Why is Struggle Part of Life?
When we are raised that struggle is part of life, this way of life exists as our theme with a dose of fear. To be a good person, citizen, worker, partner, parent or child, we must not be bad. We must suppress, follow the norms, fight evil, win at all costs and comply with the rules.
For many of our elders right now, this is a very challenging time, as it is for young children. Being isolated is not healthy for anyone’s wellbeing. And the increasing separation and fear of the last few years has created physical, mental and intellectual conflicts for many across the globe.
Imagine this is our final chapter in life and we cannot be with our children or see anyone safely. But do we have to imagine? I met a friend yesterday who is a teacher. She shared the impact on her students’ isolation. And the way she shared, in what she didn’t say, I felt the toll it also took on her.
Part of the increased burnout so many are facing does not just stem from feeling isolated, overworked or our busyness, it is the lack of clarity and meaning. The deep questioning arising is an attempt to make sense of everything in a world that will never be the same.
Conflict as A Waste of Energy
For an increasing number of people, there is conflict taking place between how life’s supposed to be and the current reality of the world.
In a public talk in 1964 J. Krishnamurti observed that “Conflict of any kind—physically, psychologically, intellectually—is a waste of energy. Please, it is extraordinarily difficult to understand and to be free of this because most of us are brought up to struggle, to make effort.
The conflict between “I should” and “I should not,” “I must” and “I must not”: once having created this duality, conflict is inevitable.
So one has to understand the whole process of duality. Not that there isn’t man and woman, green and red, light and darkness, tall and short—all those are facts. But in the effort that goes into the division between fact and idea, there is the waste of energy.”
What if we are all leaders and creators; here to play with possibilities by doing our best without needing to struggle? What if we release ourselves and give ourselves permission to experiment?
To Struggle, or not to Struggle?
We now have an opportunity not to stay in the past but to grow from our experiences. We get to make different, healthy choices about our own wellbeing and community. Because we can move forward towards the unknown.
Once we no longer find a need to struggle, we take the energy that we wasted in conflicts and invest it in creating our meaning in our own way. Energy cannot go away or be destroyed, but it can be transformed when we look at a situation differently and learn to let go.
The key is to become aware of the source of everything, including our struggles and conflicts. Because we can choose to take a different path at our own pace. At the end of the day, everything is a choice that can be wasted or invested in what truly matters.
What have you been waiting to experience that you can experience right now without struggling? How are you investing your energy?
When we express ourselves honestly without blame, we let go of some of our inner struggle. Trust in yourself and find ways to enjoy the journey by seeing the opportunity in everything. What if there’s nothing to fix or fear?