I’ve written a lot about struggling this winter, the word I’ve chosen to describe how I feel. Struggling, like a small animal mired in quicksand, its tiny head barely above the ravenous muck threatening to pull it under.
When I was a child, I would sometimes see a beetle bug on its back, working its legs furiously in an attempt to right itself. I would watch in empathetic horror, mustering my courage to touch it with the tip of my fingernail and turn it over where it would stand, breathless and amazed, before scuttling off into it’s life.
So struggle is what life has felt like. I wrote about it to make sense of where I am with it, and, as so often happens, the power of words worked within me to help me see things I’ve never seen before, like the touch of an unknown fingertip gently nudging me right side up once again.
And so I come to change the word I use to describe my situation, a change that expresses not defeat but hope. For I’ve realized what I must now be about is seeking, looking for what I want rather than flailing helplessly against what already is.
Changing the word you use to think about your situation makes a huge difference. Today, when I start to feel sucked under by struggle, I remind myself to look outward at the horizon, like the ancient explorers of old standing on the prow of their vessel, hand to forehead shielding their eyes from the sun. I’m scanning for positive changes to make in the future, rather than wallowing in the sorrows and frustrations of the present moment.
I don’t expect the change to be instant, I don’t expect to be completely free from the struggles that have weighed me down. But I’ve at least started to define them, and in so doing, begun to set myself free of them.
Most importantly, I’ve started to think about seeking a different future.
I’ll let you know what I find.