Struggles are a part of life. Some are simply inconveniences that we don’t want to be bothered with. But in truth, there are struggles that we each deal with that can define us negatively or positively. It all depends on what your perspective is through your journey.
Take a Hike, Struggles!
A few months ago, I wanted to get couples photos of my husband and myself. Now that our children are grown, we are strengthening our bond as a couple. Our youngest daughter enjoys photography and has been taking photos of weddings, children, families, etc.
Since it was fall, what better place to go for photographs then on a hike to a waterfall?
We drove about an hour away and I was so excited about the prospective photographs we were about to have taken.
Here’s a little something about me. I love to plan things like this, get all excited, then have a complete anxiety attack when it comes time for it to take place. Why this time? Because there were other people there. They might watch us and laugh.
Is this a realistic fear. No, not really. But that’s how my anxiety works. That’s MY struggle.
So I push through. Why? Because I know that there are things I want more. Even though struggles are difficult, there are things worth pushing through to get past them. My ultimate goal was to get amazing pictures of my husband and me. So, I started my hike. In a ridiculous pair of boots.
Obstacles; We all have them
I got past my first obstacle, my anxiety. Now I had to get up that mountain in my boots that are no hiking approved. I felt incredibly ridiculous along the hike. Here I was in a dress, leggings and boots with a heel while others sailed past us in their outfits from Hikers R Us. I just kept focusing on those photographs.
Just like in life, we faces obstacles. We can either let them slow us down, stop us or keep us paralyzed where we are. In order to move past those struggles and get to the other side, we can’t let obstacles stop us.
This spot in our hike was a major obstacle. It was rocky, a stream and potentially dangerous. I could easily imagine myself slipping and falling. Hitting the rocks, being soaking wet and not being able to continue the hike. Other people were crossing around me, so I stepped over to the side.
This happens in life. We see other people succeeding, doing thigs easily that we may struggle with. Their journey (or hike) is not your journey. I wasn’t there for the same reasons other hikers were. I had different obstacles than they had. Some hikers had dogs with them or children. Others had worn too many layers and had to carry heavy jackets. I had to maneuver rocks in boots with a heel. We all have obstacles, they just look different.
Positives Along the Way
Just because you have struggles in your journey, doesn’t mean there aren’t positives to be found. Perspective is huge when it comes to handling difficulties in life. During my hike, there was beautiful scenery along the way. Had I stopped, I would have missed it. If I had focused on how hard it was to walk or obsessed over the fact that everyone was looking at me, I would have missed out.
When things are really hard, look for the good around you. It’s hard. I get it. (future blog post) The only way to keep your sanity in hard situations is to look for the good you do have. Mindset is powerful. Positive mindset is life changing.
Struggles Can Be Worth It
When you are in the middle of difficult times, it doesn’t seem like things will ever get better. Obstacles can become overwhelming and you will feel like giving up. Remind yourself that everything is temporary. Because it is. Struggles are not fun, easy or wanted. But they do serve a purpose. You can learn from them. They help you appreciate things and can change your perspective.
You might meet people that you wouldn’t have had you not be in a difficult time in your life. Good things so come from hard times.
Know what your end game is. What are you working for? Envision that and keep working toward it. Even when it seems like giving up or stopping would be better, keep going.
In the end, you will be so much happier with yourself. I would never recommend hiking ANYWHERE in my boots, but there was a purpose. I had to make a choice. I could have worn hiking boots, hiking clothes and been just like everyone else. But I didn’t want what everyone else was there to get. I had different goals, which means I had different obstacles. My husband told me we could stop, that we didn’t have to go to the top. I considered it. It would have been easier to sit and rest. But I kept going.
The rocks leading up to the water fall were not for the faint of heart (or those of us wearing inappropriate footwear). But I had a clear vision of what I wanted. I made it through my struggles and past those obstacles.
I got what I worked for. Pictures of my husband and myself. And I learned a lot about my own journey and struggles.