During a recent conversation with a friend we both remarked we would not have ever thought that in our mid-seventies we would often struggle with life. That had not been our plan. We were commiserating that we thought we would have figured it all out by now. It dawned on me how often I imagined what my life would be like. I had it all mapped out in my mind and boy was I wrong most of the time.
Reflecting on my thoughts about struggle made me think of the struggle my parent coaching clients talk about. Every time I meet a client for the first time, talking about struggle is always part of my agenda. Below are some of my reflections about struggle.
- One of the first things I discuss with parents is the fact that they are not the only parents who are struggling, and you can visually see a sigh of relief on their faces. Too often we live in a place that is all about “looking good” on the outside and never acknowledge or dealing with the struggles that exist. Parents often think, “what am I doing wrong, since I’m the only one having issues with my child”. I reassure them that most parents struggle. I let them know how brave I think they are for acknowledging that they are struggling and are seeking assistance rather than maintaining the false facade that, “we are the perfect family with no struggles”.
- Without struggle there is no growth. Struggle is about reflection, introspection and recognition that nothing changes without struggle. I know no one who has accomplished personnel growth without struggle.
- Celebrate the struggle, appreciate the journey. This sounds like such a cliché but bottom line, it is the truth. In my mind, by the time I reached 77 I would be finished with struggle. What was I thinking? Life happens and when life happens if you are willing to live life fully, there will be struggle. Some of the struggle may be new because we experience struggle differently during our life span. Often, we continue to deal with an old struggle that we keep ignoring or only half way dealt with. I often think to myself,” another lesson, haven’t I had enough lessons. I don’t want another growth opportunity, thank you very much!” Because I choose to be mostly present in my life I will continue to struggle.
- On this 2nd day of February sometimes a motto of “I will show up in my life” is enough.
Bring on the struggle!!!