The Oneders.

I've been slightly lost in the Pocast-o-sphere as of late. I started out listening to Joy The Baker's Podcast (LOVE her!) and recently stumbled on one called Buddhist Geek. It's pretty interesting, although I can't say if it's "for me" just yet. A lot of Podcasts start out great and then begin to wane as they run out of steam. Not that I think I would do much better!
So far, though, I like this one. It makes me think, which has been a great way to endure my commute start my day on a thoughtful note. And a concept that keeps surfacing got me thinking it might be a good topic to touch on today. I don't want to get "religious" or "spiritual" on here because I'd prefer to keep it as subjective as possible, so hopefully I can make that happen. But my question is, in so many words: Is life supposed to be hard and challenging, or organic and easy?
photo credit: unknown

From the standpoint of the Podcast, they discuss people who "cherry-pick" religion. There are 2 ways to be a believer (I said Believer,  NOT Belieber! By the way, has anyone noticed that The Beebs is kind of acting like a tool lately? Ahh... IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU JUSTIN BIEBER ...Oooo, something shiny!) 
One way is to accept a belief system or practice is to do so whole-heartedly, and accept it's rules even if one doesn't understand them. The other is to practice something when it feels right. To say, "I like the ideals of THIS, but not this part and this part- so I'll just throw those out and adopt only what I want to follow." It kind of makes sense to follow what, you know, your heart tells you. But the Podcast points out that following those lines also sets you up to disregard important truths and challenges that may well be the whole point of the subject matter. Does that make any sense?
And this rule applies to a number of facets in life. Say you're training to run a marathon. How much closer to your goal distance and speed are you going to become if you stop the moment you feel tired? But at the same time... running a marathon is not practicing a religion. So I guess it's different. 
Can I take a second to address Analogies? Juuuust a second. I am absolutely calling the kettle black here, because I do this A LOT, but analogies are stupid. I love it when someone says something like, "A raven is like a writing desk because...," mainly because no matter how you want to compare something to another thing- it ISN'T that thing. It's like saying holding an ice cube makes your hand cold so it's ALMOST like you've been to The Alps. Nope. You know what's a lot like going to The Alps? GOING TO THE ALPS.
Anyway. I don't know where exactly to head with this topic, I just find it interesting to mull over. When is it okay to settle for what feels like natural progression, and when should you power through challenges because you have faith that whoever orchestrated them knew what they were doing? Where is the line, emotionally, that teeters between "this seems right," and "this seems easy?" I'm all up for challenging myself to become better- but it's a curious thought to consider how often I may just cop out of a behavior/rule/belief because it's inconvenient. 
I wonder.

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