The Struggle Is Real

If you've spent any amount of time on social media, you know that this phrase has a hashtag following bigger than the state of Texas. It's scrawled across coffee mugs and hoodies- most likely in some sort of hipster, sans-serif font that screams millenial. For anyone who's ever raised little people, hit the snooze button a few too many times in the morning, or walked out of Target with $80 more than you planned to spend, you know exactly what I'm referring to.

But there are those struggles that don't really make it onto our Instagram- the ones that we're not as apt to display or talk about (although maybe they show up in a blog at some point). Maybe you're wrestling with your identity, running circles on that relentless hamster-wheel of validation. Maybe the grief or anxiety is so overwhelming today you can barely put one foot in front of the other. It could be that you're speaking truth to power and you refuse to back down, or you're the one on the receiving end of some pearls of truth, and though it brings a certain level of freedom, right now it just hurts like hell. Or perhaps you're simply exhausting your creative energy to bring an idea to life and the fear of failure keeps you up at night questioning all of your motives or abilities.

We often talk about struggling like it's a bad thing, but it's inherent to the human condition. We show up to the gym because- on some level- we want the struggle as much as we want the results. We go to counseling, participate in radical acts of self care, push back against the status quo, take the road less travelled, begin that business venture, because it's what we're actually created to do. We want the blood, sweat, and tears (figuratively or literally) to mean something. Throwing in the towel is an option, sure. And hiding from the world might seem like a really good choice at the moment. But we grit our teeth and push through, or maybe we loosen our grip and relinquish control, because we know- even if subconsciously- that we have a choice in how things turn out. Leaning into the struggle and embracing the tension will always feel a little bit like death, on some level. But on this Good Friday, if you're like me and you woke up this morning feeling that dull ache of being human and vulnerable, and fighting with something bigger than yourself- remember that Sunday is coming.

The struggle is part of the story. Warrior on, friends.