This is A Question We ALL Ask Ourselves…
You aren’t the only one who feels this way. I imagine it feels sometimes like you are the only one struggling with whatever you are struggling with. Specifically, your struggle IS unique to you, but all around you, everyone IS struggling with something.
Of course, today’s COVID situation, environmental disasters, mud-slinging political quagmire, economic turmoil, and social upheaval aren’t making it any easier. These are broader reaching things that you don’t have much control over, but add to the general difficulty you may be enduring, and may be a major contributor to the degree of your personal challenge right now.
Those who are striving to achieve struggle. Those who are sitting still struggle. Those who’s life looks perfect struggle. The rich, poor, healthy, sick, evolved, simple, knowledgeable, naïve, it doesn’t really matter. Everyone struggles, and more often than anyone else tends to think.
It’s part of the complexity of the human condition in my experience.
Why Does Something as Sweet Smelling and Beautiful as a Rose Have Thorns?
This is not a random topic shift. Roses are one of those God using nature things to simplify life for us. IF we will pay attention of course. There is nothing in life that only has 100% good all the time.
The greater the desire of our heart, the greater the difficulty. And that is the focus of this piece.
There simply is no gain of substance without some type of pain associated with the effort. (Yup, no pain no gain). This is the price, the sacrifice. I have learned in life to weigh the difference between NOT going through the pain and that outcome with the experience of moving through the hard parts and THAT outcome.
An example, is an exercise routine. I decided many years ago that I would maintain a certain level of fitness. I knew there would be a cost to this in time, effort, and money. Every day I get out of bed and I exercise. Many days I don’t feel like it. But I do it anyway. Many days it is harder than usual and I want to stop, but I don’t. I purposefully discipline myself in many ways related to staying somewhat fit. It would feel easier much of the time to not do the work…but the cost of NOT doing it is much greater than the cost of doing it.
Work is another example. My work is incredibly rewarding. Through the avenues I’ve chosen, my overarching goal is to help people (be healthier, improve their skills, have better relationships, create a better lifestyle, grow personally, etc.) as a means to help myself and my family, and is the ultimate way to work for me.
The blessings this has brought back to my family have been many, both tangibly and intangibly. Yet, the journey has been often more painful than pleasurable.
The Rose of Your Pursuit Will Always be Dressed in the Thorns of Your Mind…
And THIS…is why it has to be so hard.
On a consistent basis I deal with self-doubt, the frustration of people who aren’t willing to help themselves, or who are too stuck to see that they can. I deal with the disappointment of my own expectations of others. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to help the other person even though they are willing. Some days, I don’t feel like talking to other people, or I don’t feel creative, or I just plain feel down (more often than not). Sometimes, it feels like I am trying to climb a muddy hill and each step I take I slip back just as far. Sometimes I’m just not good enough, smart enough, fast enough, strong enough…
These are only a few of what I struggle with consistently. It’s never easy. And because it’s never easy. Because there are always thorns. Because there’s always difficulty, whether in my mind or in reality, and because I accept (grudgingly) that things are just going to be hard…
It makes it easier.
This is the crux of the message. It has to be hard so that things get easier. The more you are willing to push through the struggle, over time, the less things will feel like a struggle. This allows you to more easily adapt to challenges, and in time, many things that used to be a challenge, just aren’t anymore.
You get to a place where you understand that this is the fabric of life. This is what grows your character. This is what enables you to serve the people you care about at an even higher, and deeper level, when they allow you to.
This is what builds you into the person who is able to make the contribution you are designed to make. It’s what enables you to really appreciate when things are not so hard.
It allows you the space in your being to actually stop. Admire the rose. Breath in the aroma. Appreciate its beauty.
Your life is like the rose. Every facet. Try not to lament the thorns as much as possible, and focus on the beauty while you press on. If this resonated with you at all, please share with others.
Here is a video I did not long ago that might be helpful for you.
If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.
Many Blessings, Todd
P.S. Getting the right nutrients for your body to function at it’s best is vital to a good life. In this video, I share insight into many of the challenges that are causing people to struggle with their health and energy, and then I share one of my secret weapons that I have used for 21 years. If you’d like to know more, shoot me a message. How to Manage Your Health Risk