Written By: Andrew Bright Ikeogwu
STRUGGLES WITHIN THE SOUL
There are so many abnormalities in the lives of so many people in the world today. Some are the results of poor parental upbringing, bad associations, peer pressures, abusive relationships and to a great extent, wrong personal attitudes and choices. Whether the causes are personal or externally induced, one point remains clear and that is the fact that every human being has got some struggles and challenges to contend with.
Some of these struggles could be momentary or short lived. Others are embedded at a deeper level of the human soul and last longer. At another level, some of these struggles are emotionally and psychologically fierce, overwhelming and could be life threatening or suicidal some times. Only the individuals with these struggles are the ones who understand the depth, scope and impact of such struggles. They battle secretly in discontent and sometimes endlessly with the nagging realities of these inner struggles.
Observers can never understand the weight of such traumatic, debilitating and excruciating experiences; that rages with unrelenting fervor in the souls of the sufferers of these phenomenal experiences. It is worthy to mention here that; there are still areas of the human experiences that scientists and the society have not really paid enough attention to. I crave the indulgences of those in positions of power, who make policies for the society; to review some of our approach to some serious issues that don’t align with what the society believes to be normal.
For those who care to listen, there are so many people who are suffering silently; due to societal misconceptions and neglect. These people are simply looking for happiness and fulfillment; but unfortunately, don’t know exactly how to go about it. On the long run, they end up on the wrong side of life and don’t even know how to come back to the right or normal side. In their quest for self-actualization or personal fulfilment; they are trapped in some strange circumstances; which they don’t have the knowledge, understanding or power to handle. According to a Philosopher;
‘‘People don’t choose evil because it is evil. But they mistake it for the good that will produce the happiness they seek’’. – Anonymous
What this implies; is that some people innocently or ignorantly indulge in some activities; with a sincere desire for happiness. Unfortunately, these actions, may end up being the wrong things; against societal beliefs and standards. Parents and ancestors of several past generations have unconsciously passed down to their children; some negative traits, through their genes, value systems and lifestyles. These hereditary traits and negative influences in their off springs; oftentimes manifest against the normal expectations of the society. This is why I advocate for more thorough investigations of people’s negative actions and behaviors, before we start labeling them unnecessarily.
Most of the present misbehaviors of people, or their negative lifestyles and actions as they may appear, are the ripple effects of general societal failures. It is therefore wrong to bully, persecute and condemn people who are struggling with tendencies, inclinations and behavioral patterns that are either ingrained in their DNA; learnt from wrong family backgrounds or the negative impacts of society. Instead of persecuting, oppressing and condemning these people who have some strange personality defects or character flaws, the society should look for a more positive and constructive way to deal with these issues at a deeper level, with more understanding, support and necessary resources. Mysteries and mixtures I personally don’t understand why certain things are the way they really are and nobody has been able to explain such mysteries to me. Why do people want to do good and yet find themselves doing bad things? Why do people continue to do what is wrong, when they actually know that it is wrong? Have you ever found yourself continuously doing something that you know is wrong, but don’t have the power or moral strength to resist? Have you ever found yourself indulging in things that make you feel guilty or bad, and yet can’t stop doing those things?
On another level, the experiences that shape people’s personalities; are also varied. These are some of the reasons for the uniqueness of individuals, with their peculiar attitudes towards life. The emphasis here is that; people are influenced and shaped by different things which seem to produce their particular kind of characteristics in life. These could be positive or otherwise. It should be noted also that every individual in life, has his unique type of struggles internally and externally.
Undeniable struggles Whether you like it or not and whether you agree or not; the truth is that everybody is struggling with one type of evil or the other. People may not even know the weight of our personal struggles; but they are there. Some of the raging waves of evil in the society; are triggered within the human soul, while others are stimulated externally. The internally generated struggles could be the result of past negative experiences. It could also be due to some hereditary traits, or as a result of some biological or physiological accidents; as already explained. The external factors collaborate with the internal defective mechanisms to buffet the individual struggler with all kinds of feelings, desires, lusts and temptations, which lead to misbehaviors, negative actions or reactions.
The battle or struggles are at different levels of life and in different forms, shapes and with different levels of intensity. There is no superhuman in this battle; if we can be sincere. I know that some people are more morally upright than the others, but that does not exempt them from this battle. Somewhere or the other, they also have their fair bouts of this undeniable struggle in the human soul. It should be noted also that what affects one may finally affect others by a chain of ripple effects.
The world is having divergent physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological and moral struggles. No one can survive without the help of other people. This is the truth as it is, even if some supposedly acclaimed super humans may not like this philosophy, or be willing to accept it. We all need one another for our survival and well-being. Let’s do away with our selfishness, covetousness, greed and wickedness. Let’s see how much positive impact we can make on our societies; by being concerned about others. Let’s use our positions, possessions and experiences to help others and to remake our world for the betterment of all.
Possible solution People with some kinds of abnormal lifestyles and behaviors should be loved, taught, counseled, guided, re-orientated, re-integrated and supported as much as possible. That is the best thing we can do to help and redefine some issues; as the world is getting more and more complicated. Let us not claim to know everything about the human life and people’s individual dispositions, because the world and its activities are more complex than we can ever know or imagine.
There are quite some phenomena in the human race that defy comprehension. You can never understand what is found on a route you have never travelled before. So also, it is with some human experiences; on the rough journey of life on earth. I quite understand that some people are so privileged and favored that they may never experience some of the ugly and unsavory experiences of other people. I am really happy for such advantaged set of people.
Be that as it may, how can you understand the composition, struggles and feelings of a homosexual person, or that of a lesbian, a bi-sexual, a transgender, a sexually curious or queer personality, when you have never experienced any of the pressures that produce these? How can you understand the pains, stress, trauma and fears of a divorcee? How also can you understand the stiffened and ambitious conscience of a criminal?
How can you know or understand what the entrapped and emotionally wrecked alcoholic or drug addict feels? It is also not possible for you to understand what an abused orphan goes through. Tell me; do you know what it feels like; to be brought up by an abused and battered single mother? I can go on and on, because these are the people who suffer most from the lack of love and care from the society; that they once believed in. Now see what happens to them when they are disappointed, frustrated and battered by the raging storms of abuse, neglect, deprivations, abandonment and humiliation?
Positive actions in the right direction are helpful in any struggle Need for more positive actions I am not trying to justify what is wrong; or advocate that these things are normal, legitimate and acceptable. However, there is much work for all of us to do as responsible human beings to help, instead of criticizing, labeling people or condemning them. I believe that we can get more positively involved in other people’s lives, especially with a view to adding more meaning or value to such lives. I know how I feel when I am loved and I also know how I feel when I am hated or unnecessarily oppressed, marginalized, or persecuted. It is never pleasant; because that was not actually part of the original plan of God for mankind.
Those who have suffered the victimization of some negative experiences; which consequences, they have no personal strength to manage, will understand me better than those who have life going on well for them. As much as I don’t support the legalizing of aberrations and abnormalities, I also believe that we should change our approach to some of these issues. That may be the only way to get better results on these unusual issues or topics.
Our criticism, ranting, stigmatization, persecution, ex-communication and condemnation of some set of people, may not achieve anything worthwhile. If our methods don’t produce the expected results, I think it’s better to think of more productive alternatives, or a more positive approach. There is hardly any human being; who cannot change, when given the right environment, counsel, guidance, resources, proper treatment and necessary support.
Different responses Talking more about the struggles in the human soul, some people find it easy to manage theirs, while others are trapped and are unable to dismantle the strongholds that keep them in some kind of mental, emotional and psychological prison. Many of the victims of these kinds of internal molestations are looking for solutions on how to live a better and more meaningful life. They are battling to understand what is going on in their lives; with a strong desire to find a way out.
I still want to emphasize here; that there are many people who are experiencing some complications in their personal identities; that they don’t really understand. Some wonder why their lives are moving in certain directions that they don’t really understand or like. Many of them are ashamed; or afraid of being labeled, stigmatized or persecuted. So, they suffer in silence with all kinds of emotional upheavals and psychological torture. Some even have suicidal thoughts that linger and re-echo from time to time.
Some have actually committed suicide, while some decide to go full-blown in the wrong direction. Guilt has a way of hardening people and making them worse than they are supposed to be. As much as they cover up with good and lavish smiles and gorgeous physical appearances, there remains an emptiness that nags at them from within. If they were to be sincere, they would tell you that they would have loved to be better if they had the chance or possibility. Unfortunately; there is no one to complain to, or get help from; because everybody is busy with one thing or the other; while some people suffer in silence.
My encouragement to any person suffering from any kind of torment, arising from the conflict between their personality or identity and societal expectations; is to first and foremost accept yourself for who you are. Do not allow external interferences to bully you; or make you feel abnormal. In the first place, you didn’t create yourself and the one who created you knows you and everything about you. He knows your desires, your yearnings and motives. He knows your abilities and inabilities. He knows where you are right now in your struggles. He knows how things have gone wrong somewhere along the line. He alone, has the solution that you really need.
God cares for the troubled and the hurting
The Creator cares Remember that you were designed and created by God and are unique and special. So, even if anything has gone wrong at any time in your life, that shouldn’t get you worked up, or make you think that it is the end of your life. No! No! No! I am here to tell you that the love of God is stronger than your weaknesses and shortcomings. His grace is sufficient for you in the battles of life and in your inner personal struggles. His power, love and compassion is available to help you begin a new life, no matter how deep you have sunk; or how bad or dirty you think you are. Don’t allow your inner struggles and personal conflicts to imprison you. Break loose and be happy.
In conclusion therefore; it is important to emphasize that every human being has some internal struggles to contend with. These struggles are sometimes deeply rooted that they become very difficult to handle. That is why some people misbehave without any meaningful explanations; because they are simply responding to some pressures emanating from their personal or internal struggles. In view of this; society should be more concerned about people; with a view to being more helpful to those found wanting in some social behaviors; or moral expectations. Many people are in deep troubles and really need help. Let’s be there for one another.
(Culled from; ‘The World And Her Struggles With Evil’ – By Andrew Bright Ikeogwu. – http://www.brite-books.com)