Struggle is a word that really strikes at the core of our being, because it’s one of the few things that you’re guaranteed to experience as a person. Struggle is a bedrock conception to which much of our lives are anchored, because the positive emotions you feel are directly proportional to the magnitude of the struggle that you overcome.
But sometimes the weight of the struggle can be too heavy to lift, and such can be the grotesque nature of your problems that it can push you to a dark corner, where everything can seem morbid and meaningless. But the strength to deal with your struggles is to be found in the darkest corners of your mind.
I have had my fair share of struggles in my life, perhaps more than I can express. When I was growing up, I lived a life of such unimaginable drudgery that it felt like the novelty of life was somehow lost. Everyday seemed like a challenge that was set up for me to fail. My life revolved around a hopeless canopy of meaningless activities that seemed to me were designed for the specific purpose of my mental torture.
I tried to look for meaning by trying to make friends but every attempt was repudiated with such coldness that I could barely comprehend it. I was a lonely, lonely guy and much of what I did mattered very little, because I didn’t have anyone to truly share my feelings with. If life is suffering, then it wouldn’t have been unfair to say that I was its poster boy.
As I grew up a little more and started to truly get out of the delusional bubble that I had constructed for myself, I really began to notice the suffering that was so poignantly widespread in our world. And at such moments, I truly began to understand the importance of frameworks. Your life is a story and you’re its lead character.
We are always telling ourselves a story and the frame we put around that story is almost always what dictates our emotions. This was an unbelievably useful lesson for me to learn, and it helped me escape the frivolous nature of my complaints. But that doesn’t mean I felt instantly fulfilled. A true acknowledgement of your privilege can bring about a sense of gratitude for your life, but achieving mental peace isn’t inherently anchored to your recognition of the suffering around you.
Which is why it’s so important to have meaning in your life, without which a sense of fulfilment will always prove to be illusory. If peace is to be achieved, then meaning is a necessity. So how do you find meaning in your life? Some people find it in their work, others find it in people. From my experience, deriving meaning has always been about conceptualizing my highest possible ideal and undertaking the journey towards becoming that person.
Life is a series of insults that perpetually repeats itself — you made a dumb joke and nobody laughed; or you tried to hang out with a group of friends and felt left out; or you tried to communicate your deepest ideas and thoughts with the people closest to you and felt misunderstood. There really is an endless number of ways in which life can frustrate you, but in the midst of those struggles, you need not shoot yourself in the foot. Instead you should try to embrace your struggles and really learn to enjoy them, because you don’t know how many moments you get to live in this life.
This moment is all you have and a true acknowledgement of your mortality can bring about a kind of moral and emotional clarity that can act as a springboard to live a truly fulfilling and meaningful life. It can help you navigate the treachery of life and truly allow you to live with the kind of love and compassion that can make you a much better person to be around, a better company for your friends, and a better human being for our society.
Our struggles are what makes life worth living, because true fulfilment is to be found in overcoming them.