Our story today continues where the previous one left off. If you haven’t read “88 Cents (Part 1)”, please stop, go back, and read.
So, back to Kristen’s sharing at the end of Part 1… “And I haven’t even gotten to the biggest point I wanted to make on what I’ve learned with all of this reflection….
“I think that the biggest thing I can honestly say that I Trust, is that the struggle is as important as the letting go. I Trust that everything will be okay, but not necessarily by letting go today. Sometimes things will only be okay if I fight first, and Surrender later.
Here’s what I mean:
I have never been a person who sits calmly and says, “Oh, it’ll be okay. Everything happens for a reason.” That may be true, and I guess I believe that statement, but I fight and struggle and try to exert control and swim upstream all the time. Sometimes for the right reasons (like when I knew my son needed testing and intervention for learning disabilities and help was slow in coming). And sometimes for the wrong reasons (like the way I beat myself up about not reaching some impossible standard I’ve set for myself in nearly every area of my life). Although I’d like to say I’ve gotten wiser and more centered, I make many of the same mistakes over and over again.
I have some friends and acquaintances who are positive, quiet, peaceful souls. They don’t even need to say a word. You can simply tell by looking at them that they have a stillness and innate happiness that most of us don’t. I have at times been jealous, and other times wondered what’s wrong with me that I can’t achieve that level of peace. I’ve checked into their religious/spiritual backgrounds and have found that they are from all kinds of different traditions. I’ve looked and looked for an answer and what I really feel to be True is this:
The struggle has something to teach, and for me, that struggle is the only way I will learn and get to the Truth. Sometimes it will take years, but eventually I will get to a place where I learn something important and it is only then that I can let go. Perhaps that is how I’m built, and God, who I feel as a loving presence, knows that the only way I will grow is through conflict, argument, and debate. Maybe He wishes I could learn in a less painful way, like so many of us wish for our own children, but He knows me, and He knows how to guide me to where I’m supposed to be.
I Trust that if I feel like I have to struggle right now, that it’s alright, and that eventually I’ll learn the lesson that is being taught. And maybe someday I’ll have learned all that I’m supposed to learn and I will be one of those happy, quiet, peaceful souls. But until then, if I live with openness and the desire to grow emotionally and spiritually, then I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing….and thank goodness I will stumble upon teachers along the way.
I consider you Leslie, one of those teachers and I thank you for giving me the chance to think and reflect and learn.
I hope that my musings are helpful to you; this sharing of my ‘two cents’ on Trust and Surrender was enormously helpful to me.”
Kristen’s sharing and musings were enormously helpful to me, too. And although Kristen and I are in the stage of forming a deeper connection/friendship, as I read her words on struggle, I get the sense that we are very much alike in that regard. I too feel that I grow through conflict, argument, and debate. A good argument and debate with another, done respectfully, shows me we care enough to address the important stuff. That we’re not being passive with one another, but rather, caring enough to be real with one another – – and through being real and sharing, we’re growing.
Similarly, I agree with Kristen: the struggle does have something to teach. But coupled with the struggle, I believe we must be aware enough to receive the teaching. It is through being open to receive that we are able to learn and grow. This isn’t to say that we’re open immediately either. But we get there. Once we’ve learned what we were meant to learn/experience, I believe our hearts crack open and we are then ready to receive. At least, that’s how it works for me now, which is much better than it worked for me 10 years ago. And in 10 more years? Who knows.
Kristen, from one humble teacher to another, I thank you. Thank you for being real. Thank you for sharing and potentially exposing some vulnerabilities. Thank you for teaching and helping each of us learn and grow through your words.
“I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.” ~Dudley Field Malone