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Embracing the Struggle in Life

And What I’ve Learned from the Pain


“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” 

― Steve Maraboli


For many of us, life is a struggle. Unless you are lucky, you will have periods in your life where things will not go your way, and it will be difficult to get through these periods. We all struggle but for some, that struggle is extremely hard to manage.

I’ve struggled a lot over the past couple of years. And when I look back now, I see I was stuck. I was stuck in a job I hated and in a life which made me miserable. When you are stuck, you aren’t moving. I couldn’t go back because I was already as far back as I could go. I was at the bottom. Both emotionally and mentally.

I struggled daily. With my thoughts, my mental health, myself.

Life sucked.

It sucked because I wasn’t going anywhere or moving towards anything. I stayed in this bubble of self-hatred, negativity, and self-doubt while the world around me continued to move. And I learned to remain comfortable in my misery because it was all I knew.

Life will suck for you sometimes too.

life struggle
Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

It’s kind of like some of my runs. Some runs just suck. 

I’m an avid runner. Sometimes I can run for hours and feel like I’m on top of the world. Other times, a 30-minute run feels like torture. And I had a recent short run where I struggled. It could be due to all kinds of factors. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep. Or it could be because of that glazed doughnut I ate which is something I rarely do before a run. It could be because my body needs to recover more.

But more than likely, it was because of the cold. I live in the desert and even though it doesn’t get frigid, my body is used to hot. I have yet to fully adapt to the colder temperatures, and I will struggle until I get used to it again.

A new season, a new struggle.

This is like life. Our life has different seasons and some of those seasons are better than others. Like the seasons change, so do our lives from time to time.

Like I have to adapt to the cold for my running, we all have to adapt to the changes we experience–to the struggles we go through.

And because I have yet to adapt to the cold, my recent runs have been a little slower than usual, and tomorrow’s run may be even slower.

But even when I struggle through those runs, I’m moving forward. Just because I may move a little slower doesn’t mean I’m not progressing. I will still accomplish my goal of finishing the run, albeit a little later than I intended. But I’m moving.

life struggle
Photo by Matt Le on Unsplash

Yet, what I’ve learned about struggling in life and in my runs is tomorrow is always another day for redemption. I can come back the next day and have a better run. I can have a better day. And I don’t have to let my previous struggles define who I am or where I’m going.

Moving forward means doing something every day to improve my life. Moving forward means even when I’m struggling, I don’t let those struggles stop me. I don’t let them keep me from writing or running. I don’t allow my struggles to keep me from having a positive attitude.

Let’s be honest, your life will involve difficulty. Some days will be better than others and there is really no way around it. There is pain in life.

However, I’ve learned to embrace the pain that comes along with struggling. Because that pain we are experiencing is a wake-up call. Pain can be good for us because it tells us something needs to change. It tells us something is wrong and we need to stop and evaluate where the pain is coming from. Then once we recognize it, we can fix it.

My struggles have made me better. That pain has taught me what is important in my life. It has taught me while life can be tough, it also gets better. We will always encounter problems but what we do to deal with those problems is what matters most.

Like my previous run doesn’t have to define my next one, you don’t have to let your previous struggles define your life.

So I will keep struggling forward instead of remaining stuck. I hope you join me.

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