Life Is Hard......?

Like any meme this overly simplifies things and yet there’s something in this that resonates with me as true or at least useful…perhaps because I’m striving for more resilience and emotional capacity and part of that, to my mind, is to be able to accept, stay centered and be okay with ‘hard stuff’ when it presents itself. I also like to remind myself that memes are not a conversation or a discussion…they are written to be truisms.

I would reword the notion that "life will ‘never’ be easy" and will “always be hard” to say that life will often not be as easy as we would like and will sometimes be hard…(very hard sometimes)…because that would reflect my experience of times when I’ve lived with a beautiful sense of ease and effortlessness. To expect either of those extremes (either hard or easy) all the time is problematic.

Comments?

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Just because it is Hard doesn’t make it Bad.

I remind myself of this one. There was a time I believe I was making life harder than it needed to be. It seemed like the old notion that “good boys work hard” had infested my beliefs.

Ease became my second favorite 4-letter word.

But then there was the out of balance there, that if it wasn’t “easy” then there was something wrong, or I had not succeeded at making it full of “ease.”

Memes like these I do believe are part of shared wisdom.

What I am REALLY appreciating is that you set the context for it, and also added your own frame! That (!) is what I hoped would happen here in the community center, to share something like this and also deepen it with how it feels within us and what it evokes in us. So much different than just clicking :heart:.

I can feel this person, the comfort they might get from letting go of the expectations that cause so much distress, like “life should be easy.” It feels like not a bridge I want to fish from, though. Life for me has a multitude of easy moments, and also aspects that vary in hardness.

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When I think of LIFE and the words EASY and HARD I am reminded that it’s important to me to find my BALANCE (I am a Libra after all!) in the middle of either of these extremes. I am so thankful for our Circle and Community Center for helping me re-find my balance point especially if I’m experiencing a HARD aspect of my Life. :balance_scale::heart:

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I agree with letting go of the “always” and “never” — those are seldom accurate words anyway!

My first inclination with that meme is to put in the opposite, and just see how it feels different that way…

“Marriage is easy. Divorce is easy.
Choose your ease.”

I can certainly see how it could be true either way! (Staying married to my ex was hard, but it was also easier than divorce… until it wasn’t — and then getting divorced was much easier! It also varied depending on my own Resource — if I’d had a good night’s sleep, had other support, etc. It’s all relative…)

Really, all of those things could be hard or easy, depending how you look at them, what it takes to do one or the other, whether you have a natural talent for them, what the timing is, what the alternatives are, and whether you have acquired skills, traumas, stories, beliefs, or perspectives that make them harder or easier for you…

In truth, anything can be hard or easy for different people, or at different times in life for the same person, varying with their level of resource and other circumstances.

Life is both hard or easy; that’s part of the beauty of it. :yin_yang:

We get to choose our perspective: if we want to look at things as hard or easy — or as just beautiful as they are, in their wholeness, without the judgment of whether they’re hard or easy, since neither is ever wholly true anyway, if we really think about it.

What perspective feels better and is more useful to choose?

Sometimes it’s helpful to acknowledge that things are hard, to inspire us to rise to the challenge and/or to have greater compassion for that experience, and then to learn from it and appreciate our growth.

Other times, choosing to see something as easy (or at least easier than an alternative) is more helpful, because that mindset itself can allow us to accomplish more, or to feel more joy in the process, or to let things flow more smoothly, rather than making things harder than they need to be.

I think my favorite is the perspective that it’s all just energy, constantly changing form, and whether a given circumstance is hard or easy to meet usually depends on our own internal Resource, which is also constantly in flux…

With that perspective, the issue becomes:

“How can I be more resourced within myself, to be able to meet this experience in alignment with who I am and what I want to stand for?”

Getting better at working wisely with our own internal energy feels much more useful than judging if external things are hard or easy!

Removing the labels of hard or easy altogether, we just get to choose what we want and need to feel aligned and to thrive — whatever that means to us at the time.

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I completely agree with you. When someone has very few resources or support “easy” things become difficult. Different people struggle with different things. What is easy for you may be difficult for someone else and vice versa. I’m trying to learn how to become more internally resourced because right now everything seems “too much”. Even little “easy” things feel overwhelming. Then I berate myself for not being able to do said thing because I believe it’s “easy” for other people so it “should” be easy for me too so “I’m obviously deficient because it’s something I struggle with and they don’t.” Note that this belief isnt true in my mind but my body and emotions firmly disagree. I can see that everyone deals with things differently and has different resources and skills and experiences. I know I should compare myself to past versions of me and not other people. They had a different starting point than me. To me it feels like I’m required to go up a flight of stairs. I have 2 broken legs and there’s no elevator. Everyone else has working legs but I tell myself I should be able to do it too and it should be easy. Look how easy it is for them! Some people even look down on you for being broken and unable to climb up the stairs. It just occurred to me that even if my legs are broken, if maybe I have someone on either side of me helping me up I could do it. Having support really makes a difference in whatever difficulty you are facing.

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Being able to “try on” different perspectives is so dear to me now, perhaps because in trauma my brain used to be so “stuck” on one way and had a very hard time allowing consideration of re-frame.

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Aho! Absolutely. That goes for coping with tides of emotion as well. Anchors, supports, rooted and grounded beings that help hold a space for our emotional healing…

So appreciate you trusting us with your realness, @StrongPotato7!

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This reminds me to be aware of the very important difference between ‘resources’ and ‘resourcefulness’. One describes a reliance on external factors (and if they are lacking then one easily sees oneself as a victim of that lack.) The other is an attitude and a perspective about one’s own capabilities. It’s a skill set that I think can be learned…I’m still learning about resourcefulness and have a lot left to learn.

That’s for sure!! And it occurs to me that this is where resourcefulness enters if there is a lack of support. Being guided by a sense of inner resourcefulness can allow a person to ask for support or create the conditions for support rather than simply expecting it to just be there as an external resource. And if it’s not there then it means ‘the world is cruel’ or ‘I’m not worthy’ or ‘I’m not good enough’ etc.
Again, I’m still on the learning path. I’ve acquired some skills I never had before regarding resourcefulness and support against the backdrop of becoming clear about what my expectations are and whether they are reasonable.

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Yes I’m definitely learning to increase my inner resourcefulness. I’d like to point out that even if there are “outside” sources of support, it won’t do us a lot of good if we don’t access them. Cathy really got to me when she said “courage is the price of connection”

“And if it’s not there then it means ‘the world is cruel’ or ‘I’m not worthy’ or ‘I’m not good enough’ etc.”

I have these beliefs and am working hard to change them. Finally starting to see things differently. I was unloved versus I was unlovable. I was treated shamefully, not I am shameful.

I really want to build up my resiliency and I think part of that comes from facing uncomfortable things and making it through them. I’m uncomfortable and afraid every time I post but I’m stretching my courage because I want more connection. Even though danger me is saying “NO don’t do it they are going to criticize/mock you” Courageous me says “yeah they might and it’s scary but I’m doing it anyway” I’m tired of spending so much energy lamenting how people might react. I would like to get to a point where I’m resilient enough that it won’t bother me much if someone has a negative response.

If anyone has some tips or insights on how they have increased their inner resourcefulness/resiliency I’d love to hear about it.

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To me there is so much wisdom in exploring what does it mean to REACT.

I’m not perfect at this. But every baby step I’ve taken to detect and be consciously aware of whether someone is in their primitive brain has helped me understand and RESPOND differently.

Someone who is in Flight is, well, in Flight. Same with Fight. Their primitive brain has triggered and that’s where they are! Some need for safety, respect, connection… whatever it is… has turned them primal.

Yeah, primal brain isn’t the same as calm and confident clarity. If I’m aware that they are reacting, it makes me aware that expecting them to be… kind, compassionate, clear-headed, solid, respectful… is not very likely. They are reacting.

My job when someone is reacting, which I can’t always do, is to ground, be headed towards calm and confident, and ideally encourage them to co-regulate… and if they cannot or won’t… for me to take a pause.

Growing up I felt like all I “could” do is try to avoid triggering other people.

Now, it feels more empowering to combine other skills… things like my won capacity to self-regulate and ground, to have Responses more than my own knee jerk reactions… and encourage others to do the same. And, yeah, to keep the Right Distance and Right Depth with people who I seem to trigger even when I’m being who I want to be…

And that’s a key. Acknowledge that sometimes we trigger people when we’re at our FINEST… and it’s okay to give them more distance and to discover and cultivate places where we can express our Heartistry with more safety, respect, and freedom.

How does that feel to you?

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It makes sense and I agree that people might not be as kind if they are in primal mode. My problem is seeing their reaction as a valuation on my being. I know the cashier at the store is most likely just having a bad day, but i feel like its my fault. I’ve grown up blaming myself for everything (including other people’s emotions). So if anybody is feeling anything negative it MUST be my fault (obviously not factually true) So even though logically I can tell myself “it’s not you, they didn’t mean it that way, it was about someone else, they are in their primitive brain, etc” Emotionally, energetically I associate someone’s reaction with some defect in me.

My primitive brain is stronger than my logical brain. It’s really frustrating because I can see people are responsible for their own emotions/reactions and that it might not even have anything to do with me, but I FEEL like it’s my fault somehow. Even though I know it’s not. :confused: My knowing and believing are not on the same page, and my logic and emotions are not on the same page. My primitive brain believes a lot of things that aren’t true, but telling myself its not true doesn’t make the emotion go away.

This is where tapping has really made a difference for me, because I can’t logic my way out of the feeling(even though I can see the absurdity). I have to calm the emotion and my nervous system first before my primitive brain will listen to logic. But I have a really difficult time calming my nervous system. My fight or flight is pretty much stuck to ON and the irrational conclusions I made when I was young overpower the more experienced conclusions I’ve come to as an adult. :sweat:

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THIS is ripe for tapping.

“Even though this cashier is most likely having a bad day, and it’s my fault of course, what if it is not?”

The “what if it’s not” touches on the reason most of us took responsibility and fault. Because it is WAY to scary when we’re stuck as a child or adult in a situation where we’re being treated like dirt and it is actually out of our control! Because they are the type that take it out on innocent people, for example.

Softening the edges of “it’s my fault” is something that tapping can help with, over the coming two dozen experiences that come your way through no actual fault of your own. It’s not EASY to accept that people fling their emotional poo on others. But we don’t need to keep being responsible for it ALL.

Rick
(And yes, own what is actually something where we violate our core integrity and need to clean it up.)

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This, as well as what you said above about having courage and seeking more resources & resourcefulness, reminded me of the practices I share in my free mini-course, Embodying Courage in Challenging Times.

There are a couple simple practices there that might help you reset your nervous system, so it will be easier to change brain states. Even 30-90 seconds can help a lot!

Because yes, if the nervous system is stuck ON, it’s hard to shift out of primitive brain (& the accompanying shame-based beliefs that it attached to when trying to protect ourselves early on) and into our human brain/whole body, where we hold the deeper knowing of our innate value, wisdom, worthiness, and amazingness of all that we are.

As I talk about in the course section on spontaneous qigong, we are mammals, and when our nervous system gets triggered, it helps to actually physically shake it out, just like other mammals do. If we don’t, and we stay up in our heads with whatever thoughts are coming through, it’s all too easy for those beliefs and energies to get stuck in our bodies — which makes it even harder to respond (versus react) in more helpful ways over time, too.

This is a natural process, not a shortcoming! And, there are ways of working WITH our own embodied energetic responses, to help the energies that arise to move through more easily, so we can shift our brain state BY shifting our embodied experience — rather than just trying to logic ourselves out of it. (Which, as you say, doesn’t work very well!)

The key is to come with compassion for exactly where we are…

It’s ok to get triggered sometimes, or even to acknowledge that we’re stuck in patterns/beliefs that don’t feel good, despite “knowing better”. But beating ourselves up for it doesn’t help… Just extending extra gentleness and allowing some spaciousness around our experience can help a lot — especially if that wasn’t offered to us earlier in life from others. (And extending compassion to the Inner Critic helps too!)

With that extra compassion and curiosity about what we can learn from our bodies’ reactions, it becomes easier to learn new tools/skills to shift our responses more quickly. (It helps to have compassion for the fact that most of us didn’t grow up being taught such skills either — no wonder it’s hard!)

When we learn more skills for processing our embodied emotional responses, it’s much easier to be Resourced and feel Resourceful. Things don’t have to feel as overwhelming. It’s like finding the escalator, rather than struggling up one stair at a time!

@StrongPotato7 feel free to check out the practices in my free mini-course, and/or to ask any further questions about any of this here — I hope something of this feels helpful, and that you continue to find the support you need, both with others and within yourself!

I honor your courage to be here, to be vulnerable, open, and honest, and to keep trusting that there are other ways of Being that would feel more nourishing… and to actively seek them out! That takes energy and effort, and you’re doing it, even when it feels hard! In my book, that’s clear evidence of your true strength and resilience. :slightly_smiling_face::purple_heart:

Link to Embodying Courage in Challenging Times: Embodying Courage in Challenging Times

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