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How To Break The Cycle of Struggle

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How To Break The Cycle of Struggle

Giving Your Self-Esteem A Boost
Iyanla  Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant More by this author
Mar 07, 2014 at 09:00 AM

A lot of people get turned on by the dramatic frenzy of running here and there, trying to find this or that in order to get something or learn something else at the last possible moment. Life does not have to be hard!

There was a time in my own life when I had a tendency to make my life experience much harder than was required or necessary. In fact, the “last minute” was my drug of choice. Then, as I matured and my memory ceased to be as cooperative as it had once been, I had to abandon the “last minute” and focus on where I had put my glasses!

Now I watch in total amazement as the young women around me, drama queens and divas, push the envelope of the important things in their lives to 15 minutes after they are due. What I know now is that making life harder than it needs to be does not make you more valuable, worthy, or stronger. In fact, it gives you wrinkles!

One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6 which says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (New Living Translation).

Struggle is Not Necessary

I consider this the absolute mandate for blessing your head daily. Understanding that it is not the physical head we are addressing, but rather the spiritual head, or consciousness, this proverb clearly indicates that if we want to know what to do, we must honor the Creator of our head. If we want to know how to do it, we must seek guidance and direction. We must be obedient to our inner voice, and we must stop believing that we are out here in the world alone.

There have been many times in my life when I have been totally lost and confused but would not admit it. I thought my life had to be hard; after all, I was ugly and bad. Because I had watched the adults in my life do it with such finesse, I believed that struggle was necessary for the development of an all-around personality. I tell you, I really knew how to struggle! I struggled to make ends meet. I struggled to raise my children, attempting to teach them how not to struggle.

I struggled through one relationship after another, one bad relationship after another. I struggled to manage my life rather than live it. It felt as though I had been beaten up so badly, and for so long, in life and by life, that I believed struggle, hurt, and pain were the natural order. I knew how to take a punch in life, and I was determined not to be knocked down even when I was on my knees, crawling, with my tongue hanging out. I would survive!

Move Beyond Self-Imposed Unworthiness

I now realize that just because you can take a punch does not mean you must stand in front of a fist, particularly not when the fist is your own. It is like self-flagellation! With my extremely negative internal self-dialogue, I would beat myself up for who and what I was and was not, what I had and had not done, what I did and did not own. Externally, I tried to prove to myself and the world that I was more than I actually believed I could ever be. It was crazy-making behavior, and I was doing it to myself. I had a very limited perception of reality and myself based on the many things I had been told during childhood. I had also created enough drama on my own to make my life a hotbed of difficulty.

If you live long enough, life will humble you. Life will level your defenses, expose your bad habits, and reveal self-deception, all in an attempt to push you beyond your self-inflicted nonsense and self-imposed unworthiness. When you are paying attention, you will get the point. When you are not, you will be humbled. Life can and will bring you to the stark realization that your thinking and feeling nature—in essence, your level of consciousness— controls what you can and cannot do or be.

About Author
Iyanla  Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant is the founder and executive director of Inner Visions International and the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development. She is a Yoruba priestess and an ordained minister in Christian New Thought. The author of 13 titles—inc Continue reading