Difficulties of Life

Difficulties of Life

Difficulties of Life

I believe that the difficulties of life are what make it beautiful. It is in the challenges and imperfections that we see our strength and humanity.

I collect words and phrases. Over the years I have been introduced to many interesting phrases and thought provocative words. Recently I watched a You Tube talk on ‘Lessons from a Mental Hospital’ by Glennon Doyle Melton. The subject was of interest to me because I had worked as a psychotherapist in a hospital-based mental hospital. I picked up a lot of unusual words and phrases there!


In her talk, Glennon introduced a new word to which I mentally responded with a ‘yes, that is my experience, life is just that way.’


She said life is brutal. I can identify with that. Can you?


She said life is beautiful. I can also identify with that. Can you?


Then she coined a new word that seems right on the mark for me, maybe for you also.


That is, life is brutal-full.

Difficulties of LIfe

That word has helped to shape a new understanding about life and reality.


It has been my experience that a lot of suffering arises because I want life to be perfect, the way I want it to be one way, my way, all the time.   As Dr. Phil asks, ‘how’s that working for you?’


It hasn’t worked very well. I can insist and demand that life be as I imagine it should be…but it’s not.


When I want life to be always beautiful, peaceful and happy I am living emotionally in Shoulds-ville. It doesn’t have a Zip Code. It doesn’t have to. It resides my mental thoughts and attitudes.


In Shoulds-ville I am at war. I am in conflict with how things are, reality.


Shoulds-vlle: My parents should have been different.

I should have been born into a different family.

My boss should treat me with more respect.

My lover should not have cheated on me.

I should have been a better student.

I should give up that unhealthy behavioral habit.

I should not have negative thoughts.

I should not have suffered the consequences of my behavior.


By now, you might be saying to yourself, ‘I get it Jim, I can identify with how mired up I am in my Should-ville.’ (You might want to take a moment to pause and do your own inventory of your ‘shoulds’ and realize how much anxiety and stress you carry in your body.)


And, you might also notice how your dis-ease about life has driven you to find comfort in unhealthy behaviors that are not in alignment with your deepest values and intentions.


In Shoulds-ville we habitually use, drink and act out. And this works until it doesn’t.

Difficulties of perfection

Which brings me back to where I began. I need a mental hospital, where I can get well from my dis-ease that arises from my misunderstanding about life.


With this awareness I’m ready to take action.


I’ve decided to make the move from Shoulds-ville to Is-ville. I don’t need Two Men and a Truck to make this move. I first need to recognize the insanity of wanting life to be other than the way it is.


I also need help also this new move to a new understanding. I need someone to help me check out my perception about my challenging and difficult situations, relational, vocational, spiritual and other domains, in which I live, move and have my being.


You might need help also? If so, maybe reaching out to someone now might be a good step in the right direction to making your move from fantasy into reality.


I’m available to empower you to look deeply into yourself, your relationships and your perception about how life works.


Life is brutal. But, life is also beautiful. We can learn how to hold these two realities with loving kindness and compassion as we live into the truth that life is Brutal-full.


Author: Jim Compton, DMin, LMFT

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