. Especially when you change paths. Notice what you avoid and what you pick up a sword against. Recurrent obstacles and struggles are not a coincidence. They’re your invitation to evolve as a human being. Lean closer and for once, let yourself feel what you’ve been avoiding. Breathe. And channel it into something useful.