Posted by: scintillatingspeck | November 24, 2013

Beyond struggle.

“We are far more than our struggles.
What do you see when you look beyond them?”

I posed the above question the other day, and seeing as it wasn’t intended rhetorically, and seeing as it’s a lot to ask of someone to reflect on it, I think it’s only fair that I respond myself.

What do I see when I look beyond my own struggles?  My first reaction is, whoa, can I do that?  Can I see past them?  They’re so big, and they love to hog all the attention.

I think I can discern some shapes and colors nonetheless.  I see myself.  I see someone who loves to laugh.  I see creativity flowing like a mountain stream, splashing on rocks and rolling under fallen trees.  I see energy, sustained by good food and enough sleep and loving attention.  I see love in motion, every mundane task elevated to a divine offering, every moment an opportunity for reflection, learning, joy.  I see someone with grace, and quite a lot of goofiness, and great gobs of goodwill and generosity.  I see a bestower of gifts, kisses, songs, healing, empathy, passionate love.

What keeps me from being that person?  Do I simply forget that she exists?  Am I so enthralled by the sight of my own pain that I can’t tear my eyes away?  Who encouraged me to see the sickness and suffering rather than the underlying strength and beauty?

I’m not saying all this to deny that struggle exists.  Ha, don’t I know it.  How much I have taken in.  No doubt you have as well, if you haven’t hardened your heart to the ubiquitous traumas in the world.  Who has gone untouched by struggle?  Nobody.  Do we need to confront the challenges that face us?  Of course.

If we over-identify with struggle, though, we risk distancing ourselves from the potent juice that can aid us in addressing it.  Without respite and invigoration from that flowing stream of strength, struggle winds around our ankles and lashes us, static and stuck, to the nearest rock, thirsting, fearful, gripping our learned helplessness in our hands like a length of barbed wire.

Struggle does not define us, nor weakness, nor failure.  I am not the sum total of my losses, my mistakes, my anguish.  Nor am I defined by the mistakes or failures of others.  None of us are.

I’ll be the golden eagle I dreamed I was long ago, keen eyes seeing unspeakable splendor, immersed in the glory.

 

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Responses

  1. le ultime due righe sono spendide! ho sempre pensato che tu fossi una stellina d’oro ma a ” golden eagle” e’ cosi’ forte , acuta e resistente proprio come te. G.

  2. […] her chains, with an eagle at her feet, pleases me, hearkens me back to a dream I had long ago that I was a golden eagle, soaring and free.  Liberty is strong, unashamed, rejecting Empire, rejecting the old expectations […]


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