Grateful for the struggle

At the risk of overselling the power of mantras (I am no big fan of The Secret), practicing my three mantras has really changed the emotional tone of my days. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, and speaking these to myself throughout the day has done something pretty marvelous to my sense of peace, calm, and humble confidence:

  1. I am open to and able to handle anything that comes my way today.
  2. Anything that happens to me today (externally or internally) is all for my own perfection.
  3. I am only responsible for what I need to do today; nothing more, nothing less.

The second one, in particular, has transformed the way I emotionally process the struggles of my life. Seeing the struggles — the anxiety, the depression, the episodes of doubt, the injustice, the logistical complications — as all having potential to be used for my perfection, for my ultimate betterment as a person, has added an element of gratitude that is now layered over the pain these circumstances bring.

Today, I am particularly grateful for my struggles with self-loathing. Had I not struggled with self-loathing, I would not know what it feels like to find nothing you like about yourself, to believe you deserve nothing good, to find no hope in your future. Knowing what that feels like, and how easy it can be to accept those false and insidious beliefs, has made me more compassion and considerate to those struggling. To those who cannot yet see themselves the way I see (and love) them. It has given me a better sense of how I can be supportive, loving, and helpful through the darkness. It hasn’t given me all the answers, but it has given me a deeper, more intimate perspective that, I hope, ultimately serves to makes me a better friend — advancing my own perfection in that way.

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