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To Be: On Struggle and Finding Balance

Audio Version (music by Sergii Pavkin)

There are times when things inside us become so tense that the blinders come up, the heart locks down, the stomach churns and ties into knots, and the brain and body simply hurt. It is a self-inflicted paralytic that signifies upheaval (or energetic and spiritual expansion), an opportunity for self-reflection, and something lingering within us in the form of intense resistance.

We can choose to be angry at the world, the universe, or ourselves, saying things like “fuck the world, fuck me, fuck my life,” or we can transmute that same energy into something magnetic and productive: a chance encounter with a stranger that sparks a timely conversation, a blog post that’s remarkably poignant, a friend’s fortuitously shared insight, a headline or email subject, a colorful poster, something “randomly” overheard, whatever it is… Anything, really, that appears to be external can and will set off a chain reaction of innerstanding or a shift in viewpoint.

It is when we are most vulnerable that we usually let go of our transparent filters and discover renewed honesty, acceptance, and surrender within ourselves. During these times, the weight demands to be shifted up and away because our inner compass — our heart and spirit — will no longer allow us to persist in our current state. There is no point, and it is time to let go and move on.

We put pressure on ourselves from the countless adopted ideas, influences, shoulds, wishes, and conditions preached, accepted, promoted, advertised, taught, and touted throughout our society. We add to the existing pressures of our own lifelong ambitions, fantasies, dreams, and desires. Maybe the thing we don’t do enough of is take the time to sit down and sort through the clutter in order to find the real us.

Ultimately, we tend to struggle for no good reason. We must periodically redefine our parameters and focus our efforts on what we value most. We must choose the struggles that are more aligned with our true desires. There are so many things we may have spent our entire lives convincing ourselves that we wanted, when in reality, we don’t, and never did. What is your why?

“At the core of all human behavior, our needs are more or less similar. Positive experience is easy to handle. It’s negative experience that we all, by definition, struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire, but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.”

— Mark Manson

This quote is from a piece that Mark wrote called “The Most Important Question of Your Life,” which you may find helpful. It inspired revelations for me, which unlocked and released ages-old weight on my mind, shoulders, and heart.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to succeed, achieve goals, and so on. But, how many of these ideas are truly our own? How many have we been dragging along for a long time that we don’t actually want to struggle with? If a prevailing wind is constantly pushing you back and forth, examine your values and beliefs and connect with the part of yourself that is suppressed and weighed down by these stagnant energies. Simplify by releasing attachments to what is irrelevant.

It’s a balancing act, but not on a tightrope 3,000 feet above the ground. It’s just the next small step in your journey toward self-awareness and authenticity.

Solvitur ambulando

. . .

self” from Fleshwound