You Don’t Have to Struggle to Live the Life You Want
Anything worthwhile requires struggle.
If success comes easy, there’s a catch.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
In our culture, we’re taught that pain has a purpose. We believe suffering equals success. We live by a no pain, no gain mentality that says we have to undergo ordeals in order to “make” things happen because nothing good ever comes without struggle.
We believe success and struggle are opposing sides of the same coin, where we live by the mantra, “If I didn’t struggle to get where I am, I didn’t earn it.”
Struggle is a part of life and there are times we’ll face hardships and challenges – that we’ll struggle as a result of the circumstances in our lives – but we don’t have to struggle to get what we want.
Struggle is not the price you pay to manifest your dreams.
In many ways, I find myself still subscribing to this methodology. Even though I desire ease and abundance in my life, the moment things start to get good and feel good, I get suspicious. I start to self-sabotage. I overthink. I get fearful and overreact.
For years I trained myself to believe that anything worthwhile has to be hard and so in the absence of discomfort or challenges, I create my own. And – when confronted with the tough life shit – the loss of siblings, the guilt and shame of not being a present parent, growing up with an alcoholic father, coming out as gay, wrestling with my eating disorder – I tell myself that my pain has “purpose”, that my experiences are “justifiable”, that I “had to” suffer to be on this path as a teacher and healer.
what if you and I didn’t have to struggle?
What if shitty things happened but we didn’t have to empower that story of struggle to one of purpose?
What if we allowed things to be easier?
What if we just let go of our attachment (or addiction) to the struggle itself?
Argue for your limitations, and they’re yours.
Struggle. It’s been the pervading feeling I’ve felt over the last week in my relationships and my career – areas of my life that always seem to parallel each other. And, the crazy thing about struggling in these areas is that nothing is “wrong”. In fact, on paper, things are great. I’m in a relationship that for a first time in a very long time grounds me and fills my life with an immeasurable amount of happiness. I’m at a place in my career where I’m respected and seen as top of her game. Nothing is bad or wrong in either of these areas – and yet I’m suffering.
When I dug a little deeper, I realized I’m suffering because I’m focusing on what’s missing or hurting in my relationship or how I’m not exactly where I want to be, doing what I want to do, in my career. And, the lack of “not having” what it is I want, drives an energy of striving which only keeps me in this struggle loop.
When we stop focusing on what’s missing or hurting – when, instead, we focus on what we have and what we’re grateful for – we feed our spirits and our lives with joy rather than suffering – we promote ease rather than struggle.
Easy doesn’t mean lazy.
Ease doesn’t mean it’s a free ride or that we won’t have to work towards something – just that we don’t have to suffer in the process.
Give up the struggle and you’ll open the door to what you seek.
The moment I stopped striving and seeking validation for my enoughness teaching, is when my classes grew and I became a nationally ranked performer in my company. When I stopped focusing on what I thought I needed to prove, when instead I became grounded in what was authentic to me, success found me.
The same is true in my relationships. The moment I took the pressure of “needing” to be with someone or struggling over defining my sexuality – the moment I decided I was worthy of the love I desired and that I was more than a label in terms of my sexuality, things fell into place in crazy ways I could never have predicted or planned out. When I wasn’t looking for someone or worried about finding someone, I became open to all possibilities.
To live in ease takes powerful clarity, vision, focus and trust.
It takes strength and conviction to not simply follow our initial reactions and get swept away by the currents of hurt, disappointment or anger. It takes practice to face our challenges without turning it into struggling and needless suffering.
To get out of the struggle, we must be willing to drop the story of struggle.
Success is about as much as we give up as what we gain and only when you’re willing to give up the struggle can you open the door to what you seek.
This week, stop arguing on behalf of how “hard” things are or have to be and start allowing your life to be filled with more peace and ease.
Where in your life are you fighting for the struggle and promoting your own suffering? What story of struggle are you willing to drop this week?