I sometimes use the word “suffering” to describe the human condition that can result from being over identified with the ego-mind. I often speak about transcending the human suffering or being liberated from our suffering.
For some that is too strong a word and they can’t relate. They don’t feel that an experience as strongly described as “suffering” is present in their life. Perhaps the suffering has become so normalized within the human condition that it no longer seems like suffering.
For me, “suffering” is synonymous with stuck, trapped, confined, unnecessarily limited, held down and other such conditions that inhibit living in full and vibrant expression of True Self.
But if “suffering” doesn’t quite resonate perhaps there’s another related condition that might. I would wager that for most there is some resonance with a sense of Struggle.
In a typical life there is often some degree of emotional, mental or spiritual struggle that would love to find some resolution. It is the mind that struggles. The struggle of the mind may manifest as a sensation within the body. But the genesis of the feeling is the struggle of the mind.
Often the struggle is to find peace or to awaken into a deeper consciousness. We struggle to know our true nature. We struggle with stillness, compassion and unconditional love. We struggle to figure out how to best live a struggle free life.
We struggle to find the liberation from our struggle.
And often we believe that when we reach a certain resolve or condition or freedom, that then we will be able to stop struggling.
The paradox here is that the very conditions that we believe can be achieved through our emotional, mental and spiritual struggle are all being inhibited by the struggle itself.
If we just struggle a little harder, a little longer or with more persistence we will attain the fruits of our struggles.
Struggle is not to be confused with dedication, hard work and perseverance. All of these actions can be pursued without the mind needing to struggle.
The counter intuitive invitation here is to stop the struggle before reaching whatever resolve you think the struggle might help you get.
Stop the mind’s struggle to “get” before “getting” whatever the mind is after. The struggle doesn’t work. It never has.
The struggle, struggles. In its desire to achieve truth, it wrestles with illusion.
A new strategy of surrender and faith may be called for here, combined with patience and compassion. This allows the peace and natural aliveness being sought to arise organically into the spacious stillness that has taken the place of struggle.