Why Are We Addicted to Struggling?

Are you addicted to struggling and turning even the smallest things into problems?

Do you then spend most of your time figuring out how to fix them?

“The healing you long for doesn’t come from changing anything. It comes from the ability to see and be with what is.” ~Mary O’Malley

If you are honest with yourself, you will see that your mind believes the opposite of the statement above.

Your brain is a problem factory

In addition to solving problems, your mind creates them.

If it isn’t concerned about the new pimple on your chin, it is concerned about how your neighbor mows his lawn.

These little concerns mushroom into big concerns, like “Will I get cancer?” or “Will they reject me?” or “Will I have anything left in my retirement fund?”

If you watch your mind, you will see that as soon as it solves one problem, it comes up with another.

And if it can’t solve one, it throws you into despair.

I often say that we are sitting in paradise, constantly trying to unravel a ball of yarn, believing that if we just unravel, everything will be okay.

I have news for you.

Trying to make your life okay will never make it okay!

That is just the game of the problem factory.

And the ball of yarn is endless.

Can you break free from being addicted to struggling?

What would it be like to break from this endless struggle and step out of the problem mode?

What would it be like to know that there is no ball of yarn to unravel?

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How would it feel to connect with the ‘paradise’ that is always with you, right here, right now?

There is a quote by Eckhart Tolle that speaks to what we are exploring here.

It is about how you can become an alchemist, turning your struggling self into the free-flowing aliveness you truly are:

“When the pain body has woken up, you may experience turbulence. Be present. Give it your complete attention. Don’t let it overwhelm your thinking. Watch it. Feel its energy in your body.  Full attention means full acceptance. This brings forth a transmutation into radiance.”

What he means by ‘pain body’ is all the stories, resistance, and struggle in your mind.

Rather than getting caught in your struggle, you can learn how to watch what is going on inside, feel the energy in your body, accept what is here, and become curious about it.

This allows for what Eckhart is calling the transmutation into radiance.

We were all conditioned into fear, shame, anger, and despair when we were young.

These emotions are nothing but trapped energy that longs to be released into free-flowing aliveness through the power of our own accepting attention.

Can you imagine being with your fear, anger, or shame rather than reacting to it?

It is not only possible, but it is also your path to freedom.

The problem factory is all about trying to control life

Curiosity is the willingness to look at what is.

When you can look at what you are experiencing without turning it into a problem, magic begins to happen.

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Rumi is talking about this in his poem, The Guest House.

It is one of his best-known poems, but very few people know its last half, where he says:

“Learn the alchemy true human beings know. The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given, the door will open.”

I would say it differently: “when you can be curious about what difficulties you have been given, a door will open.”

You do not have to stay addicted to struggling

You can be curious today about what is going on within your body.

Know that whenever you become tight, whether you notice your body tightening, your mind, or your emotions, it is just trapped energy asking to be released.

Release that energy by being willing to be curious about what is happening.

Simply put, we are addicted to struggling because that is where we grow.

If there is no struggle, there is no learning, and we desire growth.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Mary O’Malley is an author, counselor and awakening mentor in Kirkland, Washington. In the early 1970’s, a powerful awakening led Mary to begin changing her relationship with her challenges, freeing her from a lifelong struggle with darkness. Mary’s latest book, What’s In the Way IS the Way, provides a revolutionary approach for healing your fears, anxieties, shame, and confusion, so you can live from a place of ease and well-being.
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