With a few exceptions, nobody has it easy.
Despite outward appearances, just about everyone struggles in one way or another to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ in their life.
These struggles take many different forms. Mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Some of these get combined — but they can be challenging no matter what you are working to do.
How you react to your struggles is on you. There is a choice to be made as to whether you will work on overcoming an obstacle, succumbing to it, or seeking another option. But you have the power to make the choice and the decision as to what that will look like.
You can’t do jack shit about outside influences. Good or bad, you have no control over anyone or anything outside of yourself. Their influence on you, however, is yours to choose.
For example — politics. You can attend protests, support the side you are for, and VOTE — and that’s about it, currently. Ingesting the bitter pills about all the problems with politics will only upset you — but change nothing. That upset interferes with your empowerment.
It’s important to recognize the line between knowing what’s going on and too much information. It’s all well and good to see every single horrible offense that happens. But given your limited ability to do anything about that, all it will do is get in the way of you living your life.
This is just one example of where it’s easy to lose yourself.
Let’s take a closer look at the various struggles you might face along the way.
Struggling with mental issues
There are always ideas to chew on. Some are good, some are neutral, while others are bad. But one important issue with this is recognizing what you can and can’t control.
You are responsible for your perspective. How you see life, the Universe, and everything is up to you. When you are mindful you are aware of your conscious thoughts. That is your mental state.
You may encounter a mental puzzle of some sort or other that confuses you. Or perhaps you have an idea but no clue how to implement it. Perhaps, like me, you have a head for words but not for numbers.
Mental struggles can be infuriating. Especially when you are working on changing something and you can’t think your way through it.
But this can also be an opportunity. Mental struggles can be a chance to learn something new. Maybe you will gain knowledge you lacked before. Or perhaps you will acquire a new skill.
When you are struggling mentally, you will have the choice. Overcome it, avoid it, work with it, or let it overcome you.
How does that work? Through mindfulness. A great many mental struggles are created by subconscious beliefs and ideas about how a thing works. Once you move this from the subconscious to the conscious, however, you gain a new perspective. The clarity of being in the now and aware of what your thoughts and beliefs are makes them changeable. That presents an opportunity for change.
Most mental struggles are an inside job. While you can use outside resources and influences to help you change — it still must come from within.
Struggling with physical issues
Physical obstacles can be the most difficult to overcome. That’s because they require more than mental work — and involve more that is outside of your control.
I am overweight. That’s put a strain on some of my joints, as well as impacted what I can wear and other matters. It also poses a couple of threats to my future health, since excess weight can do more damage to those joints, as well as multiple internal organs.
I’m not inactive. I walk every day, and before the pandemic attended fencing practice a minimum of once a week. Overall, I tend to prefer stairs to elevators for anything less than 4 stories. Also, I follow the notices on my Fitbit to walk at least 250 steps hourly most of the day.
Meditation also helps me slow my heart and maintain control over stress to prevent it from having a physical impact.
But I can do more. I’m working on being in better control of what, when, and how much I eat.
But some matters have been difficult to overcome. After getting hit by a car crossing the street almost 21 years ago, I have 3 titanium plates holding my right clavicle together. Additionally, the bone graft to repair my shattered tibia fused the tibia and fibula in my right leg.
Yet I managed to learn to walk without the expected limp. Though not fast, and not for long, I CAN run.
That’s me. I pushed hard to overcome physical struggles. I could have given in and not pushed to recover as quickly nor fully as I did. Now, I could give up and not push for improvement. But I choose to work on this.
You can choose for yourself, too.
Struggles with emotional issues
Emotions are complicated. That’s why they are comprised of both a how and a what.
What are emotions? They are your feelings. We have many names for emotions, both good and bad. Love, hate, rage, joy, happy, sad, exciting, frustrating, and on and on.
But those are just the names. How you feel your emotions is entirely on you.
How I feel rage is not necessarily the same as how you feel rage. Also, there are different sensations of feeling rage based on the why. It could be a slow, simmering burn — or a fireball blazing through — or colder and icier than Antarctica.
Then, just to add that much more complexity — emotions are utterly illogical. Seeking reason in emotion is like finding a needle in a haystack — a haystack the size of Asia.
Some struggles with emotions take the forms of anxiety and depression. Both of these can overwhelm and make you utterly lose yourself.
Depression in its many forms, in my experience, tends to be a sense of insufficiency. Past mistakes haunt present and future actions. Depression can drive you into yourself and cause you to withdraw from it all.
Anxiety, unlike depression, tends to lean to the present and future. What if doing ‘X’ now ruins ‘Y’ tomorrow? Like depression, anxiety can make you utterly lose yourself to your fears.
Emotional struggles, from the outside, can look ludicrous. Nobody can see inside your head — so while you appear perfectly fine on the outside, you may be cowering in terror inside.
Once again — mindfulness makes you conscious of what your emotions are. That opens you to taking control and changing how you are feeling.
I will get into this further up ahead.
Struggles with spiritual issues
This tends to be controversial. That’s because spirituality has gotten tied to religion and morality — when in truth it’s a wholly separate tenet.
Simply put, spirituality is what you believe about life. It’s not just the idea of a god, gods, goddesses, or none at all — it’s mostly belief in yourself.
Spirituality is your faith. It’s your underlying notion of what are you are doing in this life. And because that’s an extremely complicated notion — it tends to be easy to lose yourself in it.
When you lose faith in a person, place, or thing, it can be devastating. It doesn’t matter if this is material or immaterial — it can hurt a lot. Since spirituality tends to be your underlying beliefs — often unspoken — of life, the Universe, and everything — struggling with it can and will impact you. That impact can reach the mental, physical, and emotional.
Outside influences use spirituality as a matter of control. This is where Christian morality gets insinuated into government, Islamic law permeates social law, and communism just denies the spiritual to govern. Further, outside influences will use fear to get you inline with threats of terrible things to keep you in their control.
Spirituality, ultimately, is personal. You, and only you, have control over your faith — whatsoever it may be in. Faith and belief can change — and likely will.
Yet it’s all too easy to lose yourself in a spiritual struggle.
Consciousness creates reality
This is why practicing mindfulness is so empowering. Because when you are mindful, you are conscious. That means that you are aware of the here-and-now.
What this comes down to is being in your conscious mind — rather than your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious takes in everything it encounters. All the media you consume, people you talk to, books you read, the advertisements you see, weather you endure, and on and on. ALL of it — with NO filters.
That lack of filters is a huge problem. Taking all that in, some of it will bounce harmlessly off your existing subconscious beliefs. However, some of it will justify or further emphasize your beliefs.
When these are beliefs that no longer serve you — that can cause a conflict in which you may lose yourself.
Working with your conscious mind activates filters. But more than that, it opens you to actively create change. If there are old, subconscious beliefs that don’t serve you — and cause struggles mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually — you can actively change them via mindfulness.
That is how consciousness creates reality. By overriding the unfiltered, subconscious beliefs you have built over your lifetime. Consciousness puts you in the driver’s seat.
It’s easy to get lost in your struggles — but relatively easy to find yourself and consciously choose how to work with them. Whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual — you can choose what to do. You have the power to decide what form any struggles may take.
You are infinitely powerful. Mindfulness can help you recognize and work with this. Being aware of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions is the first step to take control of that which is yours.
How do you work to not lose yourself?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
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