Yesterday I was working in the local café when I heard the following as clear as day:
“I just can’t take the struggle anymore.”
I am not sure who said it, but it seemed to rise up over the usual murmur of conversation.
I would not be surprised if it was one of the women with babies who use the space during the day. But it could equally have been any of the women who use the café as a place for work meetings, chats with friends, or like me for a bit of writing and reflection.
Now I have no idea what the struggle was.
It could have been the juggle of work and family. It might have been getting a partner to support her with children and family life.
It could easily have been a work issue: a difficult boss, team member or colleague. Someone who could not accept a change or challenge they had been asked to meet.
Maybe it was a client that just wanted too much, and did not understand the limitations of time and resources.
It might have been the struggle with money: making budget or managing cashflow.
It may have been an intimate relationship, a friend that would not change or a family member that could not let go of who she once.
It might have been a personal issue: not enough time for herself, her physical goals or her creative work. It might have been a health issue: something she could not change and was struggling to accept.
One thing I am sure of though, is that it was a woman.
We may not know what she was challenged by, but I am not surprised that I do not hear this cry more often. Our contemporary lives involve many hats, rewarding and satisfying, but a challenge to our authentic selves.
We all struggle from time to time. We hit walls, boundaries and the limits of our current existence. We get frustrated, angry, despondent. We try over and over to change unchangeable situations. We work hard, we get tired, we give up.
But when all of our life seems like a struggle, maybe it’s time to admit this is no way to live.
Can you step back, give up control, let go of goals, aims and ambitions? Can you let things be and accept who and what you are, for a moment, an hour, a day?
Don’t give up on your dreams and ambitions. They are what make you who you are.
But now and then give yourself a small window, a little break from trying so hard to make everything right.
In giving up the struggle can you make space for something new?