Honor The Struggle: It's There For You

I’ve heard (from numerous “gurus” and philosophers) that there are two ways to achieve “enlightenment” or even get close:

  1. You experience such intense suffering (think: Viktor Frankl) that you realize you can’t survive without changing up your worldview, and your understanding of what life really means.

  2. You experience such massive success (think: Michael Phelps) and realize that it isn’t everything you thought it would be. It solves absolutely nothing and you are still just as unfulfilled as you were before.

In either case, it’s clear that it’s not the situation that will save you. Suffering doesn’t just spontaneously create enlightenment or a sense of contentment, and neither does disappointment.

Suffering and disappointment are windows of opportunity in which you get to decide—

To continue on or give up?

To rebuild or retreat?

To change or stay the same?

I believe that life hands us precisely what we need when we need it. Our job is not to resist what is, it’s to adjust our frequency to receive what’s really going on. This isn’t so much a spiritual belief as it is a survival belief. I find it a heck of a lot more interesting to look at life this way. The alternative belief, that life is just a roll of unfortunate dice, is depressing to me.

And so, when I have the courage, I seek answers about what’s happening outside me.

I have no experience with success, so I can’t really speak to the second case, but I have a lot of experience with suffering—much of which I have created for myself.

And the truth of it is, I’m not enlightened. I’m so far off from enlightenment I can’t even tell you. [You can ask the people that spend a lot of time with me. I’m just as human as ever—mostly wrapped up in my worldly ambitions and desires.]

But what suffering has done for me is ignite a flame.

And I think that’s the point.

Our struggles (in success or suffering) are not meant to blatantly teach us how to live well, how to let go, or what to prioritize. There is no such thing as spontaneous enlightenment; it’s a lifelong process of breaking down and rebuilding.

Struggle in any form is here to ignite a flame if you’ll have the courage to let it.

It’s meant to help you start seeing the deeper reality that’s all around you. It’s a catalyst for experiencing the intense, sad, crazy beauty of being human; it’s a window into understanding this experience for what it is.

Let it light your life ablaze.

Let yourself feel what’s under the surface.

Kate Ward