The struggle is not really the "struggle"!
Updated: Dec 17, 2021
What if the problem you're facing isn’t really the struggle?
The real struggle of the problem is actually the resistance to the struggle…
A long line in and of itself is truly not the problem. It’s a line of people waiting to get to the check-out line. It’s just part of the process. You get your groceries or things, then you got to pay, and then you leave the store.
Traffic in and of itself isn’t the problem. You get in the car and drive to where you want to go—just like everyone else.
The problem in both of these instances, is that for both traffic and a long-line, is actually I believe the waiting: the resistance to the inaction, the non-movement. People don’t like waiting—it forces us to just be, to just sit, to just stand. The waiting feels uncomfortable. The waiting forces us to have time to just think and feel. And we.do.not.like.that.
So we resist the “problem” of traffic; we resist the “problem” of waiting in line. And in that resistance—we get angry, we get impatient, we get upset-and then we have struggle. And then we are struggling in that line of people, we are struggling in the traffic.
Dealing with a moody teenager or a child throwing a temper tantrum in and of itself isn’t the real struggle. The problem comes when we have an internal reaction to our child's behavior and want to stop it. And again we get angry and frustrated. And then it’s the internal reactions and difficult emotions that we are having that then becomes the struggle.
So we start to fight what’s going on internally- while also trying to address the difficult emotions of dealing with the original “problem” in the first place! And truly it IS a lot!
What if we just recognize that it’s OKAY to just feel that first feeling?? What if we just recognize that we feel frustrated or upset.
And if that feeling doesn’t feel “okay”, then what if we did the next best thing? What if that next best thing, isn't yelling at the car in front of you, the slow cashier, or the unruly child? What if the next best thing is truly to just take two big breaths—in and out, in and out…? Doesn't that sound SO much easier than trying to solve the problem of making people move faster or trying to change your child's behavior??
And then what if after taking those nice two big breaths, you thought about the next best thing? And what if the next best thing, is simply to try and name the feeling you are having? The great thing about transitioning from just focusing on the emotion of what you are going through, to trying to think about and name the feeling, is that the rational part of your brain comes into action and you can then focus on addressing what’s really going on--which is your resistance to the discomfort of the problem.
So next time you feel or sense a struggle—traffic, kids fussing, running late, and you start to blame that “problem” for your woes-- pause to recognize that it isn’t the “problem” in front of you that is the struggle—it is the reaction or the resistance to that “problem” that you are really struggling with.
And then guess what? When you realize that the “problem” isn’t really the struggle—then your circle of control gets waaaaay more realistic AND suddenly ALL you have to do is BREATH!
If you want your struggles to become easier, shoot me an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org