Giving in to the struggle

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 7:21 PM | comments: 0

I was talking with a friend today about how it seems like we get into ruts in one part of our life or another, where we seem to fight and struggle against forces on a daily basis. The struggle sucks the energy out of you and you end up being mentally exhausted. I associate it with those scenes in movies where someone is drowning, and finally they just let go and give in to it, and momentarily find peace. (Spoiler alert, they also die, which is a real drag.)

It's not easy to stop struggling, because it's like admitting defeat. Worse yet, our culture has always put a totally strange value in struggle and suffering. It only "builds character" if it doesn't completely bring you down. Struggle is overrated. It should be avoided, not celebrated. And if you have to, maybe the drowning isn't so bad. You know, if you don't die because of it.

I know, this totally sounds abstract, and you might imagine that I, or someone I know, is currently struggling against something. Someone is always struggling, and for the most part, the struggle fades and we move on. But there have been a few times in my life where I finally gave in, stopped fighting. Well, maybe it was twice. Both of those times, I was in a bad place, and I gave up. There was an immediate feeling of relief, followed by a grieving period around the things I felt that beat me. (One personal, one professional issue, at various times, both well behind me now.)

Seeing people struggle is hard, and I certainly don't enjoy struggling myself.


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