Embrace your struggles. Cause they are the ones to move you forward.

You know, the older I get, the most difficult some things become. Like painting, which I love so much, and I had to take a distance from it to realize it. 

I’m 47 and not afraid to say it, because it comes together with all the experiences I’ve gathered and all the things I’ve made that are making me proud of who I am. But nothing ever comes easy. As dear Robin Sharma says, ‘anything great you will ever do in your life is hard’. 

Painting ten years ago used to be easier on my body. Just a sore back, an occasional migraine, dry eyes… Simple stuff like that. But now, it’s hard on my arms too. Years of straining the same tendons have not helped, and the time given to me to work on my craft now is more limited. I paint one day and cannot paint for the next 2-3. Every problem is a challenge and a choice: you either find a way to work around it, or stay put. Staying put is sometimes for the better, not everything is for everyone. But when you do decide to work around a problem, then you take a step further down your life’s path. And you move closer to the next issue that will challenge you. And you become stronger and more confident in the way.

It took me years to realize this. I am a stubborn soul (though I didn’t use to admit it) and I don’t like giving up. But whenever I was faced with a pickle (and they do come along more often that we think), I was getting very frustrated if not being able to instantly find a solution. Impatience is one of my greatest attributes, in all its glory. The thing is though, that worrying too much, wearies you down. Significantly.

I’m still trying to work around this, changing is never easy. But I am here today to say this: we tend to see problems as something negative, while in fact they are mostly a positive thing. Leaving serious life threatening conditions aside, the minor problems that we get to have every day, are actually just little opportunities to make us become a better version of who we are. So, facing them as a cheerful yet irritating friend, instead of a mean threatening enemy, seems to be a better way to get around life. 

Love your struggles, embrace your difficulties. Learn to face them with a smile and a lighter heart. It will all start becoming easier and much more beautiful. Even the pain in the arm that does not let me paint today, gave me the time to sit and reflect, and write this. And most importantly, take a break to look around me. 

There is so much beauty in the world. And time flies, no matter whether we allow it or not. That is not our choice. 

But what we do with it, is.

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