The Struggle

Knowing when to let go

It must be terrifying, if any of us could remember it, the moment we are pushed out into this blindingly bright, cold world.

Even that first breath is a struggle, trying to inhale air for the first time, with lungs unaccustomed to their purpose.

And for many of us, struggling is what defines life.

Yet I have been privileged to share that instant of passing from life to death with more than one, and if you have too, you know I speak truth when I say that it is as calm and peaceful a moment as we have on this earth.

No matter the pain, the fear, the regret and sorrow, that final instant is peaceful, almost beautiful, as if, by finally understanding that all we have to do is stop struggling, we achieve what has eluded us since we fought and screamed for that first breath.

Don’t misunderstand;I believe that everything worth having requires effort, even that final breath.

But sometimes, perhaps often, we struggle too much. We make this life harder than it was meant to be. And, maybe worse, we watch others struggle beyond human limit without offering to help shoulder some of their burden, for even a small part of their journey.

I’d like to suggest that part of what we are meant to learn here is when to let go.

That only by acknowledging our lack of control do we slowly stumble forward in gratitude and grace and humility.

That by understanding we can, and surely will, lose everyone we love most, we learn to savor each fleeting moment of interaction and joy.

Are you struggling today?

Perhaps struggling for income to support a lifestyle that is not as linked to true happiness as you believe. Struggling with self-respect in an industry that devalues your talent and a culture that devalues your humanity.

Struggling with health issues that make the life you’ve always known impossible now.

Perhaps you’re struggling with forgiveness, for someone who has wronged you, or for yourself, for failing to meet your own expectations.

Let it go.

Surrender it to a power greater than yourself, whatever you call it, however you understand it.

Take that step now that most of us don’t take until it is forced upon us.

Stop struggling, and live, in this instant, right now.