Embracing The Struggle

A post from a man in our coaching group:

I have three kids, the youngest of which is entering her last year of high school.  As I near the end of the season of life whereby I am called to teach and instruct my kids on the fundamentals of life, I know that much of what I have taught them has come out of my personal struggles. Some wins, some less-than-stellar endings, and some abject missteps. As I began teaching my kids over twenty years ago, I admit that much of my instruction came from a desire to keep them out of struggles and challenges.  However, I noticed something very interesting as I watched them grow up.  The times when they would make a decision that I would perceive as "good", one that kept them from negative consequences, they would come away positive, and I felt good because they took my advice.  Yet, the times when they wouldn't heed my advice, but made decisions that ended up not working out as they (or I) planned or desired, they came away with something even more valuable.  That "thing" was incredible life experience. It is like they "leveled-up" in life more than any instruction I, or anyone else, could give them.  I'm not saying that it was wrong to give them instruction.  What I am saying is that along with that instruction should come an understanding that even when things don't go as planned, or life just generally gets hard, that's okay.  In fact, it is better than okay because when they (or I) can learn to use those struggles to our advantage, growth occurs.

I try not to deal in regret, but if there is one thing I would change if I could go back twenty years, it is to teach my kids to accept the struggles of life rather than resist them.  They are there to be a teacher, and willing students will absolutely experience growth.

Post Zoom Meeting Highlights from the Sept 2, 2021 Optimizing Men Coaching Group:

  • Most don't like the word struggle; rather they prefer the word challenge or discomfort
  • Louisiana men, although going through discomfort, do not seem to be struggling despite hurricane Ida's damage
  • Growth takes place outside of comfort (in a place of challenge), and it's like working a muscle in the gym where one gives it a challenge so that it grows.
  • Much of struggling is a mindset
  • Can you be 'above the line' - loving, joyful and peaceful while struggling?
  • If one is struggling, is he in mission or shadow (darkness)?
  • Whatever we call it, there is much to be said about 'acceptance' vs 'resistance'

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published