I love to write, but like most writers, I sometimes struggle with ideas. Any writer can tell you that there’s nothing more terrifying than staring at a blank page or computer screen. I once took a writing class at our local university and there was a quote on the board that went something like this: Writing is easy. You just have to stare at a blank page until the beads of blood start to form on your forehead. One of the columnist in our local newspaper actually wrote one of her columns about doing everything except writing because she couldn’t come up with an idea for her column. It’s nice to know I’m in good company.
Struggling is a part of life. Toddlers would never learn how to walk if they didn’t risk falling down. A mountaineer would never know the thrill of standing on the summit if he (or she) didn’t attempt to climb the mountain. By the same token, we would never know the joy of achievement if we didn’t first endure the process of trying and (more often than not) failing.
Sometimes our struggles can be tiring, frustrating, stressful and even painful, but we have to find a way to get through it. Sports icon Michael Jordan once said, "If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."
No one likes to struggle; it isn’t fun, but most of the time, the end result is worth the effort. Country music legend Dolly Parton said, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." That quote is similar to a phrase in a song by one of my favorite groups, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: “If you ever want to see a rainbow, you gotta stand a little rain.” One of my college friends and I used to encourage each other by saying: “It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow.”
We may never enjoy our struggles, but we can certainly come to appreciate them as a learning process. I recently came across this quote that perfectly conveys how we should handle our struggles: "Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
Next time you see clouds on the horizon, don’t grumble about the coming storm. Look at it as an opportunity to learn how to dance!
How do you cope with your struggles? What advice do you have to give to others?