Learning to love life’s Struggles

In old Yorkshire dialect, this is a ‘struggle’

Do you understand what I mean when I say to struggle ? I do, it’s a personal experience but let’s start with a dictionary definition 

 Struggle – ‘make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction’

 For some every day is a struggle, to get out of bed, to attempt to manage the day’s responsibilities, every person has a different strategy to get through, just one day at a time. For me, the struggle was to actually start the day but I did have a strategy, self talk, namely to tell myself  ‘just get on with it’ and this marked the beginning of each day. Things have moved on I am please to say and I find myself in a more reflective period.

I have opened my life to embrace mountains, countryside, nature and weather. I use my love of social history and architecture, as a window into another world and also into the mind. 

 It is whilst walking in the Dales that I discovered real life ‘struggles’ for me these are physical representations of the ‘other’, what is or what might be – the choices we make in our lives. Ok, anyone who knows me would say I have a tendency to be a little obscure, so let me try to explain.

A gap in a stone wall for humans to pass through in a place that did not warrant a gate or style. A little snug, a tight squeeze for 21st century adults I admit, not possible for every person to pass this way. But an amazing feeling of moving across a threshold for those who take up the challenge. Have you ever seen one ? 

They have become a bit of an obsession for me. It’s not just the history but their relevance on another level. Why call them ‘struggles’? Well on approaching one a person has to make decisions, can I get through head on, do I need to move sideways, how can I get what I am carrying through. Can I even get through? Am I going to try? What if I cannot pass or get stuck – I will look such a fool. They create a pause both physical and  mental before crossing a boundary. 

How do you think you would react? There are those who just say no, no way,I cannot get through, where is the nearest gate? Others who tentatively advance feeling their way with maybe a quick change of body alignment at the last minute. And of course breathing in, does it really make any difference ? To me it certainly feels like it does. The act of holding my breath takes away any doubt, I float through. My favourite companions attack them  gung- ho, without a hint of self consciousness or fear, sometimes getting stuck but it never matters, a time to laugh, I love these moments as they create memories. For me it shows a great mental attitude, a just do it moment but in a wonderfully free way. 

It makes me think, are these not just approaches to the struggles of life ? 

Life brings options and demands decisions, do I attempt it, maybe I accept defeat or take the easier option. A nearby gate may seem the obvious way ahead but sometimes the easier option is not always the best way to progress.

What can we take from these ancient stone ‘struggles’ to benefit our lives. Well maybe a positive can do attitude, lose the fear, certainly lose the embarrassment and if you get stuck, don’t worry, you will work out a way through.

When you cross the boundary set by the ‘struggle’ you enter into a new view, like a new, clean page in life. Food for thought I hope. What can you take away from this, well life will always bring with it challenges and struggles however you can make the  decision to lose the fear, take risks, live every day and don’t forget to smile 😊 

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