Personal Development and Spirituality Topics

with Karen Scheel

The Struggle Life

No matter how much we strive to keep things simple and go with the flow, the fact is, struggling is an inevitable part of life. It is also important for our personal development, and shows up to either remind us or teach us something about ourselves. What we learn from struggle seems to depend on our ability to discern how it works us so that we might acquire the skill to master it.

Our first course of action when faced with any dilemma usually involves thinking our way out. In certain situations, our mind can be a useful tool to work through the various struggles in life. However, there are times when no matter how hard we try to come up with a solution, the problem remains unresolved. From my perspective, struggle seems to do its best work with a couple of partners – resistance and frustration. Resistance motivates many of us to exert an excessive amount of mental energy to change an experience in the present that we do not like. Failing to change or eliminate what we do not like often leaves us with feelings of frustration. The paths of resistance and frustration seem to be a direct route to the struggle life.

I recently came up against a dilemma concerning the violation of some fundamental principles employed by a big business that has caused hardships for volumes of consumers. Instead of doing what most do, and walk away from this “Goliath,” I chose to take a stand, not only for me, but for all consumers. My mind was initially in alignment with my inner guidance (my soul purpose), and my persistence proved successful. The rock thrown at Goliath was a solid hit, and I won a court judgment, which should have been the end of the story. However, unlike the actual David and Goliath story, this Goliath did not fall down dead, and continued their fraud via appealing the judgment. This appeal created just enough conflict to get my warrior spirit all fired up for the warpath. Rather than go within to check my inner promptings for the second round, I assumed the initial game plan was unchanged and was off to battle this perceived adversary. I expended much time and mental energy researching the law, writing and then rewriting legal briefs to defeat this giant once and for all.

In the interim, what my warrior spirit had failed to recognize was that relying exclusively on her thoughts without checking in first was like buying a ticket to take a merry-go-round ride in the dark. I had exhausted myself going around in circles before the lights finally came on. What I realized was my resistance to surrender, and accept the possibility that Goliath might win the second round had me in there deep – right up against struggle. I had lost sight of my soul’s purpose and had gotten myself caught up in that winner-loser trap. I was working on creating and feeding struggle rather than accept what I did not like in the present moment.

After this dawning of awareness, a struggle against struggle took place before resistance released its grip, and faded with struggle back into the shadow aspects of my being to wait until another reminder might be needed — as we always have a choice between struggle and peace.

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  1. Great article Karen and loved the analogies–thanks for sharing!

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