The Upside of Struggle


I have a good friend who just got some devastating news. Although she knew there were signs of what might come, she felt cold-cocked when it did. My heart was breaking for her because I knew her heart was breaking. But at the same time, my heart is filled with joy because the foundation of the life she settled into has been rocked.

This gal is one of the most creative, smart, and funny women that I know. Yet she is sitting in a cubicle at a job she dislikes, having an almost ‘comfortable’ life. For some people, comfortable may be a great life, but because I know the gifts this woman has to offer, I am certain there can be more.

I get a piece of her every day. I confide in her, trust her, and value her opinion. She is honest and listens when I go on and on and on and on, like my mom (who I often had to mute when she called because she wouldn't take a breath for 47 minutes.). Not many people can do that. She has been my friend through thick and thin. I love her.

I think when God gives you greatness, you should use that sh*t like the last spoonful of Nutella. I also think we have all been blessed with something that is unique. We all have a gift which we must find, then share it. When we deny our greatest self and we step out of line with what we are here to do, we are not living the life we were created to live.

The times in my life where my foundation has been cracked, my bones crushed, my heart ripped open; that is when I have become my greatest self. Someone more compassionate, more forgiving, stronger, clearer and more open to connect and receive God’s goodness. 

From struggle, we learn about the beauty of life. Heartache shifts us in the most profound way. It makes our connections deeper, our hearts wider, and our lives richer.

When we get “comfortable” and “settle” into the status quo, life can give us a beautiful gift just by knocking us out of our chair and allowing us to fall to the floor. The event or the person who is doing the knocking is the one who catapults us to our greater self.  Although it may feel like they are doing us a disservice, they actually are helping us by moving us forward, whether we want to or not.

I am sad today because she is sad. I look forward to paying her back for the years of listening to me by lending her a silent ear (working on the silent part). I look forward to holding her hand as she begins to peel off the layers that have been built around her. Hard work lies ahead, but the inside work is the most important work we are here to do. It’s magical when we can peel away the stuff that is holding us back, look at it, understand it, forgive it, and let it go.

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." -Helen Keller

No matter what lies ahead for my friend, I will be holding her hand as she walks through the awaiting open door. 

Thank you God for the struggles. Thank you for allowing things to happen in our lives that feel awful, but propel us to where we are supposed to be. May I use my current kick in the stomach as a boost for growth and happiness. Love and light to you and yours!


Leigh KoechnerComment