Blog Article 

 Coping with Struggles 

Picture of Dr. Al Dirschberger

Dr. Al Dirschberger

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Dr. Al Dirschberger is an educator and former community leader. A government investigation led to his imprisonment. He shares insights from inside.


It is easy to sit back and make excuses and rationalize how a wrong has been inflicted on oneself. Life’s events are things that have meaning, they are real and concrete. Life may be unique to each of us, but, it is who we are. Life means taking responsibilities for our decisions and finding the right path we will experience. There is a quote by Viktor Frankl to remember when you find yourself questioning why this is happening to yourself and why you are experiencing such suffering, “it did not matter what we expect from life, but rather what life expected from us.”

Life does not become fixated at one point in time, it is perpetually moving forward. as anyone tries to respond to insurmountable challenges, the first step in overcoming these challenges is to face them head on with a full understanding “You Cannot Change the Past, But You Can Change the Future.” Breaking through the daily cycle of guilt, shame, suffering and depression is to face one’s own actions. To understand that, one finds themseleves faced with the fact that they did not live up to the high moral standards and expectations they have set for themselves. By admitting our faults and taking responsibility for our actions, the path is being set to learn from the past and prepare a path driven by our desires to be successful.

To move forward in this phase of understanding our past is our past and stop the negative progression forward, we must learn to forgive, not just others but ourselves for our mistakes. Forgiving yourself in no way excuses the mistakes of the past or avoid the consequences that come from such poor decisions. Forgiving yourself allows healing from the overwhelming guilt experienced and the anger associated with the life altering events. Failing to take whatever steps necessary to forgive oneself will stop movement toward the main goal of changing the future to being more positive.

Once our souls are cleansed with forgiveness, moving forward becomes the task at hand. Think of all the individuals you come in contact daily. You are not in this alone. More and more you must realize that everyday events involve someone that assists us in our personal development. We must open our eyes to those supports rather than block them out and isolate ourselves from their help. They would not expect or want us to fail, only success.

In my circumstances, I had to overcome my sorrow, bitterness and disillusionment so I could return to a path different from my former life and move toward a new life path full of happiness, love and unlimited opportunities. I have come to understand that having a focus on the future provides a reason for hope, hope which keeps us alive. I could wallow in self-pity, become fixated on past mistaskes or focus on the anger at the wrong that has been done to me or choose to live a life of no regrets. A life filled with moving forward, not living in the past.

As you continue to move forward, struggles will be a constant. Therefore, try living in the moment. Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Yes there will be challenges. Changing the future is not easy, it takes hard work, commitment and dedication. Winston Churchill said “when going through hell, keep going,” I would adjust his quote to say ” when going through hellish life challenges, grab hold of your supportive love ones, your family, you friends, and keep going to overcome obstacles of the past for a successful future.”

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