Lead with the positive. The struggle doesn’t make you worthy.
Struggle doesn’t make you worthy.
Before you jump on me, no, I’m not saying that if you are going through a tough time that you are unworthy. I’m saying something completely different. I’m highlighting that we, as a collective, glorify the negative, the struggle, the hard times instead of choosing to lead with the positive.
Let me be SUPER CLEAR HERE – if you are going through a really challenging time (the spectrum for ‘challenging’ is so wide) please know that I am 100% for taking a good hard look at the shadows… feeling all the feels from the pain to the anger and beyond. We cannot honour this human existence without being authentic and real with where we are at. But this post is not about embracing the shadows. It’s about learning to not get entangled in them and making the detrimental choice to, day after day, lead with our struggles.
Many of us ‘front up’ to life peering through the lens of the negative, me included. And I think it’s time to choose differently.
At the end of the day when you are chatting to your partner (or your bestie or your mum) about your day what is your ‘default’ summary of the day that was?
How do you package up your day?
What attitude threads through your review of how the day unfolded?
Does it go a little something like this:
“Oh god, I’m so tired. Today was hectic.”
“Yeah, I’m ok. So glad today is over. I can’t believe how many things went wrong”
or if you’re a full time mama/papa maybe this sounds more familiar…
“I’m done. Today was a complete mess. Bub threw more than my fair share of tantrums, wouldn’t eat lunch and flat out refused to sleep…”
So this is my recent pondering – Why do we always run a highlight reel of everything that went wrong? Why do we always lead first with the struggle?
This is something I noticed myself doing a few months back and it’s been a slow, steady road towards changing that, since then.
So, hear me out here while I flesh this out…
I absolutely do not think it’s worthwhile to avoid and disregard those moments of sheer frustration and irritating challenges that we face, daily. Sometimes it feels good to share it, get it off our chest and be done with it.
It feels good to get it all out. But that’s exactly the point – being ‘DONE with it’ should happen not far after the moment. Yet we file them away and take a ‘count’ of all the struggle moments we’ve had as if it’s a honourable badge of self worth and effort. Almost as if it’s a measure of how hard we worked that day and therefore how valuable we are.
On a sub conscious level, many of us are running this program, this belief that struggle equates to value.
The more challenging and crazy busy the day the more kudos and brownie points we receive. We did good, we fought the good fight. The tougher I did it, the more worthy I am.
I’ve often found myself feeling guilty for the good times. I’ve noticed that sometimes, when I go to tell my husband that the day I just had was amazing, exciting, inspiring. Or just simply, nice. Why do I feel guilty? Aren’t we all out for a slice of happiness?
Don’t we deserve that and also want that happiness for our loved ones?
Or, even worse still, something else I’ve noticed is that the tougher the day the more sorry we can feel for ourselves… and the more we then believe someone else should fill us up with love.
We want to be recognised for how hard we’ve worked and how we’ve struggled. This recognition, temporarily makes us feel good enough…
What I’ve come to learn is this;
- It doesn’t make you a better person (or better at being a mum, at your job etc) to be fighting and struggling all day, it doesn’t make you a bad person either. Your worth is not measured in how hard you are doing it.
- It won’t make you feel any better to be perpetually focused on the negatives. It might feel good to get it off your chest, but it certainly will not lift you up and into the light
- It is no one else’s responsibility to fill in the empty gaps with thick layers of happiness and love to cover up and make up for the frustration, exhaustion or anger you are feeling.
- It never satisfies your soul to seek recognition, love and approval from others. This is our ego hunting for love in the external world. Yes, an admirable goal, but one that is simply just a shell of what you are truly looking for.
- It’s not fair to dump the worst of you on the people that deserve the best of you.
Time to reframe and find a new way to be in your day:
Let’s start with this truth…
Your worth is based on WHO you are. Which is a beautiful soul. You are worthy simply for existing.
Ok, got that? Good.. you might not believe it yet, but start to tune into this universal truth. You are worthy. Just because.
Now, when it comes to going about your day and being your precious human self know this…
How you choose to respond, be and behave in the light of happiness or the shadows of struggle is what really matters.
It’s not about what is actually happening. The context, ultimately is irrelevant, because some things never change and some things are constantly changing… What do I mean by this? Soleil, for the moment, is always going to be teething, throwing public displays of protest (read: tantrums) and just being her toddler self. So, if that is my reality for now, my focus should be on how I respond, behave, be, act, think within this context as opposed to focusing ON the difficulties and getting overwhelmed by how challenging and how negative it feels.
And how do we actually do that? How do we keep our focus on ‘being’ in those moments rather than reacting and choosing the darker shades to colour our day?…
We choose to have strong spiritual strategy in place to help us cope with our daily challenges.
Through this we are less inclined to hone in on the negative. and instead can see, with clarity, how much brilliance, beauty and joy has unfolded in our day.
Then we ultimately feel, in retrospect of our day, that there is much to be grateful for. That we coped well with challenges, that we moved on quickly into the next moment of laughter and joy…
Our ‘summary’ of each day leans into positivity, appreciation, contentment.
And in leaning into joy and gratitude we no longer feel so desperate for someone else’s love and recognition to FILL us back up.
We don’t need someone else to refuel us, because – although we might be physically and mentally exhausted – we aren’t spiritually depleted.
Leading with the positive instead of choosing to let the struggle run the show is 100% a choice. And it will take practice. Like I mentioned, this is a slow and steady road towards change for me. It’s up to you to catch yourself in moments of automatic pilot when you lead with the negative, the struggle and the challenging first. Switch it up. Lead with the positive instead…
You don’t have to silence what you wish to express. Get it off your chest. But you can start with something different. You might find that the more you do that, the less that the ‘struggle’ consumes you.
Love + light,