Pathwalking can be fraught with many challenges.
I long ago came to believe that nothing worth having is ever easy. But there is a difference between challenge and struggle. Challenge involves growth and proactive change, while struggle is stagnation and reactive change. Challenge is deciding to change, while struggle is forced.
Many of the challenges in Pathwalking are due to outside influences, some which we can control and some which we cannot. Recognizing this is the first step towards working with it, and keeping challenges from becoming struggles.
Further, when you recognize that you are struggling, it is possible to transmute your struggle into a challenge. This is where taking control of the matters which you can control comes into play.
What is outside of your control? Other people, situations that are not of your making, world news and such. Let’s face it…we live in tumultuous times. There is a tremendous amount of upheaval and reactionary measures happening because people are either making poor choices or no choices due to fear of change. We can protest, we can vote more wisely, we can choose where and how to spend our money, but we cannot change these people, their actions or how they think, no matter how badly we want to do that.
What is inside of your control? Everything that is yours in your life. Your thoughts, feelings and actions, your situations, your mental state, how you use your time and so on. You are the only person who can think for you, feel for you, act for you. Nobody else can make you think, feel or do anything you do not allow yourself to think, feel and do.
We frequently give this away without realizing that we are doing that. They influenced my thinking and she made me feel that way and I only did that thing because you made me do it. Easy enough to give that power away, but that is a choice, a decision. The power is yours, but you get to choose if you will take hold of it, or not.
Looking out for yourself is not selfish.
We live in a society obsessed with polar opposites. Black and white, rich and poor, conservative and liberal, gay and straight, fat and thin, etc. We are inundated with choices of either/or, when the truth is most people in every way fall somewhere between extremes.
One of these is the notion that if you are not selfless, you are selfish. As such, we often find ourselves believing that self-care is selfish, so we neglect it to care for others. Then we wonder why we are struggling, when we have accepted this notion and let ourselves take a second-rate place in our own lives.
When we do not hold onto things for ourselves, and we do not care for ourselves, we actually take away our ability to give to others. We have to be full in order to have enough to share, and because this is an abundant universe that is not a selfish notion. We are all unique individuals, and we all have different needs and wants, but no matter what those may be, we all need to care for ourselves. Putting yourself first is perfectly fine, so long as you don’t ignore that there is a world apart from yourself. You are the center of your own world, but you are also a part of rather than apart from the rest of the world. That’s an important distinction to remain clear on.
Choose challenge. Choose change.
Change is inevitable. It will happen, because that is part of life and growth. Even when you are standing perfectly still, the air around you is changed by your body heat and your breath. That is the nature of all things. So rather than struggle from resisting change, accept the challenges that may come from change.
The challenges of Pathwalking will be different for everyone. Things I find simple and easy you may find unbelievably difficult, and vice versa. I am a thinker, and while I am empathic, I have often struggled to understand people who are true feelers. However, while I can be logical about my feelings, actually understanding the meanings of my feelings can be difficult for me. Then there are people who are doers – they take actions with seemingly little thought or feeling going into them, sometimes with extreme wisdom and sometimes less so.
Many of the challenges thinkers, feelers or doers will experience may be similar, but they may also vary rather widely. The thing is to make the choices and decide to work on challenges we face, rather than to let choices and decisions out of our control, and work on struggles that drain us and disempower us.
Pathwalking is empowering.
Despite challenges and occasional struggles, Pathwalking, ultimately, is empowering. Choosing your own path means that you are working on deciding how you want life to be. When we decide this for ourselves, we open ourselves to discovering our happiness, and that, I believe, is the thing we most want to know.
When you are struggling, it is always possible to face it head-on and turn it into a challenge. It may not be easy, but I believe empowering the self is always worthwhile. Choosing my own destiny and deciding how I want to be I believe is key to living the best life I possibly can.
What challenges do you work with regularly, and how do you approach them?
This is the two-hundred eighty-third entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas for and my personal experiences with walking along the path of life. I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to re-blog and share.
The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.
If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.