The Good Struggle sounds funny I know, but we all experience it at some point in our lives. It is when something hard that we go through turns out to be worth the struggle. Can you think of something that has already happened to you that proves this point?
In the context of awakening, our struggle turns out to be good when we begin to recognize our conditioned self. That means we start to see in ourselves certain behaviors and thoughts that we can no longer tolerate. They make us feel uncomfortable in some way, and we now realize that they have been with us for some time, but we did not see them, or we have ignored them.
This process can begin in different ways. However, for many, it happens once we start to question our lives. We may feel a calling or that there has to be something more to life. However, often something traumatic or difficult happens in our lives and these events shake us up, and begin to wake us up.
Once this happens, we start to see these behaviors and thoughts that were before out of our conscious awareness. Sometimes you can even see this playing out in the actions of friends or family members; however, it is much harder to see in our own lives without awareness.
Things that you might notice are that you feel uneasy, out of balance, or more emotional. Fear, anger, anxiety and other uncomfortable feelings come up more often and stay longer. Your thoughts may urge you to believe these feeling have just started and were caused by someone or something else in your life. Yet somehow, you know this is not true, and that they were there all along.
Once the light of awareness starts flowing in, the mind fights back to stay in control. Therefore, dealing with everything that is coming out makes things more difficult for a time, this should not bring concern but instead optimism. It can even feel better or easier if we just go along with our thoughts and ignore what is happening, but I can assure you this is not true. When the real self is calling us, there is no turning back, and if we ignore this calling, then our struggle can evolve into great suffering because of our resistance.
We often think that we are supposed to have a mystical or spiritual experience to awaken or we want the quick fix. Then we spend years going from one thing to the next, one teacher or workshop waiting for this to happen or chasing a similar experience that happened before, not realizing we are going nowhere.
For the majority, having this kind of dramatic moment never happens, and we end up in more distress over the years. Once we experience our true nature and the light of awareness begins to flow, things will happen naturally and without much effort. However, we must remain watchful so that we do not fall prey to the tricks of the mind because it will easily betray us through our conditioned thoughts. So yes, you may feel at times this is a struggle, but I assure you once again that it is The Good Struggle.