Ending Struggle

Helping others can restrict their ability to thrive.
It is tempting to help others avoid struggle, but sometimes people need to struggle a bit in order to grow and thrive. Sometimes we help others most when we let them hatch on their own.

By Cathy Eck

It is so hard to watch our loved-ones struggle

It is tempting to want to help others when we see them struggle.  We feel the need to give advice, lift them up, or fix them.  I often want to just step in and fix the damn problem.  At times people complain about a problem, and I give them my advice.  Then I wonder why they don’t take it.  I don’t realize that they actually want the struggle.


I’ll be honest.  Their point of view makes no sense to me.  I hate struggle.  I don’t learn well through struggle.  When I get myself in trouble, I want a solution.  NOW!  But we all learn in different ways, and some people believe they learn most when they struggle.  So we have to let them experience the result of their beliefs.  For those of us who don’t like or understand struggle, we might have to look the other way.


Letting Others Hatch

When I was young, my dad found a dead mother duck and her abandoned nest.  Wanting to save the ducklings, he gathered the eggs, brought them into our house, and set up a makeshift incubator system.  We anxiously watched the eggs, hoping that his efforts would save the ducklings.  Finally, one day, the eggs began to crack and out came one duckling after another.  Eventually, only one egg was left, and that egg was not cracking.  In an effort to help the duckling, my dad cracked the egg just a bit.  The newborn emerged.  But a few days later, he died.


My dad felt terrible.  He realized that the struggle was exactly what the duck needed to grow strong.  He had interfered with nature’s perfect process.  He used the event to teach us that when we help others and don’t let them do things for themselves, we sometimes deprive them of the chance to learn, to grow, and to strengthen.


Struggling or Suffering

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not advocating letting someone struggle so long and so hard that they suffer in an abusive way.  I’m not saying to never help others.  We just have to make sure we don’t jump in too fast.


But why do people struggle anyway?  I do find that people who struggle often believe that they learn most through problems.  They are the ones that have to hit bottom before the light of day shines on them.  That is a programmed response that can be changed.  It is not the truth.


These people need to see the difference between natural struggle, which comes when we grow and learn new things and unnatural struggle that is thinking your problems are part of life, punishment for something you’ve done, or your fate.  Some people say and believe that life itself is one big struggle.  Problems are not natural unless we believe they are.  But it is very hard to see that when you are caught in the middle of them.


Struggling is a product of our false mind.  It is eliminated by letting go of the false belief that is the cause.  Letting go always shifts our perspective.  Natural struggle for the purpose of learning or growing in strength is never painful or emotional if we learn how to let go.  As a matter of fact, having done this many, many times, struggle is simply a call to let go.  It is never a punishment or a reason to suffer.  But most people are not trained to let go.  When struggle happens, they hold on even tighter.  And that is where we are most helpful to them.


Proper Struggle

Think of a child learning how to walk — they approach it with a sense of joy and adventure.  The journey is fun.  Learning new things is fun, challenging, and rewarding.  It can also feel like a struggle at times.  But the struggle is a pushing through like the chicken coming out of the egg.  It is not a pushing back.


Unlearning old things can also be fun.  But most people turn unlearning (or letting go) into a huge struggle.  When they do that, it is very painful.  That is because we’ve been trained to believe that letting go is difficult, impossible, or wrong.  We don’t know how to unlearn.  We are hoarders of beliefs and information.


Letting go is simple once we realize that it is natural.  When we finish using our computer for the day, we walk away.  We don’t carry it around with us.  We know we don’t need it anymore.  We know it is not part of us.  Sadly, people often think that their problems do follow them.  They carry them around as if they are part of them.


We Only Heal Ourselves

Often people ask me to heal them or clear their mind for them.  Even if someone does act in the role of healer for us, the patient always heals themselves.  More often, people believe they are cured when they have really just accepted another belief that canceled out or balanced the first one.  That is not bad; but problems go away when we truly cure them.  The ancient masters taught that fixing the effect isn’t true and complete healing.  True healing is always a letting go, a clearing our of our mind, a movement toward greater freedom in our life.


Real Support During Struggle

Supporting one another is a wonderful thing; and there is just not enough of it in this world.  It makes the trip so much more enjoyable.  The very best support you can give is to trust that the person has their own all-powerful and wise true Self, and that true Self knows the way.  Trusting that ducks can hatch on its own is a huge gift that people rarely give to each other.


Gently reminding another to let go of beliefs that are not win-win or don’t feel good is also a great way to support them.  Reminding the struggling person that they are not their struggle, or reminding them of who they were before the struggle, can also help.  Even allowing them to share their heart’s desires with you can support them in letting go of the problem.  Supporting other people’s dreams is the greatest gift we can give them.  Supporting their problems by agreeing with them, letting them whine incessantly, or getting down in the manure with them is not support.  It is wanting to look good or kind.  It is not wanting to hurt their false self.  But to heal, the false self has to let go, and if people think their false self is who they are, it will hurt to let go.  But they will be better for having gone through that struggle.


The Dark Side of Charity

Charity, on the surface, seems humanitarian and good.  But much like cracking the duckling’s egg, it weakens the person.  It makes them dependent on others. Independence is what makes a person joyous and free.


Instead of doing it for them, let go of the belief in you that the other can’t do it themselves.  Let go of the lie that they are or have the problem you see.  It won’t cost you but a moment of your time.  And you just might be the one who tips the scale energetically and shifts the course of their life.


Lao Tzu said it well:  “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.


It is the old teach a man to fish and he fishes for a lifetime aphorism.  Teach your friends how to let go, support them in doing so, and you will have very happy friends for a lifetime.


Need a little help with letting go of your beliefs, try this article:  Letting Go of Beliefs



Cathy Eck is a true pioneer always pushing the boundaries of thought and beliefs. Cathy is courageous about exposing the status quo. While her ideas might not be popular, they are effective, practical, and true. They create unity where division once existed. They create love where hate had reigned. They create joy where pain and sorrow were once normal. They are ideas worth considering and hopefully embracing.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Tia

    This sounds like the dilemma between my mom and grandma. The grandma is always babysitting too many kids almost every day. She’s spread thin because she’s the only one watching them. The family always tells her that she needs to learn how to say no for once instead of over exerting herself. But as irony would have it, as much as she acts like a outspoken bitch around the kids, she has yet to grow enough of a backbone to say no to their parents. Which means my mom, queen of the “nice girl syndrome”, has stuck herself with helping the grandma watch the kids.

    Well that was the case, but now my mom is going to be starting a job soon. Which leaves me as the next candidate. My feelings on that? “Fuck no!” I’m not a babysitter. I don’t like babysitting. I have no interest in wasting my time watching kids just because someone else can’t say no. All I feel like I’d be doing is enabling her. This woman needs absolutely no people around to shift the responsibility onto in order for to get it in her head that this is her problem. But I feel bad for feeling this way. It’s so confusing.

    1. Cathy

      Ah Tia,
      Once again, you are right on the issue. So this is what people do in the illusion. They get fucked on by someone big time; and often it is someone close to them like a parent. And they are crazy fucking mad at that person, but that person is scary. They can’t get angry with them. They are terrified of that person. So they project that anger on to someone else, often a child or an employee or a wife. And that just perpetuates the pain. It’s crazy. So let go of feeling bad for seeing the truth of the situation first of all. Then you have to recognize that your grandma is choosing to watch all these kids, and then she lets her decision turn her into a victim. Her emotions are her problem. This is so rampant right now. We see it with the issues with policemen these days. People are projecting their anger at their fathers on to the policemen, and the policemen are like WTF? Authority figures are acting like scared children or mad dogs because everyone is mad at the early authority figures in their life…and they aren’t dealing with that anger. They aren’t going back and correcting their family issues. They are finding someone else to be pissed off at. And it gets worse and worse. It comes from the fact, that most of us have someone in our life that is like a brick wall. They are filled with emotions that they project on others because they are so psychologically reversed. They can’t see that their thoughts/beliefs are causing their emotions…their rage. And it has gotten to rage with many people today. We do have to start saying no to these people. But we don’t because we are afraid of them. So let go of your fear of her. Let go that you are responsible for helping her out. Let go that she is a victim, etc. Anything you think she thinks is certainly not true. Let it all go. And then just be yourself. The best advice I can give is to realize that standing up for your True Self isn’t fighting their false self. It’s very different. If you stay in your own mind and manage it, you’ll handle it fine. Love, Cathy

  2. Elaine B.

    So refreshing! Thanks!

Leave a Reply