The American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote in a letter to his daughter, Scottie, in 1940 stating, “ Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle .”
Every struggle, both physical and emotional, is tied closely to the human condition. A simmering battle of opposing forces. It lurks amidst the anguish of opportunity and seizes upon us in moments of weakness. The struggle of fear and courage, anxiety and calm, love and prejudice, doubt and belief, it goes on and on in its endlessness. The struggle is obvious, whether you’re engaged in chasing your dreams or caught up in the grind of everyday living.
Embedded in each person’s struggle is a purpose waiting to unfold. Yet, many people never make it to the purpose because the struggle intensifies their pain, and they quit even while they are ahead.
“ Everything in your life — especially your challenges — is tailor-made to help you see your stories of struggle. Whatever is in the way is the way!” avows author Mary O’Malley in her book, “What’s in the way is the way.”
In fact, the biggest impediments faced during times of struggle are the thoughts that get in the way. Just think of the last time you were enraged and considered writing an abrasive email, yet came back to it the following day. I’m sure your emotional intensity waned, and you no longer felt the same.
Also, recall the several opportunities you could have ventured but rescinded because you thought you weren’t good enough, only to regret later. Why is that? Perspective takes clearer shape when the rain of emotions and self-inflicted obstacles are gone.
The point I wish to drive home is that, your thoughts and their corresponding emotions are real. You experience their intensity and feel compelled to act on them. Feel the emotions, but avoid being trapped by their impulsiveness. Counter the obstacles and reign over them. Running away from pain only intensifies it. Explore the emotions and failures by all means but don’t stuff them down.
The issue is that you are trapped in your thoughts and are overstating what is taking place. What transpires is more inexplicable than can be imagined. You assign a storyline not reflecting reality. The reality is, there’s a way out.
“Struggles only persist when we search outside for causes and cures,” asserts sports psychologist Garret Kramer in The path of no resistance: why overcoming is simpler than you think.
Growth simply starts within. And inner growth does not occur without resistance and struggle. Those with financial riches are not immune to life’s challenges. Don’t run away from the struggle as it will linger longer than you want it to.
Looking back on history, the greatest stories arise from pain and struggle.
Joseph Campbell’s mythological narrative of the Hero’s Journey draws on twelve distinct themes, the two main encounters being: Crossing the threshold and the ordeal.
This same narrative is the basis of every successful Hollywood film. The main character experiences an obstacle in the beginning, only to overcome it in the end.
We identify with this narrative because it is the human story we know all too well. These forces are sewn into the fabric of life, designed to help you discover your greatness if you dare.
Bid farewell to the ‘give-up’ feeling and be ready to welcome the next episode; reward. When she sweeps in, it will be as though the struggle was a moment frozen in time. Therein lies the clarity of the purpose.
Written by : Quarshie Jonathan Perez