Description: We are living in turbulent times; each of us is struggling in our own ways; many of us are worried about our own livelihood, our black holes of debt, our ability to care for our families, or the prospects for our children’s future. What are your heartfelt concerns … what keeps you awake at night? What societal systems in place have helped or hindered you in your journey?
Today’s Question: What Do You Struggle With?
This question reminds me of a quote, which I've seen attributed to Plato but also to other folks: "Be Kind, For Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle".
In other words, yes, we all struggle with something. While those of us who are blessed with relatively large privilege should remember the great struggles of others and recognize our privilege, but it is also helpful to look at ALL people - even those of privilege - and recognize that we do not, cannot, know their internal struggles.
What do I struggle with?
With never feeling good enough. With guilt and anxiety and depression and burn out. With accepting my limitations and loving myself anyway. I was a child prone to anxiety attacks, a teen with anorexia/bulemia, a young woman with internalized misogyny, and now I am a woman who struggles with depression.
Not so unusual, apparently. The psychiatrist I recently saw was able to describe my personality struggles based on just knowing my birth order, what my parents do for a living, and my early history of anorexia. Apparently I am exactly what you expect from an eldest daughter of an ambitious doctor. Not unusual, but there it is.
My other struggles pale in comparison to the intensity that I feel this one, but I also struggle with not having enough time to do everything, with not managing our money well enough, with eating right and taking care of my body, and with maintaining a happy and healthy marriage.
In the big picture, my struggles are pretty minor. I have enough to eat, a warm roof over my head, a secure job, access to quality healthcare, happy and healthy children, a marriage to a good man who is good to me, and I am of a group of people that is privileged to a low amount of discrimination and oppression. In fact, as I age as a woman, I experience less and less sexually-based harassment and more deference and courtesy. While I don't think that is a good thing at all, and I hear that there is a downward curve when women get to and past middle age where they start to experience less courtesy and more invisibility, but at least for right now I am experiencing more positive, or pleasant, sexism.
So I don't hold up my struggles as something for others to do anything about. No - they are MY struggles. I am actually my own worst enemy, and the solution to my struggles will come from internal work and learning to love myself as I am. When I finally stop chasing the approval of others or some standard of achievement, that will be a great day. When I am able to truly love myself, as I am, and take care of myself, I will be on the road away from depression.
Be Kind. Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle. Assume We Do The Best We Can, At This Moment.