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jodiJodi A. Zeramby has had a rich history of interacting with the metaphysical community before finding her way to the Lightarian Institute. She has received all Lightarian modalities including Lightarian™ Reiki, Lightarian Rays™ , Lightarian Clearings™, Lightarian AngelLinks™, the Expansion Program, and the Purification Rings™. In fact, she played a leading role with creating the Lightarian Purification Rings™ program. In addition to her role as a Lightworker, Jodi is an author, attorney, and educator. With her education and skills, Jodi offers a practical outlook to the Lightarian modalities.

To learn more about Jodi, please visit our Staff page.

Posted: June 2007

The Power of Intent: Struggle
by Jodi A. Zeramby

I have long wondered why we must experience suffering. How is it that such experiences make us stronger, wiser, and more interesting? Heartbreak, struggle, set-backs, upheavals, disappointments—most humans must come to terms with these types of events. Tears are shed, hearts emptied, eyes become opaque, frown-lines more pronounced. These trials and tribulations may cause a person to barricade the heart and mind from further anguish. Yet, if a person can adapt, process, and progress after such life events, if she can allow herself to be vulnerable again, that person has the opportunity to soar into happiness.

Perhaps, suffering makes living life more worthwhile because we can recognize and appreciate the bright, happy moments when they come. Perhaps. I must admit that I struggle with struggle. At times, I have resisted it, making it more pronounced. I have tried to distance myself from struggle, making it that much harder to accept when I have found myself embroiled in conflict yet again. I understand on a conceptual level that it is natural to wish to avoid struggle. And, I have even learned that facing struggle directly deflates its power over me.

Yet, there are times when I feel I cannot seize a piece of peace, when no matter what I do, life provides no rest for the weary. For all my high ideals, for the strides I have taken, the struggles I have endured, the heartbreak I have survived, sometimes, sometimes, it seems as if merely existing is onerous—an uphill battle where I try to pull myself up the precipice, hand over hand, grasping at the small indentations in life that may crumble at any given moment. As I stretch and groan, attempting to pull my heavy soul up toward some elusive peak, I look around and see others struggling just as painstakingly as I am—my comrades-in-arms, my spiritual brethren. As they continue to move, so do I, oh, so slowly. At those times, I focus on each moment—it is all that exists—each foot plodding forward, body swaying, hands clutching purposefully onward and upward.

I wonder as I struggle up life’s incline whether others sport painful blisters as I do, if they feel the fatigue as deeply as I do, if they try to catch every sweet breath while cursing each breath. Miraculously, as I strive to reach the summit, sometimes by walking uphill backwards or sideways since at those times it is too painful to stride forward, I am able to rest with groups of people on their own journeys—taking comfort in their understanding, understanding borne of their own, similar struggles. Towards the top I see people who not only reached their goals, but have returned down the mountain to cheer us on, me on, as we keep going, using inner reserves we knew not existed until that moment. And, so life becomes that much sweeter, more profound, more meaningful as we overcome whatever life throws at us. We feel a sense of accomplishment for not giving up. We feel pride for the hard-earned understanding that we have acquired, enabling us to make our way through this world. Our experiences create clarity by helping us to know just how precious life is. Our experiences provide us with an inherent understanding of other people and their struggles, bringing us closer to them. We connect. We are not alone. I can’t help wondering, though, wouldn’t it be more pleasant if all could connect through purely positive, joyful experiences?

I have realized that we struggle in order to expand. Such experiences cause us to stretch and grow, to step outside the comfort zone. As we do, we evolve. This process of spiritual expansion, of meeting challenges, of finding ways to survive (if not excel) creates new life patterns—new ways of living and viewing life—while releasing patterns that no longer serve us.

Not every struggle is a negative experience. In fact, some are wonderful opportunities to reaffirm our courage, strength, intellectual muscle, or ethical construct. We create these scenarios with the choice of rising to the challenge or giving up. Sometimes, we choose to walk away from the struggle because we feel unable or unwilling to stretch. Other times, we not only meet the challenge, but exceed our best expectations of success. Michelangelo said, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it, but we aim too low and reach it.” The pure joy when reaching that high aim is a thousand times more potent than the feeling of failure. So isn’t the knowledge that we dared to try, that we allowed ourselves to be so very vulnerable. Whether a person succeeds in a given endeavor or falls short, the measure becomes how much of herself she has applied toward the challenge, and her reaction to the outcome.

So, there is hope. As we experience these struggles, we have the opportunity to release patterns that no longer coincide with our desires. We create new ways of being—new beliefs, new actions, new thoughts. And, we learn from each experience, regardless of the outcome.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin should have added change to that list. Isn’t it interesting how many people resist change? Some strive to live the same life day in and day out for comfort’s sake. How can one grow by living a monotonous life? I have begun to embrace change, and it is heartening to find that by doing so, struggle dissipates exponentially. But, no, I am not being entirely honest. Sometimes I do not embrace change. I am afraid of the unknown. I want to know what the next day will bring, to have the reassurance that only I will introduce a change into my life. Realistically, though, whether the change occurs through an external or internal force, it all stems from my reality and my choice. Consciously or subconsciously, I have given permission for the change to occur. Otherwise, I would not attract that change. With this in mind, I am learning that I do not need to know everything about my future to enjoy the experience.

In Our Town, Act III, Emily asks the Stage Manager, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?” No, we don’t. We do not gaze at everything and everyone around us and value all that life presents. Most do not make an emotional connection to the ordinary daily activities. Too many lack any sense of wonder at what passes before their eyes every day. We waste great opportunities, mostly due to not being present, not being in the moment. Or, we pull back from life because of fear. We look ahead and behind, not appreciating the moment at hand.

Some people fear change because they do not know what to expect. This prevents them from enjoying life. Is it absolutely necessary to know what lies ahead? I heard a great metaphor that goes like this:

Say you know that you are traveling from California to New York by car. You have your route mapped out. As you drive, you can only see so far up ahead, a few hundred feet at best. Since you cannot see the entire route while you travel it, you must have faith that as long as you stick to your plan, you’ll get to your destination.

Here’s my addition to the metaphor:

Now, wonder if there’s some construction occurring which detours your travel plans? You may decide to travel on a parallel route and intercept with the original route as soon as you can. Or, you might take that opportunity to change your route entirely. It depends on your comfort level for embracing change versus your motivation for reaching your planned goal.

What happens if you reach New York, only to find that you do not feel that sense of elation and completion once you arrive? Is this why the journey can be more important than the end result? Is this why stretching to realize life every, every minute may be a worthier goal? Because, if we are always looking toward the completion of our grandiose goals, we might miss some wonderful adventures along the way, don’t you think? We may be so focused that we do not allow ourselves to veer off the path, and through that constriction, we may unwittingly deprive ourselves of some wonderful opportunities. And, why do we do that? Why do we hold ourselves so closely to the plan? Do we fear the unexpected, the unknown, the unimagined? After all, what’s so bad about unanticipated situations—isn’t that why we are here? To experience life? The bottom line is that we create our realities. We create every positive and negative event in our lives. Therefore, if I do not absolutely believe that I will live the outcome I seek to attain, I will not. No matter what words I spout, it is the inner dialogue that creates my reality and forges my future. For each day, my reality is as luscious as my imagination.

2007 copyright Jodi A. Zeramby

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