Reframing Struggle

Right now, there are people working through their struggles the best they can. Valid struggles. Real life struggles. This requires courage, which is a character quality worthy of deep respect.  

Even better, right now, there are people who are dealing with their struggles with grace. Isn’t that something? I admire those who can struggle in a dignified way. That’s humanity at its finest.

Now, there may be some folks who are in denial of this, but struggle is inherent to the human condition. And even the most chacterologically evolved of us still feel the struggle. It’s true. All of us, to varying degrees, feel the struggle.

Therefore, it is irrational to believe that mental health is somehow synonymous with feeling “positive” emotion. At least not all the time. Our nature does not allow it, nor would we want it to if we really think about it. Eventually, you will struggle, which means it is okay and, quite frankly, healthy to feel the accompanying discomfort.

In simple terms, mental health is functioning well given the circumstances, and it actually has much less to do with feelings than what our intuitions may indicate. Not to say that feeling happy or joy or sadness or anger are irrelevant, just that they have more to do with the “circumstances” part of mental health than the “functioning well” part.

I believe human beings ultimately want fulfillment. However, stubborn facts exist, and one of them happens to be that most anything in life that is truly fulfilling involves some sort of struggle.

So, if you are struggling, maybe there is an opportunity for fulfillment within your circumstances. Do you have a challenge to work through? Do you have something you need to get done that you’re putting off? Is there an uncomfortable conversation that you really need to have? If so, good.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but I am saying it will be Good. Even if it doesn’t feel good and, yes, even if it doesn’t turn out perfect. You know the basic steps: get reasonably calm, think it through, then take action. Difficult? Sure. But with a little courage and curiosity, we can do difficult things.

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