My adventures in Spain continue. I decided to take myself to the beach to see what adventures awaited me there. The tide was out this morning as I walked along. Rocks of all different sizes and colors grazed the sand. Down near the waters edge were exposed rocky pools. I walked along, in and out hoping to find any type of sea creature. The cool water gathering around my feet felt refreshing underneath the warm sunshine. The tide pools are very different looking then what I am familiar with along the California Coastline. No sea anemone’s or brightly colored starfish. I could only see a few shells, rocks and floating seaweed.
As I continued to walk near the waters edge I spotted movement near my feet out of the corner of my eye. It was a tiny crab! It’s under belly coloring a dark maroon red. Laying on it’s back in the sand, legs flailing about as it struggled to turn itself over. Quickly, I picked up a small rock near by and helped the tiny crab turnover.
Walking away, I felt helpful and purposeful and I thought about how often we struggle in our lives. Whether it’s internal or external and wondered if help isn’t as far away as we think. Or maybe, it’s a call to make a change. Through out my life I have struggled here and there just like that tiny crab, alone on my back, feeling helpless. Whether it was financial struggles, loosing jobs, relationships or whatever else life threw my way. When we are knee deep in the struggle, it is hard to see the potential outcome and the positive results that come from these periods of struggle. Sometimes, I don’t have the existing vocabulary to speak to what is currently happening for me. I say “for me” because I choose to see that the struggle is happening for my good even though it sucks and it’s hard.
Four years ago, I was let go from my job. I was devastated and couldn’t understand why I was let go. As the weeks passed I took personal inventory of my time working at this job. In truth, I was grateful to be working but I wasn’t happy with my position or the company. If I wasn’t let go, and didn’t struggle to find what I really wanted then I wouldn’t have been aware of what other opportunities were available. In talking with a friend, she was able to give me positive feedback, encouraged me to keep going and reminded me that this job loss was only temporary. This conversation took me out of the heavy fog. Three weeks later, I landed a great job as an art teacher, which was something that was more in line with my future goals.
I guess, struggle happens. The test is to recognize the struggle and choose to see it differently. And like the tiny crab, help is always available.