Wrestle With This: Life is Hard

Life is about maturity, growing in wisdom.

You’ve grown OLDER, but are you growing into being an ELDER?

You know first hand that it’s easy to be OLD without being an ELDER.

In fact, each of these concepts has little to do with a number: you can be “old”—rigid, bitter, and frustrated—regardless of the first digit in your biological age.

Similarly, you don’t have to wait until your 40s (or 30s, or 50s, or 70s) to begin the search for wisdom.

You probably waited longer than you wished, but at last you started the journey.

The search for wisdom means wrestling with the BIG questions and issues and concepts of life.

The ones that can both form solid foundations, or shake the foundations you’ve built for your false self.

One of these essential thoughts is “You Are Going to Die”. Another one is, “Life is Hard.”

YOu’ll have a tendency to laugh this off: it’s too simplistic, too obvious.

“Everyone knows that life is difficult.”

But then stop and think…

Think about how often you are shocked and frustrated that a project is hard, or that people don’t respond the way you’d like, or that you don’t get the promotion you really wanted.

And you react in anger, or resentment, or with some other defense mechanism (codependency, anyone?).

But internalizing the reality that LIFE IS HARD means leaving behind the surprise when things go south.

(Ironically, adopting this perspective can deeply help your practice of gratitude, since you have the opportunity to develop the idea of being surprised WHEN THINGS GO EVEN MARGINALLY WELL, which can help you say, “Thank you.”)

So consider how you approach your day: Are you expecting clear sailing, or some kind of cloudless day where all the traffic lights are green for you, and there is no inter-personal conflict, and you simply move along your path in a frictionless bliss?

Or are you prepared for the struggle?

(PS: a profound gift of life is the opportunity to struggle through it, to learn and to grow.)