Struggle

To struggle is part of the human condition.    Struggle is defined as, “making a strenuous effort against opposition; to proceed with difficulty or great effort.”  Struggle is an inherent part of daily living;  struggles can be little or large; prolonged or short; necessary or not necessary.

From Zen comes the admonition to not push the river.  There are circumstances wherein the more we struggle the less we succeed.  When no matter that putting forth our  best and most diligent effort, we are not moving forward, or what little forward movement there may be is simply not worth all the effort and energy we are expending.  When you feel that you are pushing the river, stand back for a moment and assess the circumstances.  Consult your ‘objective self’, examine your motivation.  It can also be of great value to ask an expert or a trusted friend for advice. 

There are struggles that require every ounce of perseverance, strength and effort that we can muster to get us to the other side.  In these situations there is generally no way around or over, there is only through.  Inviting wisdom and faith to be our comrades in arms is a good strategy.  Acceptance also has its role in struggle.  Accepting  things we cannot change is an very important factor in overcoming our struggles.

Fortitude, strength of character, perserverance, a grateful attitude, a sense of pride and accomplishment are all fruits of struggle.  As you move through the the struggles of living, big and small, allow yourself to go with the flow of the river, and savor the fruits of success.

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