Photo by Sasin Tipchai
Brene Brown http://Brenebrown.com says that ‘we are wired for struggle.’ The human condition is to struggle against something. Ask anyone at a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous and they’ll have very different stories to tell. One will say they are alcoholic because their parents were alcoholics. Or that their home life was chaotic. Another may tell you that their parents loved them too much. Still others will say that they got love, but it wasn’t the right kind of love, which is why they are sitting in an AA meeting. The struggle is real. Whatever circumstances we face in life we still rally against it. Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, we struggle and fight. And Brene Brown’s point is that we struggle, because we are hardwired to struggle. It’s in our DNA.
And yet, at the same time that we struggle, we also seek comfort and safety. Knowing that we are designed to struggle and desire to stay safe can make us feel unnerved. It’s the yin and yang of life. But here’s a spiritual law: If you focus on helping someone else – it will help you as well. Or, as my spiritual advisor used to say, “Focus on getting your brothers boat to safety, and yours gets to there as well.”
Struggling is what we have always done
I did a funeral of a Holocaust survivor a few years ago. One of the stories his family told me was how he survived a train ride to a Concentration Camp. In the freezing train he found an old man who was not wearing any warm garments. So he focused on helping the old man stay warm, by massaging his hands and feet through the frigid, winter night. During the daunting ride, his only focus was helping the man. In the morning, when train arrived, the two of them were the only ones left alive in that car. Everyone else had frozen to death.
When we feel frightened, anxious and powerless, let’s remember we are not powerless to act. Find a way to help another person through this time.
Reach out and let someone know they are not alone in the struggle
At a time when we are most distant from one another, we can feel connected – just by sending love and healing.
And if we can’t reach someone directly, to send out a prayer on their behalf is a powerful act that will benefit them and ultimately the world. We are not powerless – even the smallest act of kindness will go a long way.