The end of struggle

There is a nagging feeling alive in me and I don’t really know where it comes from. It could be a couple of things, I guess. I have two mindfulness courses coming up in February and I need to find participants. I’m always afraid nobody wants to take my course anymore, even though the first three have been very  succesful. My girlfriend and I decided to break up and give each other some space by not contacting each other anymore. Now I’m thinking of her all the time and I feel a hole in my heart. I’m frustrated because I can’t surf, it’s hard to learn and the conditions are quite advanced. I’m staying in a luxurious resort which makes me feel passive, lazy and a bit uncomfortable.

When I look at what I just summed up to underlying themes are control and fear of failure. I’m resisting the confrontation with a version of myself I don’t like. I don’t like to be struggling to make ends meet, to make a relationship work, to be allowed to ride a wave. Actually, I would like to skip those stages and move directly to the glamour and the glitter. Deep down I believe I deserve that, I feel that God should look down, recognize me and say “that guy has struggled enough for this lifetime, from now on: let there be glitter and glamour for him.” And then there was glitter and glamour. Wouldn’t that be nice.

I guess God feels I haven’t struggled enough so I should struggle some more. A good time to ask myself what the upsides of strugling are. It builds lots of compassion for other strugglers and I even can feel compassion for myself. Strange how saying that or experiencing that feels quite outrageous. But isn’t the opposite even more outrageous, that we dislike ourselves when we are not living up to our impossible self imposed standards, when we jeopardize our self images?  As if  a dog would hate himself if he couldn’t ride a bike.

I am walking around on this tropical island feeling unsatisfied and unhappy because I am struggling with myself. It’s all me. Nobody told me to do that and nobody benefits from it. The only thing I can do is acknowledge the struggler in me. And when I’m honest I even like struggling, I’m attached to struggling. It makes me feel heroic. I like to be a hero, I even like to be a martyr. As long as my ego needs me to struggle, I should not complain. When I’m ready I can let go of the images of myself that I cling to. And I think it just happened.

What is demonstrated so nicely here is what happens when we do not want to own the truth. The fact is that I have never surfed before, I have to work hard to find participants in a competative market and the relationship I had wasn’t working. I have to really own that truth. When we own our truth new possibilities arise. The truth sets us free. How about the liberating feeling that it’s ok to try and ok to fail? It is not the end of the world.

Wow.. that’s a relief.


  1. says

    Wealth doesn’t make a man happy, that’s what it has in common with poverty (S. Carmiggelt)
    I guess for absolute success vs. failure we can say the same.
    Let’s struggle to get a bit of both

  2. Justyna says

    Wow, how truly liberating! I wrote it in the email: it takes a lot of courage to let go, feel vulnerable and fail. Very beautiful and true. 🙂

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