I was recently feeling frustrated about a situation and told a friend that I couldn’t imagine why I had to have this particular experience. She said, “You? Ms. Enlightenment? You always see the lesson … Think about it for a minute!” (S***! I hate it when my friends call me on stuff!)
Experiences are wonderful — when they’re wonderful experiences. But when they’re not, we know (maybe not emotionally, but intellectually we know), that some valuable lesson(s) will come out of it.
But here’s the thing: it’s the actual learning how to learn from these experiences that’s the most difficult part of life.
I remember as a kid, quietly pulling a chair to the stove to look at something and falling forward and burning my hands. That was a lesson I learned pretty quickly! Or, for those of you with boys, remember learning how to quickly put the diaper back on their *** before you got sprayed?? I only needed that to happen once. Plus, I’ve had some really cool lessons about keeping my eyes open and experiencing amazing people (strangers) and their lives.
But, sometimes life makes you have the experiences over and over again until you really get the lesson. And, while I hate to admit this, I actually learn the most from those experiences that are difficult and painful. The ones that require me to explore my feelings. (Eek! Who wants to explore their feelings???!!!!)
So, after talking with my friend, I decided to figure out what I can learn from this (and other) experiences (this is a typical lawyer … she makes a “plan”):
1. What happened? Often I try to forget the experience. I just want it to go away. But when I do that, I’m really ignoring the lesson. So, this time I’ve decided to write about it – from start to finish. I think it’ll help me see it more clearly – a key piece (for me) in learning something from the whole deal.
2. Looking back. Sometimes it’s ok to look back. Would I have done something differently knowing what I know now? How could I have responded/acted differently? In this case, I wouldn’t have done anything differently because I never put money (or myself) before other people and that would have been my only choice. As painful as it was, I’m super glad I stuck with my moral compass.
3. What feelings do I have about it? Am I blaming? Am I stuffing or ignoring? Can these feelings change me going forward? I really have to dig deep. And when I do, I always see the lesson.
I’ve got some ideas about the lessons/benefits of this situation. And, as we know, most lessons, by definition, are tough. Yet, the only way we can continue to grow and learn is by having these experiences. Let’s remind our kids of this when they are sad about how life is “happening” to them. Better yet, lets remind ourselves.
Please everyone – stay safe today. It’s awesome (but cold) out there!