"You cannot struggle your way to joy. Struggle and joy are not on the same channel. You joy your way to joy. You laugh your way to success. It is through your joy that good things come."
We love struggle. We really do. We rely on it so much that it's become a way of life for most of us. We use it to avoid following our dreams, to add drama to our lives, and to make ourselves feel important.
"It's in the struggle that we find our strength." "It won't be easy, but it will be worth it."
Quotes like this are everywhere, but my question is why do we glamourize the struggle (or the hustle, as it's now often called on social media)? We live in a culture that has a huge respect for success and for the struggle and effort that is "required" to get there, but what if we're just making life a whole lot more difficult than it needs to be?
There's something that feels so gratifying in saying "my life is crazy lately- I have so much on the go." Yes it feels a bit overwhelming, but beneath that, it feels fulfilling and important. I mean no one creates a name for themselves and does well without struggling and "scratching their way to the top." Right?
Actually, I believe that this is an outdated belief system, and you can either choose to stick with it and keep toiling away, or you can shift your perspective and replace struggling with allowing.
People are praised for doing it all, being selfless, and working round the clock. Why is this a good thing?? If that were truly the only way, then yes it would commendable, but what if it's just insanity masking itself as success?
Now, I get that people are busy, and many are far busier than me. I get that there is lots to be done and that we have high aspirations for ourselves, our communities, and our world.
What I don't get is why we're dead set on the idea that this needs to be a struggle.
I'm not saying it's only about visualization and good vibes. Action is necessary, and as Debbie Ford writes in The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, "Prayer without action is not prayer, it's dreaming." But what if that action can feel light, inspired, and natural? And what if the path to everything we want is actually joy, not struggle?
What if we stopped martyring ourselves and romanticizing struggle? I'm just suggesting that the next time you find yourself in the midst of struggle, stop and breathe for a moment and just ask "do I really need this struggle? What if I could experience this differently?" Then you carry on with whatever it was your doing, but you do so with a feeling of ease rather than overwhelm.
Life is not meant to be a struggle. Struggle is a human perspective, not a Universal reality. Challenging, maybe. Struggle, no. When you allow yourself to relax into your situation, whatever it may be, you'll discover a whole new way of experiencing your life.