The Struggle

The Struggle

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

It would have been easy for me to not share this post at all. It would have been easy to project an aura of invulnerability to the world, as if the journey is always easy.

The truth is – it isn’t always easy.

One of life’s great problems is the gap between what people project to the world and what they feel inside. If more people told their whole story, rather than just the parts that are easy to share, it would prevent millions of people from suffering in silence. It could prevent millions of people from feeling alone when they most need to feel connected.

I call this blog The View Inside Me for a reason. It means that I have to share from the edge of what feels comfortable, at times. Which means choosing the path of vulnerability and sharing the things I don’t want to share.

There are moments in every journey where the struggle sets in: where feelings on the inside do not match the outside.

So I have to be honest: I am in the struggle right now.

The struggle is when the initial noise has gone and the long journey begins.

The struggle is when you can’t see a way through.

The struggle is when there are moments of doubt.

The struggle is when you question why you are doing what you are doing.

The struggle is when the simple things become hard.

The struggle is when the loneliness sets in.

The struggle is when the mojo is gone.

You feel like you are swimming against the tide.

The light at the end of the tunnel starts to fade.

The struggle is a place I have been many times before. It is the place I enjoy least.

In the past, the struggle seemed like an endless thrash, searching for the way through; searching for the answers to the challenges I face.

In the past, I might have given up, or switched off, or taken the easy route out.

These days, I have learnt to see it as a part of the process and to appreciate it for what it brings.

I have learnt to sit with it and see it as a friend rather than a foe.

I have learnt to see it as nature’s way of giving me feedback on what I am doing.

Sharing the struggle is more important that listening to the desire to disconnect.

Being kind to myself is a necessity right now, rather than a distant reward.

I have a completely different way of dealing with the struggle, these days. I keep the faith and trust that there is always a way. Always a move that can be made.

What matters most is finding a way to stay in the game. To keep going and trust that the way is there, but it just isn’t always easy to see.

Getting back to the small things that count will keep you going. And it is all about keeping going, step by step. Knowing that each mile of the marathon will tick down as you keep moving forward.

Know that the light reappears – when it wants to reappear.

Know that the answers come when you let go of the need to answer them.

Know that the struggle is, in many ways, an illusion of the mind, and it will pass. It always does.

Know that the struggle is just part of being human. It happens to us all.

Share your experiences with struggle in the comments section below. It helps you, and will help everyone who reads it.

Marc

(Inspired by a post I read two years ago by Ben Horowitz)

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 LinkedIn 0 Email -- 0 Flares ×

Please, let me know what you think of this post:

Love It 469Hate It 481

Become a Patron

Please consider becoming a financial contributor to my work.

Join Me

Comments

add a comment
  1. Sat Prakash says

    Struggle: Ahhh!! I will keep my experiences away from this and keep long story short. Struggle is when u feel that things happening in certain ways is not the right way and u dig inside and just try to come up with answer (Solution) on the base of your feelings. If u become pro at this eventually.. you will always succeed in whatever task u r engaged in.. And guess what? In bonus u will find yourself a better decision maker and become more confident person in life.

  2. It is very brave to share your struggle – thank you. As you say, we all go through it; bumps in the road and dead ends that are hard to find a way out of.
    I hope you will be kind to yourself.
    Better days are ahead.

  3. I tell myself, in the words of Dory from Finding Nemo… ‘Just keep swimming…just keep swimming..’! Eventually something clicks into place 🙂

  4. A wonderful post – as you say, being kind to yourself is the most important yet something not many are good at!

  5. Great post. The struggle for me was coming to terms with the fact that having achieved everything I set out to achieve, I realised that I was no more fulfilled than when I started. The goals weren’t necessarily wrong, but they weren’t the full picture.

    • Thanks Paul. It is a common problem in a goal driven world. I am pretty focused on enjoying the journey but occasionally there is a bump in the road.

  6. Marc,

    Thank you so much for sharing this message so candidly and openly.

    It’s important to choose to seek the good aspects of bad circumstances. Sometimes, it’s when there are limitations on what we want to do, that we can be highly creative.

    I can really recommend The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday. It teaches one to be able to stoically move through tough times, by finding the benefits within even the toughest apparent situations.

    Keep chin up, and keep fighting!

  7. Marc,

    Thanks for the post. Choosing to be vulnerable and sharing things that are uncomfortable, is not easy. Oprah Winfrey is famous for having been authentic. She allowed herself to be vulnerable to the world. Doing so had an effect that no one could predict. She learned that by sharing less-than-flattering aspects of herself and her past, that she had a profound effect upon others who identified themselves with her, and in so doing became inspired to win the battle in their own struggles.

    You certainly made a good first attempt at doing this yourself. But honestly I missed what you’re struggling with, in all the poetic verse and waxing philosophic speech.

    You’re absolutely right, you don’t have to share what you’re feeling. But you chose this topic “the view inside me” and up till now you’ve had this very grand vision, which by anyone’s estimation is ambitious! Listen, if your vision was easy, anyone could do it! Certainly you didn’t choose this path because it was easy. If so then now the realization that there are challenges and difficulties ahead should certainly be a wake-up call.

    I think great leaders possess many qualities that help to make them great. I think modesty and humility should be prized among them. Knowing ones limitations (modesty) and embracing them, allows us to face with courage the great enemy, fear. Humbly admitting our limitations and being honest with ourselves and the world at large is not a sign of weakness (a point of view shared by most men, I would say) but rather one of strength. Being vulnerable is a natural part of the human experience. And when we entrust that to responsible parties, we are in effect inviting them inside as a cry for help.

    So while we don’t yet know what your current struggle really is, what matters most is that you face it with courage and humbly recognize that you’re not alone and that you have a community of people that care about you and about your world view. The degree of help you receive is proportional to the amount you share!

    There are those that have embraced your vision for your community and so to them, you really should allow yourself to be vulnerable. Doing so invites them on the journey with you, in a way that you might not have experienced before. Because they can now lift you up and help you in your quest.

    Warmly,
    Kevin

    • Thanks for your wise words Kevin.

      You are right in that we didn’t choose to do the projects because they are easy but because those projects need to be done.

      If I am honest I actually wrote this post to serve others rather than myself.

      I will share more about the specific needs of the things that I am working on in the coming weeks.

  8. Be like a DUCK—-kepp on paddling and show the sweetness on face. No one should should understand how much you are struggling…… because Struggle is fact of life…..

    If it is descided that you have to fight then fight like- you stand up like a WARRIOR, a HERO. Others should learn from you and should keep you as their role model….

    This is what i think…

    Happy Struggling!!!! cheers!!!
    Devendra

  9. Thank you for sharing this, Marc. Like you said, sharing your story is a way to help end silent suffering and I’ve been struggling with this very concept. I have a duty to share my *whole* story, as hard as it is to shed public light on the darkest and saddest parts. I’ve started my blog, CrissaPetrovic.com, to post concepts & food-for-thought I find useful but also to share parts of my story. I’ve been holding back on some of the more emotionally charged moments – specifically my experience with rape and being homeless. I’ve posted about my experiences going through difficult foster care and then an even more trying adoption, but that just barely scratches the surface. I know I’m stronger after it all (I’m happily married, debt free, obtained at least one college degree, lost over 100 pounds, and many other wonderful things), but part of me feels like my story is poisoning my veins until I put it all into words and share those private moments with those who need to hear it most.

    I have to also agree with relating to struggle as a friend as opposed to a foe. We live in a relatively ‘comfortable’ world, where political correctness abounds and taboo subjects are saved for smaller more intimate group discussions. As a society, we’re to watch what we say and follow social conventions. Society has programmed us to see struggle as a ‘do or die’ scenario, but it rarely comes to ‘die’. We’re taught to resist struggle and to avoid the uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Those caught in the struggle experience the lowest of conscious lows and lose sight of who they are and what they are worth, which can quickly turn into a nasty downward spiral of depression. Those struggling need someone they can relate to but also someone that is strong enough to offer a helping hand. This means those of us out there that have been through ‘hell and back’ and came out stronger because of it are meant to share our experiences with those that can, and more importantly, need to relate. Find the beauty in connecting deeply with others through the emotions of struggle. Isn’t that the plot for most romance stories? 😉

  10. Marc,

    Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone in the struggle. It does come and go, but knowing I’m not the only one who faces it somehow helps me relax into it. This too shall pass. I have faith. I hope you know I have faith that yours will too, because I have faith in you.
    -Monica

  11. Hi Marc.

    I’ll be brief because Kevin pretty much said it all for me above. great post! Love and am inspired by the Real and vulnerability is something I wish more of our delicate species would reveal more often, so thank you for forging that path.

    I would love to understand more about your struggle because I am finding myself guessing/projecting based on my knowledge of your project.

    I especially appreciate Kevin’s point that the degree of support we are given is often directly proportional to the vulnerability we reveal. I’ve experienced that and will be doing my best to remember it in the future.

    Lisa

  12. Hi Marc,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about struggling (as opposed to what you are struggling with). Life itself is a struggle, but we adapt, innovate, overcome. Even a baby who is just learning to walk struggles with retaining balance, but eventually overcomes.

    The PC (Politically Correct) crowd has made it more difficult for some people to stay true to their inner voice. In the earliest part of my career the military taught me many things about leadership, determination, motivation, etc. and one of the things I learned was never never never quit or say die. When I left the military (after 5 years), this lesson translated into staying true – to yourself, to your dream and just true in general.

    I really do appreciate that you have shined a light on this subject for there are many out there who are afraid to say they are for or against something. When there is fear, one must have courage because it is the only way that we overcome fear.

    Well, I’ve probably been a little too philosophical, but I am good with it.

    – Dean

  13. There are no shadows without sunshine, Take the shit with the sugar and rejoice in being alive .
    struggle -its made me who i am , and i like me, its taken time but i got there.
    kindness can fix the world .

  14. Janet B. says

    Marc,

    As always your words are on point and timely. My struggle is that I feel I’m destined to do so many things, and yet I’m pulled in so many different directions! There are talents I have that I’m not utilizing or sharing with the world, and yet there are days when there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do more. Everyone who knows me says things like ‘where do you find the time’ and ‘do you ever sleep’ and I just smile and laugh – but the truth is it’s ME who isn’t satisfied! Learning to be kind to myself is a lesson I am still learning.

    Thanks Marc-

    Janet

    • We all need to get in touch with our insignificance I suppose. There is no point going somewhere unless you are enjoying getting there. If not, why bother? Thanks for sharing Janet.

  15. Very inspirational and good to know that I am not the only one who feels this way at times.

  16. It is completely natural to have times of struggle. I doubt there is one person in the world who has not felt something of the feelings that you feel. I completely agree that we are all guilty of showing our best face to the world and hiding our more vulnerable one. I admire you hugely for using your wonderful blog to show every side of you, you have no idea how much that will help others who are struggling and feel alone. Doubt and fear are fickle bastards, when you are in their grip it is difficult to remember what it was like to feel sure of yourself, to feel positive about what was coming next. But just put one foot in front of the other and keep pushing through until you walk yourself back into light places. Although, surety and happiness are just as fickle, it is easy to forget being in the dark when you find yourself back in the light. Thank you for your courage and your honesty. This is exactly why the world needs you.

  17. Michelle Ayres says

    For every up there is a DOWN…but equally and more importantly for every down there is an UP!! It will pass…everything flows….nothing is fixed……
    People are thinking of you with warmth and thanks x

  18. Suguna Vivekananthan says

    Hi All,

    I love your post. Everyday is a struggle, the ups and downs of life. Moving away into a country, away from friends and all that i know. Having parents in two different countries. Wondering why i am where i am. But then i struggle when i hear about innocent children being hurt bu Adults, by corrupted systems. My hearts tugs in many directions.
    At the end of the day i live, because i have a child and i have found life in my child and a reason to sustain.

    I try to give back, and feel that i should be doing more.

    Thank for the Post

  19. Hi Mic,

    Thank you for the sharing.
    When read ‘The Tibetan book of living and dying’ for many times, I found the answer about the struggle.So,I recommend you to read it.

    Ellen

  20. the healthy sandwich: honestylovetruth

    all the best
    oliver

  21. Just go with the flow.
    All is written by God’s hands
    and everything is meant to be .
    If you struggle it is a sign of living

  22. This is my life today, I struggle because I am in a forgotten age group of women, for job opportunities, relationships, and friendships. Perhaps a new day is about to dawn, but this place of struggle is not easy at all. I have so many hopes and dreams yet in all areas feel like the sands of time are ever decreasing. It is hard to be in a place where there are no answers.

  23. James Arnold says

    Awesome – will be keeping this. OK so you want a struggle. Its not the biggest, its just the fact that I have just book a degree and so signed on for 16k of debt, yet my sales have hit a slump, partly due to forces out of my control, but also because of my focus and drifting to thoughts of negativity. So this resonated. From experience we have the wisdom to keep soldiering on. Thanks for such a great article.

  24. tyrone powers says

    I’m on my 3rd proofread of a long journal entry that I wrote for my friends and family, summarizing the last 12 months of my life (it’s been a tumultuous time, but things are looking up). I feel awkward about what I’ve written as it’s a lot more information than I think they want to hear, but I feel the need to get uncomfortably personal. The person I am and the person that people perceive me as are as close to opposite as they’ve ever been and I need to set the record straight. I sent an advance copy to a few friends and the response was pretty underwhelming. I tried sending it to my dad, but when it failed twice, I took it as a sign that I’d made a mistake in writing my sob story. But reading this post about The Struggle has me re-thinking things, that while I get queasy just imagining my loved ones reading my socially unacceptable thoughts(hence multiple proofreads/revisions), I shouldn’t let that stop me. Thanks for lifting the fear of telling my story

    • Thanks for sharing Tyrone. It is always interesting to see who steps forward when you share openly and who steps back. Hold on to the ones that step forward!

  25. Hi Marc – I almost always enjoy seeing what you write 🙂 I will be happy to share my struggle.

    Over a decade ago I graduated nursing school and began my career as a nurse. I started in nursing because I had my first child at 19, but had aspired to become a doctor. In fact I had aspired to be many things, but thought doctor would be exciting. Anyhow, I started working at a catholic hospital in Indiana and shortly into my start I was diagnosed with a kidney stone and was scheduled for what I assumed would be a routine surgery to remove the stone. The surgery went horribly wrong and I was rescheduled for a follow up surgery with a different doc. That surgeon quickly found that my kidney had been severely damaged, and he was unable to do anything except admit me. By this time a week had passed in between surgeries and I had developed a urinoma and infection. Due to the damage my kidney had been leaking urine in my abdomen for a week.

    I was admitted to a small outlying hospital affiliated with the larger hospital that I worked for and where I had my initial surgery. As I was coming out of the anesthetic I could hear the surgeon on the phone very angry and asking the initial doc why she didn’t tell him I was such a mess. Once I had fully awoke from the anesthetic I was sent up to a room and powerful antibiotics were started due to my infection. While there the small hospital didn’t want to be involved in my case because they knew this was a shit storm so they had me transferred ASAP back to the main hospital under the guise they were the only ones who could place a nephrostomy tube. So, I was moved 40 miles or so in tremendous pain to the larger hospital where I was scheduled for emergency placement of a nephrostomy tube (peripherally inserted tube into the kidney that drains urine into a bag like a catheter).

    During this procedure I was awake but given extremely high doses of Versed which is supposed to make you have temporary amnesia but for me, I remember the entire painful procedure. The radiologist who placed the tube didn’t have an easy time. With tube placed I was then sent to a private room on the floor in which I worked. I was also given a PICC line so that I could get powerful antibiotics through, which subsequently led to me getting a Catheter Related Bloodstream Infection. As I lay in the hospital bed wrapped in cooling blankets and nobody knew if I would pull through I had an idea come to me on how to prevent catheter related bloodstream infections but at the time was too sick to do anything about it. So, I continued my stay in the hospital for a couple weeks and finally got the infection in check enough to where I could return home. I had to have a new PICC placed due to the infection and continued my treatment at home.

    Shortly after being home I contracted yet another Catheter Related Bloodstream infection and again was hospitalized. This time the stay wasn’t so bad but shortly before my release I was approached by the nursing supervisor of my floor and fired for not being able to return to work. I still had the nephrostomy and had to keep it in until the inflammation around the kidney had subsided enough to do a repair and I was still very sick with a lot of pain so there was no way I could return anytime soon. This in effect caused me to lose my insurance to which I had to pay cobra which was something like $1200/month with no job and a 1 year old and my wife at the time was in nursing school. It was definitely insult to injury.

    You know what they say about hindsight, well, I wish I had sought treatment somewhere else but my stupid brain told me that they could fix my kidney, so I continued care there (after all they were a BIG hospital, pfftt) and they told me they wouldn’t charge me for any of the services. So facing financial ruin at 20 with a baby, no job, and a severe illness clouded by the high powered narcotics, I made the stupid decision to stay with them for treatment. So I returned home and waited for the inflammation to subside and just before Thanksgiving shortly after my 21st birthday I was scheduled for yet another surgery, this time was supposed to be for a repair.

    This is where my nightmare worsened. During the surgery the sedative must have either not dosed properly of I had built a tolerance because I woke up during the surgery. I couldn’t move due to the paralytics, and couldn’t speak because of the tube breathing for me. What I could do was feel and hear. I could feel the intense pain as they sliced into me and had me spread open. I could feel the cauterizing knives as they burned me to stop the blood loss, I could hear the surgeons laughing and talking as if nothing was wrong. I don’t remember what they spoke of because from the severe pain I would pass in and out of conscious, but I remember, just as I remember the nephrostomy being placed. To this day I look at my huge scar, and replay the entire ordeal in my mind. It’s like the movie groundhogs day with Bill Murray I haven’t woke up for real yet. I’ve tried but just not yet.

    During that surgery they found the kidney irreparable and thus removed it (without my consent). I had a very long recovery and as you can tell haven’t fully recovered. I see the large scar in the mirror, I see all the PICC line scars, I try to do situps and crunches and my intestines bulge from poor surgical technique and everything floods my mind, all the emotions, the smells, the sounds, the pain, everything consumes me. I’ve tried all the typical PTSD tricks, you know, gambling, risky behaviors, sex, drugs, thrill seeking basically, to no avail. I lost something inside of me that year, and it wasn’t just my kidney. A part of my spirit was damaged. Something deep. I’ve tried praying, giving it to God everything, yet something is still missing.

    I’ve came to terms, or maybe am still coming to terms with who I am, and what it means to be me the way I am now. I can’t change it so for those who don’t like me or approve of me I don’t care anymore. I am who I am. That’s part of my healing is just learning to embrace it. The other part of my healing is getting my story out so that it may help others. No matter how hard life has kicked me i’ve always managed to make a comeback. I continue pushing forward sometimes I take a few steps back but hey who’s perfect?

    So, I tell you this really long story (believe me I left a lot out to save you time and all the details probably aren’t important to the moral of the story anyway) to tell you this. I relate to your post because it’s something I just went through. I recently launched a campaign through Indiegogo.com the worlds largest crowdfunding site. My campaign is to raise money so that I can get my company to the next level. You remember when I mentioned earlier that I had a vision on how to reduce CRBSI? Well, after all of my illness and recovery I had that vision gnawing away at me. Something inside always told me it was golden. So I started working as a dialysis nurse where I could work to perfect my concept. After observing catheters and how we interact with them I decided my idea was great and will work. So I formed my company Davis Medical LLC and sought patent protections.

    I have been working at commercializing the concept ever since. I have received some seed investment that has taken me to where I am today and i’ve also received interest from a global audience of doctors and nurses for what I have. That feels validating knowing that I can make a difference in peoples lives and they will never know the whole story behind the product. My campaign was edited by my wife and legal team because everything that I typed here today is stuck in the front of my mind all jumbled up and it prevents me from communicating to people without making them uncomfortable. It is something I can’t help because everyday is like the wound is reopened and it’s all fresh again. I’m thankful for my wife and the team of advisors that I have. They have all tried very hard to help make this move forward, and I probably don’t tell them all enough just how special they are to me, and I have trouble showing it too, but i’m a work in progress.

    All i’ve shared here is a painful story but only a chapter in my life book. At 33 i’ve experienced more that I care to recall in some areas and a lot of people would probably have given up by now but not me. I’m a survivor, and I will continue until my last breath, and with some luck I will live on in my products, my company, my children, and with anyone i am able to touch in some way.

    I apologize for rambling and being all over the place with this post and if Nicole were awake and reading this she would be correcting all of my paragraphs 🙂 Everything just tries to come out at once. I hope this reaches someone hurting and it inspires them to keep pushing, because if I had given up I wouldn’t be who I am today. The adversity i’ve faced and triumphed over was only a stepping stone to a better place. If you would like to read my campaign and help by sharing my story I will greatly appreciate it and you can see it by visiting this link http://igg.me/p/843156/x/8062108 or by searching Help Reduce Catheter Related Bloodstream Infections on http://www.indiegogo.com.

    I promise, it’s a far easier read 🙂 Thank you for what you do, Marc, and thank you all for taking the time to read my story. I wish you all the best in your endeavors!

    • Thank you for sharing your inspiring story Nic. I have sent you an e-mail with some resources on improving your crowdfunding campaign. Hopefully that will help you get what you need to make your incredible mission a success. Keep doing what you are doing. Marc

  26. mamokhethi says

    Thanks for this sharing this post, struggle!
    Really, tought me that we all go through that hence there was a time I thought God has fogotten me after finishing first degree hoping that I will get a job but it was not like that. I learned that its part of journey and it will come again.

  27. fergus fitzfinklestein says

    One victim of the many of this evil man , hundreds more have suffered because of him to vastly higher sums , he hid behind Krishna philosophy to engender confidence in his many frauds ( “con man”) and now he plays the same game on this thread , like the catholic who thinks his karma and responsibility is reconciled by hocus pocus with a man in a dress http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2789374/tony-hetherington-forget-brazil-debt-s-case-police.html

    • Thanks, just what was wanted. At just the right moment. Feel free. Letting go. The blog and comments so valuable.
      Thanks again people. love love love

  28. Thanks for sharing this man. I’ve been feeling this myself a lot the last week. There are days when I really believe in what I’m doing, that it’s important, that it will make my little part of the world better. But then there are days, sometimes weeks, where I feel as if I’m Frodo, struggling through the dark tunnel of Shelob’s Lair, in complete darkness. There are the bill collectors, the negative people around me, ignorant, lost people on Facebook, etc., who bring us down. Then, eventually, I remember that I have a light, the Light of Earandil, in my pocket somewhere: the mission–to Save the Earth. And I remember, also, that I’m not alone. There are Sam Gamgees, Gandalfs, Legolases, Aragorns, and Gimlis out there on my side, fighting to save their part of the Earth, and my hope returns. But there are always dark moments when the only thing you can do, is get up, and put one foot in front of the other, knowing that whether or not there is an exit from that tunnel–you must keep moving anyway, because the Earth depends upon it, and so does your own happiness, and the happiness of those around you.

Leave a Reply to Kevin Cancel reply

*

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 LinkedIn 0 Email -- 0 Flares ×