It's important to experience struggle...

Have you ever heard the story of the man who was given everything in life, wanted for nothing - overcame no obstacles and lived happily ever after? Likely not. That isn't the type of story we share on Facebook, heart on Instagram or retweet for others to read and get inspired by. We love to hear about people who have overcome obstacles and adversity - learned from shitty situations and made it in spite of or because of them all. Yet so many of us are scared to admit when we are in the middle of a shit storm.

Struggling in life is shitty yet amazing. It brings about vital opportunities for: learning, growth, gratitude and compassion. Without struggle we can not fully graduate into our authentic being - our enlightened selves. Struggle can also be an indicator that we are not on our correct path...to which we need to stop, analyze our situation, listen to our intuition and proceed accordingly. 

I am not afraid to admit I have struggled many MANY times in my life and I'm sure I will continue to do so in various areas of my world as I grow and evolve. Through hardship I have learned to listen and trust myself more which is a positive. I know in my world I have struggled unnecessarily because I have a hell of a time saying what I believe to be the most important three words in our vocabulary -I NEED HELP-. I am many things, and one of those many things is stubborn as f*ck. 

From a very early age I coveted my independence like it was a golden chicken. I did not want help, I did not ask for help - I would take the long, bumpy, untraveled road before I would admit defeat or that I needed a helping hand. I would often struggle in silence which only isolated me and made the situations I faced that much more difficult and unbearable. Let me elaborate.

Once upon a time I dated an Italian, dedicated my whole entire being to him and his business. Ignoring my own dreams, wants and goals - I threw myself into helping him turn his residential concrete company into a booming commercial/industrial flat work empire. From the outside looking in I was living my best life - working hard (admittedly I do love to work), contributing to a successful business (which it really was and had the potential to continue to be), living in a beautiful penthouse suite close to the river and with my main squeeze who I gushed about constantly. But truthfully I was living in complete misery. I was in a romantic relationship void of romance, an unhealthy dependence on each other that was robbing me of my own identity. I was in over my head with employees who had serious addictions which often found me confiscating our stolen trucks from crack houses in seedy areas of YXE, supervising work sites to ensure no one was drinking/getting high OR calming down an enraged Italian whose temper was at times completely erratic. 

I avoided friends - no time for a social life when crack addicts ruled my world. I didn't bother going home as my parents growing concern about my mental, emotional and physical health was almost too much for me to handle. From the point I knew I needed out it took a full year for me to exit. I would lay awake at night beside a man I knew I could not stay with, in a beautiful suite full of items I no longer felt attached too - knowing it was all a lie. We couldn't sustain this. I was in a life I did not recognize as my own nor could fathom how I willingly walked into - eyes wide I would look into the black sky while in bed asking how I got in so deep, how could I possible unravel it all and wondering would all the stress and all the anxiety just kill me in the end.

While there are still many loose ends to that chapter in my life, with many mini wins and loses the initial exit out came like a perfect storm. A secret cell phone, sordid text messages and a job opportunity in another city created much needed distance between me and my past life. I learned a lot from those years. My struggles now don't look like my struggles back then. While I appreciate my past and have accepted it for what it was and what it taught me - it is my past. I have left it behind, doused in kerosene with a match to burn whatever remains. Burn, baby, burn.

There is no doubt much learning and growth has come from my past. But for me, I recognize how much more grateful for everything authentic in my world I have become. Real people, genuine situations and authentic experiences are what make me happy. I don't take things for granted that I did previously and I am so much more picky about those I share my time, energy and resources with. I am also so much more compassionate. I have the capacity to relate to individuals I did not previously - or at the very least hold judgement and keep an open mind and heart. There is a saying about being kind to everyone you come in contact with because you don't know what struggles they might be fighting or facing in that moment - this holds so much truth for me. 

Light and love to you all - struggling or not.

xo 

CMF

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Candace Fox