Too many people are using the word "struggle" too often and too easily. I first noticed it in 2017.


"He's blunt: 'I struggle with the idea that a cauliflower base with some cheese and tomato on top is called a pizza. It ain't a pizza.'"

That is not a struggle. He had a definite opinion.

2018—the struggle continues.
-=- and struggle keeping the balance...-=-
-=-We're feeling stagnant and struggling-=-

Too much struggling. Relax.

Struggling is a waste of energy.

I know the world "struggle" is as popular as "groovy" was in 1967, but it's not nearly as groovy.


IF every time you start to write or say "struggle" you stop and rephrase, then you can move toward rephrasing every time you *think* "struggle." And your struggles will be over as soon as you stop struggling.

In June 2018, not about unschooling, from a closed group I'm in, me writing:
The word "struggling" is used too much lately. Everyone says they're struggling about everything.

Please consider re-phrasing. If you think of the situation in your own words, you will think of it, and see it, and respond to it more clearly.

And anytime people describe things as a battle, a struggle, a fight, they're categorizing the thing as though it's fighting back, and they're in danger.


By 2020 people were struggling with struggling. No one seemed to do or to discuss anything without the word "struggle."

Avoid struggles

"Struggling with a disorder" is not as good as living with choices and looking up instead of down.

Find ways to relax, rather than to struggle.
Peace for Unschoolers
photo by Sandra Dodd

A nice outside metaphor for this is Devil's Snare, invented by J. K. Rowling for Harry Potter's world. It will grab people, and if they struggle, it grabs harder. Relax and it will relax. Shine light on it and it will shrink away.

Movie version

[in the Devil's Snare]

Hermione : Stop moving, both of you. This is devil's snare! You have to relax. If you don't, it'll only kill you faster!

Ron : Kill us faster? Oh, now I can relax!

“She leapt up and struggled toward a damp wall. She had to struggle because the moment she had landed, the plant had started to twist snakelike tendrils around her ankles. As for Harry and Ron, their legs had already been bound tightly in long creepers without their noticing. Hermione had managed to free herself before the plant got a firm grip on her. Now she watched in horror as the two boys fought to pull the plant off them, but the more they strained against it, the tighter and faster the plant wound around them. “Stop moving!” Hermione ordered them. “I know what this is—it’s Devil’s Snare!””

Devil's snare hates sunlight. Just Add Light and Stir

Earlier and other uses, about unschooling

Instead of feeling like you need to struggle, just stop and look at your son and think, "Right now what can I do to make his life a little more interesting?"

—Pam Sorooshian
(original not found, but quoted here)

"as a Buddhist - I have struggled with the aggression my 4 yr old son has displayed, after attending school for a year..."

My response to that included:

If he's aggressive, how does adding struggle to that help? smiley face
Please read that slowly, and twice. Let it percolate.
at Always Learning, March 2015
This page didn't exist then, so I had linked to Sandra.com/battle

On Always Learning in 2011, someone (cranky that we had critiqued her question) wrote (and there's part of my response):

-=-What I was thinking and trying to express was simply a desire to read other people's journeys ("struggles") from a lack of appreciation/knowledge about something (in this case gaming)that their kids are interested in, to an appreciation of it. Many people volunteered their experiences and gave suggestions, all of which-including yours- was helpful.-=- (that was from a post that was returned by another moderator)

There are dozens of accounts of other people's journeys (not so many "struggles"; this list and my site and Joyce's exist to help people stop struggling)...

The original, in this topic and more specifically this post.

That same mom, trying to shush anyone who wouldn't agree with her, wrote:
-=- if anyone is willing to volunteer their thoughts and experience with precisely this kind of struggle, I would be grateful!-=-
I responded:
Does it need to be *precisely* that kind of struggle?

Perhaps thoughts and experience about any of the principles that help unschooling work well would be worthy of your gratitude. If you see this as a "precise" kind of "struggle," you won't be looking at overarching principles, will you?

I think "struggle" come with a dramatic martyrdom, wrapped in "You wouldn't understand." How many steps does it take to step out of that puddle of pity and onto solid clarity? I think one. Stop struggling. Breathe and try to think clearly. If that doesn't come naturally, or seems mysterious, here are some ideas:
Breathing    Clarity     Peace     Positivity     Thoughts about doing better

Creating more peace

I'm not interested in helping people battle or fight or struggle. I want to help them find joy, gratitude, abundance and peace. Fighting a lack of peace isn't creating more peace.
photo by Colleen Prieto

"Battling" things and other negative thought and speech Avoiding negativity Phrases to hear and avoid