The Struggle is Real


Dylan, Rocky, Summer, Julian in yard

“The struggle is real.”  That is what my kids say in a kidding voice, as a relief to the things that really do worry them.What do my kids worry about?

Well, one of them is concerned about his engineering classes and being a success.  Apparently he will be a failure, if he does not walk off the campus with a minimum of a degree in engineering.

Another one is struggling with adapting to college life while trying to figure out what his roommate  really means when his roommate gets a call at two in the morning and returns at nine in the morning and then states, “I have been in church all night.”

Another one wants to major in film while people tell her that she will make a mistake following her dreams because she will not succeed in a pipe-dream and she will walk away with nothing but student loans and no job.

Another one is hurting because she was not invited to a big party that all of her “friends” were invited to.

Another one is trying to adapt to a fifth grade teacher that uses a college professor’s style because she has a true belief that her students can achieve greatness.

Another one is determined to work outside the box and be graduated from high school early by participating in a very rigorous, self-directed online school.

Their struggle is real.  They wake up to their own personal stress and go to sleep thinking about it.  They are just like us.

Everyday is not like that and they have many, many  happy moments but they do struggle with their own personal stress. And to add to it, they “feel badly for not being happy when there are so many awful things in the world,” they say repeatedly.

“Being grateful and having personal concerns is not mutually exclusive,” is what I tell them.

What else do I do to help them come to terms with their “struggle?”

I let them feel, I let them share, I give them perspective and I let them know that their struggle is real in their own personal world and they need to use these emotions like a tool.

“These emotions are messages to you. It is your mind and intuition telling you to pay attention to your surroundings, your world and your dreams”, is what I say to them.

For example, although minor, I am struggling a little bit today. I am a little sad and I do not know why.  I am pretty sure that the message is for me to eat chocolate.

Yep, that was the message.  I feel better.


Ivy L.

Wrapped chocolateunwrapped chocolate


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