Beauty and Power in the StruggleBy
In growing past striving and pursuing a life of thriving (flying), struggle takes on a whole new meaning. Laboring under what is not true, trying to be perfect, acting only to please other people- these are tiresome and fruitless struggles. But the struggle to grow, to change and embrace what is true, this kind of struggle is what helps me move forward. Even though some days I just want to be “done”, (finished!), no living thing on earth ever is… And my soul’s true DNA is not interested in being a plastic houseplant.
Struggle is painful. Sounds like “tug” to me… There’s a feeling of being pulled in two directions, one back towards the old way and one forward into the new way. I am stretched for this moment of time, during which some life-force, life-changing things happen. I have this vision in mind and I face myself towards it. I am, at the same time, encountering my fears and also gathering up what I need to get to my vision. The fear lives to protect the old way: “You won’t be safe in the unknown. You might fail. Maybe this isn’t really ‘you’ anyways.” The gathering up of what I need is the truth (always present): “This and this and this is what is really true, Carla. This is what you really want. This is who you really are. This is what is ultimately best for you.”
For a time I am held in this uncertainty, confusion and clarity all at once. Sometimes the old way still wins… (but there’s always second chances, glorious second chances!) The farther I come along my path, the more opportunities I take to grasp on to the truth, the forward pulling rope. I move a bit further ahead. Guaranteed, as long as my beating heart is on this earth with a desire to thrive, I will engage in struggles to greater and lesser degrees along the way. Accepting this is so freeing for me. To struggle does not mean I am not whole. Interacting with my struggles means I am growing in wholeness.
When it comes to struggling in the process of fulfilling a vision, my Mom is an inspiration to me. She has been learning how to make pottery over the past few months, a dream she has had for long time. I never knew how much work pottery was until now. She has spent hours in learning the art of making a bowl. Before she could make big bowls, she had to master making small ones. Now she can make all kinds of amazing things. But the process and the struggle to make her vision reality never ends. She attempts her visions again and again. Sometimes the clay gets thrown away. Sometimes the glazing comes out unexpectedly. Sometimes something she thought would be a flop turns out to be her favorite piece… Sometimes a bowl turns into a plate or a mug instead. But for the love of what she’s doing and the joy she finds in her creations, she continues to engage in the process and the struggle.
There is a beauty and power in the struggle. Engaging in it when I need to is my opportunity to grow. Deciding to grasp on to the truth rope gets easier the next time, and the next. This struggle thing is really the magic happening deep down in my soil, that buzz that sparks new things to grow and flourish, the life force that can take what has died and make it into something new.