Being human is hard. As Brene Brown so eloquently puts it, “we are wired for struggle”. Yet we often continue to indulge in the fantasy of one day getting there, to that magical place where we are at peace, we’ve figured it out, got it together and we’ve made it. In a lot of ways, we adopt this mindset because its sold to us in a pretty package with the promise of a care free life. Just follow these steps, and maybe you can relax in retirement when you’ll have time. Wait, what?
Its so ingrained in us that we don’t believe we should struggle. We don’t understand it when we do, and often refuse, resist, or deny that we are struggling which you know, always helps.
This belief that we don’t think we should struggle causes us a lot of grief. When we constantly deny our reality and current circumstances, we are denying ourselves the experience of living fully. Of truly being alive. We deny ourselves the choice to move forward. We keep ourselves stuck.
Who says you shouldn’t struggle? Do you know anyone that has never struggled? If so, I think they deserve an Oscar for that performance. Call the Academy!
At the base of it all, it always comes back to our relationship to ourselves. Relationships and circumstances may come and go, but we will always be with ourselves. For some, this may be an “oh great” moment. I feel you. There is often an “oh shit” moment when we recognize the areas we are responsible for ourselves and our choices, and that we cannot always point the finger at whomever from 20 years ago that said that awful thing about us which is why we are where we are now.
I believe that when we take our healing into our own hands, we take our power back. When we stop trying to throw everything at someone else for them to handle, we actually unburden ourselves. When we can recognize the choices we already have to see a different perspective, choose another thought, accept that what is, is what is, we are better able to move forward. Where do you have a say? Where could you?
When we berate ourselves, overeat, escape, binge watch, use substances, people please, lack boundaries (and more), these are all ways we leave ourselves.
This is an invitation to encourage you to come back home and meet those scared parts of yourself that you don’t want to meet. The parts of you that you have denied for a long time. I believe that this is the foundation of our mental health, our relationship with ourselves first and foremost.
Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust, said “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”
When we can hold ourselves with compassion, the way we would our best friend or a small child, we meet ourselves in a way that allows us to be the way we are. We allow our experience to unfold, to be with, to stay. This is the ultimate act of bravery and of self love.
So as glamorous as it is, I dare you to allow yourself have your full experience. The highs, lows, and mediocre parts- its all a part of being human. You are absolutely allowed to have your struggles. Just as much as you are allowed to have your joys, your inherent beauty, the celebration of the unique being that is you.
This blog post and website is not a substitute for therapy or therapeutic intervention. Please seek a qualified Counsellor or mental health professional for personalized therapy.