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Struggles come in all shapes and sizes. You can struggle physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Physical struggles are related to health and endurance. Mental struggles are about grasping concepts and reality. Emotional struggles are a focus on the intensity of pain caused by the negatives of life (loss resulting from sin). Spiritual struggles involve the ability to discern the truth from falsehood.
All struggles are likely related to childhood events because people are most vulnerable then. Even though we struggle, spiritual rebirth allows believers to love God will all aspects of their being.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”Matthew 22:37-38 ESV
Optical Illusions Are a Perceptional Struggle
Optical illusions are fun. They work because of assumptions about reality. To some degree, you will perceive what you want to perceive. Sometimes that aligns with reality and sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, after you see past the illusion, it’s difficult to be tricked again.
Your consciousness is similar to an optical illusion. You have meaningful events buried beneath the surface of awareness. The significant events are rich with life lessons and strong feelings. As you intentionally uncover the significance of your history, it becomes harder to ignore unless you are determined to avoid it.
Becoming in touch with your uncomfortable memories promotes healing. This can seem counter-intuitive until you realize that to not be in touch with your history is to be in denial. What is distressing tends to stay buried unless you are determined to be healthy.
Jesus Calls Those Who Struggle
As you probably know, there is a tension between wanting everything just to be okay and admitting everything isn’t okay.
Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”Luke 5:31-32 NLT
Many of your childhood struggles continue to play out in your everyday interactions. You just don’t realize it unless you look intentionally. Without some prompting, it’s easy to leave pain buried. You might think you are better off leaving sleeping giants undisturbed.
A decade or two isn’t enough time to fully resolve life’s challenges. Chances are, whatever you struggled with as a child, you still struggle with today. Ideally, you struggle with it to a lesser degree. But there’s no shame in noticing you continue to struggle. It is possible to both make significant progress and realize you are essentially the same person you were as a child.
Feelings Reveal The Real Struggle
Everyone has to overcome their fear of inadequacy if they want to grow. Don’t be surprised and discouraged when you experience some of the same feelings you had during your younger years. Instead, see this as a positive sign that you are strong enough to look clearly at how you are responding to life.
How you respond reveals a lot about yourself that you need to know if you want to continue healing. This works for both positive and negative emotions.
Positive emotions can tell you what you’ll naturally be drawn to. They can get you into a trap just as easily as negative ones if you’re not vigilant. For example, people who notice they feel great when they win might be tempted to gamble for a chance to win big.
Negative emotions tell you what you want to avoid. They become a trap when they take center stage. For example, people who fear competition might become so consumed with failure, that they avoid trying.
Spend time noticing what makes you exceptionally happy, sad, angry, or anxious. Then make connections with your earlier experiences. What themes do you see? Your consistency over time likely defines your personality.
Learn more about exploring childhood to be healthy.
The picture that goes with today’s post contains an optical illusion. I found it on the internet. Apparently, it was popular around 2014.