The country raves about the power of gratitude, gratitude meditations, the joy of gratitude and there's a latest trend, gratitude in the struggle. But why? Anyone would ask why do we have to be thankful for our pain. The struggle is real and at its realest point, it leaves us depleted, broken, weak and hardly with any energy to be grateful. In the spirit of November, lets look for some various answers.
1. Struggle helps us know ourselves better.
We know what we are made of when we have limited options, an increased sense of distress and obstacles. We get to know our capabilities, we realize more fully who we are and what we want from our lives. We become grateful for the strength we didn't know we had, our resilience and our ability to bounce back. Struggle helps us tap into power that we had in the reserve and we become proud of the folks we have become.
2. Struggle gives us a different perspective
When I was at weight watchers there was this quote that stuck with me. Obstacles are what you see when you lose sight of your goal. It stuck with me. It is a matter of reframing. Struggle can occur at times when we are fixed in our thinking, resisting change and fighting to survive. In those moments we have to challenge ourselves further by asking, Given the situation, how can I adapt? How does some of this serve me? My grams used to say, there is something good in each bad situation. We all have a hard time believing that but let's think. Is there any value in this. And if there is, well let's bless our struggle.
3. Struggle helps us become a different version of who we are.
We all see the rag to riches stories from celebrities, authors, YouTubers, professionals, etc. I was so broke. I was homeless. I slept in my car. It's almost as if the struggle validates the success.
We will become better versions of who we are, once we navigate through it, once we learn the lesson then we Upgrade. We surpass a level. The struggle creates the fuel and space we need to reach our fullest potential.
4. Struggle connects us to other people.
When we are down and out on our luck, we need others to empathize with our pain. Even if there aren't solutions. Going though this alone is isolating. We remember people and we find the courage to ask for help. We ask for prayers. We ask for positive vibes and energy. Dr. Gentry said something in a training that resonated with me. It is not about having a support system. It is about activating that support system.
Keeping things inside for only us to carry is isolating, its taxing, its system overload, its not good for automatic nervous system. Pain is universal and when someone else can recognize that in you or better yet says I've been there then that's a relief. If warranted we can ask, how did you et through it?
We need connection, no man is an island is not a cliché, its real. Struggle fosters connection and helps us find comfort in one another.
And although Frederick Douglass said the following referring to a movement, we can apply to our own personal growth.
"If there is no struggle there is no progress" Frederick Douglass
Let's be grateful for the struggle so that we can evolve, learn, reframe and help our spirit become stronger.