THE STRENGTH TO FACE THE STRUGGLE
As individuals, we struggle to be seen, to be loved, to be heard, to be confident, to be truthful, to get what we want, to get others to do what we want. The list of things we struggle for, about and with seem almost endless. Many people wake up in the morning with struggle on their minds, live with it all day and go to bed with it at night.
Many of these struggles come to us from our own sense of inadequacy. Sometimes, though, they are planted by the world around us. We struggle with fears about the future because these fears have been planted in us by politicians. We struggle with imperfections in our bodies because the media tells us we don’t look, dress, or smell right. On a daily basis, we are pelted by hundreds of media messages, many of which create a sense of struggle in our minds.
Since struggle by its very definition is a challenge or problem that requires strenuous mental or physical effort to overcome, it is no wonder that people feel bogged down, unable to progress. When that happens it can lead to a struggle over self, in which one asks: Why am I unable to overcome all of the struggles in my life?
These struggles can then lead to exhaustion, self-image problems, depression, addictions, and so on. And eventually, the struggles become so bad you don’t discuss them. The struggle becomes internalized, hidden behind bad habits that protect it and keep it from being tampered with.
Of course, the source of our struggles needs to be tampered with. Without careful tampering, the struggle stays with us always.
THE PERSONAL PATH TO CHANGE
No matter what your struggle is about – fear, anger, death, need for status and money, constant desire for love and acceptance, the pain of addiction and shame – the path to personal change begins with conscious effort. Conscious effort goes beyond knowing the source of personal struggle and the knowledge of how to overcome it. Conscious effort is persistence, becoming your own guide, and effort to move in a forward motion.
HOW TO END THE STRUGGLE
Persistence and knowledge are not enough to power you up the path to change. Self-love is a necessary element because without it conscious effort is usually too difficult to achieve, and with it, life becomes much easier.
Self-love is about the courage to explore our flaws as honestly as we can and come away with a love of ourselves that allows us to continue to improve with confidence. We all struggle, but no matter what we struggle with, the struggle is first rooted in a lack of love for ourselves.
3 TOOLS TO DEVELOP SELF-LOVE
As a therapist, I have helped patients develop self-love by giving them five tools. Application of these tools lead to greater inner peace and a longer and happier life.
1 – Explore yourself
There are thoughts and feelings inside of us that we don’t feel comfortable examining, which is too bad since those are probably the thoughts and feelings that cause problems and are probably responsible for our lack of self-love. You need to shine that purifying light into those dark places because that’s the only way to get rid of the ghosts. It is through this self-observation that one is able to live free of the emotional obstacles that create self-loathing.
2 – Forgive
Self-exploration can easily result in a list of grievances about yourself and others. Often, a wall of denial rises around many who are confronted with their wrongdoings. Forgiveness of others removes an emotional weight from your back. Satisfaction from forgiving those who have done you wrong has to come from inside you.
3 – Accept yourself
To accept yourself means to accept your imperfections – faults and all – and to quit hanging on to feelings of unworthiness. It is not possible to build happiness with feelings of self-loathing. You have to look inside yourself, accept what you see, and forgive yourself. Change will come next and then healing.
Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives explore over 20 personal development books including Stop The Struggle, Bullying, Love/Divorce, Grief, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.
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