Not giving up

It is sometimes through times of testing that we come to know what endures.

The Zen student, the poet, the husband, the wife — none knows with certainty what he or she is staying for, but all know the likelihood that they will be staying “a while”: to find out what they are staying for. And it is the faith of all of these disciplines that they will not stay to find that they should not have stayed. That faith has nothing to do with what is usually called optimism. The faith, rather, is that by staying, and only by staying, we will learn something of the truth, that the truth is good to know, and that it is always both different and larger than we thought.

Wendell Berry

The difference between effort and struggle

Struggle happens for all of us, so it must have  a place in the scheme of things, but I for one have spent way too much time struggling for what struggle can never accomplish. For struggle is not the same as effort — what is sometimes called “right effort.” We all need to make an effort in every area of our life …Life doesn’t just provide us with food and shelter as a natural right. Effort is a natural exertion of the personal will toward a specified end. 

But struggle is an added push that is born of fear. Ultimately, it is born of the fear of not surviving, of dissolving and disappearing, not just as a physical form but as a psychological self… Struggle will never get us the things we want most – love, meaning, freedom from anxiety, contentment with ourselves exactly as we are, imperfections and all. For these we need another way. That way begins and ends in surrender, in letting go of our resistance to life as it presents itself.

Roger Housden, Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life you Have