What if I were to tell you that our greatest struggles are the ones that bring the greatest opportunities? If all of the times that we feel pain or experience difficulty are really just life’s way of strengthening us as individuals? While it’s hard to see it in the heat of the moment, both of these statements stand true. Not only do our struggles strengthen who we are, but they also bring us the greatest opportunities.
Everybody handles pain and struggles differently. While some cut themselves off from the world, some wear their emotions on their sleeves, and others allow their struggles to control their daily actions.
I’m not going to lie, I used to do all three. I used to hide from the world, was constantly on edge, and when I was around others, my emotions were unpredictable. But after 25 years of life, I finally realized the importance of struggle. I realized that struggle represents an opportunity to grow from who we are now into who it is that we want to become.
Facing Our Struggles
Some of you are going to judge me for this, and I am completely okay with that. Life has taken some getting used to lately. For the first time in my life, I am not able to see my parents when I want to. All throughout my life, my parents have lived within an hours drive from me. And while it is normally the kids that pack up and move across the country, in this case, it was my parents that did.
We have always been a close family. When I say close, some would probably make the argument that we are too close. I’ll admit it, my parents are my best friends. They are the two that are there for me the most, and they are the two that I have the closest relationships with.
But now, I am having to adjust to a new normal. I am having to adjust to FaceTime conversations instead of stopping over for dinner, and I am having to adjust to conversations over the phone instead of calling them for a sober ride during the early hours of the morning.
And this is the part where you are probably judging. You are probably thinking to yourself that I am a mommas boy and can’t believe that I am saddened over not being able to see my parents. Well, you’re right. I am a mommas boy and I am damn proud of it. We all have different things that we struggle with, and for me, one of those struggles is not being near my parents anymore.
The Greatest Opportunities
A year ago, back when I first started this whole self-improvement journey, I would have been a mess had my parents moved. I would have felt lost and broken.
Today, though, I can honestly say that as challenging as it has been getting used to a new normal, it is also an opportunity to use everything that I have learned over the year and challenge myself to see how far I have truly come.
For the first time in my young life, I am on my own. I mean, I still have my sisters, and as much as they act as mother figures, it’s still not the same. It’s hard to explain, but I feel as if there is this sense of responsibility and adulting that has fallen over me.
I am now going to have to rely on myself more than I ever have before. I am going to have to allow myself to make mistakes and learn from my mistakes instead of relying on my parents to fix my errors. I am going to have to start taking more risks on myself without always having somebody there to catch me when I fall.
These thoughts are ones that have always scared me. But now, I can actually say that I believe in myself enough to know that I can handle any obstacle that life throws my way. I know that I have the strength to overcome any challenge, and I have the confidence in myself to start making the most out of every opportunity that comes my way.
Am I scared for what’s going to happen next in my life? Naturally. Do I wish I could have my family all living within a mile radius again? Sure. Is this the greatest challenge that I have been forced to get used to? One of them. But it is also a change that is bringing me the greatest opportunity. Now, I have the opportunity to grow from who I am into who I want to become, and that is what I am looking forward to the most.
A lot of our struggles come when we encounter new experiences and when we are forced to break out of our comfort zone. What we forget, though, is that our greatest struggles also bring the greatest opportunities. Opportunities come when we break outside of our comfort zone and experience all that life has to offer.
Today, strive to become the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Stop hiding from your struggles, stop allowing your fears to control you, and make the most out of all the opportunities that life gives you. Remember, whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right. Believe in yourself, believe in all that you are capable of achieving, and follow your dreams.
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