Struggle finds us even when our eyes are wide-open awaiting shoes to drop and mountains to crumble. It surprises us, makes our knees buckle, and the ground suddenly feels closer to our hearts than moments before. We grasp at air to stay standing, yet fall upon the ground, pushing and pulling, clawing and climbing until we rest as our energy wanes among the ruins of despair, waiting for a savior, surrendering with a white flag flying, uncertain of how to rise to our feet again. Solutions are distant like a memory trying to retrieve itself, former knowledge vanishes from the forefront, and we lay tattered, worn out, and empty in the dirt of failure.

Yet when silence and stillness come, a soulful whisper does speak volumes of our strength, past victories, and resilience that live within. With self-compassion, begin to dust off, take stock of the current situation, and align goals with actions. Perhaps initially we rise to our knees, strength builds upon small increments until momentum or a hand lifts us higher. Atrophy need not return to the distant starting line, but further along than initially thought. Our egos recap incompetence, worthlessness, and failed outcomes, while our hearts reiterate our true value awaiting acknowledgment shutting out the cruel inner voice that plagues us.

Though the struggle is real, the heart leads you to the other side where healing lays waiting for solace, strength, and confidence to build. When feeling the pain influenced by hurtful substances ingested, let yourself feel the wanting of more and more, to let go of needing more and more. In these moments cry the tears of old patterns, desires of comfort, and absent relief of pain, like an old muscle memory that lingers long past its welcome. Those symptoms torment for immediate gratification while the heart aches for reaching the other side of struggle. The sweet relief is temporary until we distance ourselves from the culprits taunting our taste buds, acting as dictators to our senses, and attracting themselves to us like the addiction they have become.

The far side of struggle stands past the pain and requires acceptance of its lesson. Embrace the knowledge it offers. Old patterns repeat as guidance of significant value with messages that engage the future path set for us. Consequently, struggle waits steadfastly until ready to move to its far side. Lean into the emotion to let the whispers speak fully and wholeheartedly. Our healing lies within hearing the cries of wisdom. Without moving beyond the struggle, we remain in a holding pattern, reacting to pain with comfort by unhealthy replacements for nurturing. There we reside until the healing comes. Be mindful of how pain exhibits itself, what it teaches, and how to align with it for healing. The paved path is a truth away with a shift of intention, focus, and awareness bubbling to the surface. This path leads to the far side of struggle. Take the first step.