The Lessons I’m (Still) Learning
“Three things you cannot recover in life: The moment after it’s missed, the word after it’s said, and the time after it’s wasted.” ~Unknown
Here are some of the life lessons that can be challenging, inspiring and help us to learn from experience that the best lessons are always lessons learned and lessons remembered:
1) It’s okay if nobody else understands. We are all here to learn life lessons, grow in spirit and share what we have learned to enrich the world around us. Sometimes the calling of what we are to do may seem odd to someone else, yet it is something we are being pulled to do. You have to trust what is trying to emerge and know that even though you might “look funny” to those around you, you are being moved in the direction of what is for your highest good.
2) Whatever happens, stay calm. We often get so caught up in what could go wrong, what could malfunction, expire, breakdown or crash that we’re already prepared to receive a problem that does not yet exist. The thing is, all of this will happen at some point. However, when the catastrophe does hit, you will find that all the worry and anxiety didn’t serve a single purpose, other than more fraying of your nerves. Stay calm and deal with the situation the best way you can, the best way you know how. And when the catastrophe is over, you’ll notice: you’re still actually breathing.
3) Anything can happen. Whatever you expect is exactly what you will get. Get in the habit of expecting something wonderful.
4) There is always a choice. It may not always appear to be so, but there is always a choice of what we choose to allow, or disallow, in our life. Once this is realized, there is a giant step out of perceiving oneself as a helpless victim, and instead a giant leap into the domain of empowerment.
5) Meditation really works. When I first began to meditate, it was difficult. I couldn’t concentrate at all. Nonetheless, I continued and each night it became a l-i-t-t-l-e easier for me to observe the thinking and simply let the thoughts pass. Over time, I began to notice that I felt quieter on the inside. There was less mental chatter, worry, and having nonsensical internal conversations with myself fretting over how I would attempt to control (yet another) outcome.
6) Kindness is not lost. It’s temporarily hidden. A few weeks ago, I was in a store and on the way out I dropped my car keys onto the floor. A man standing nearby immediately stopped what he was doing and without hesitation quickly picked up my keys to hand to me before I could reach for them. This one simple act of kindness completely changed the course of my afternoon. It was a timely reminder that despite outward appearances people can be kind, and most people want to be kind. One small act of kindness can really go a long way.
7) You really have to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” You’ve probably heard this one so much until it sounds like a “Hallmark-ish” cliché. But treating people the way you want to be treated is as clear, important and fundamentally timeless as it gets. If you want to see compassion, be compassionate. If you want see honesty, act with integrity. And if you want to see humility, be humble.
8) Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Simply put, you can’t control everything. Holding onto useless habits, patterns, beliefs and things while attempting to control everything is a recipe for disaster. Sometimes you have to let go of something to create the space for something else, and sometimes you just have to surrender.
9) Feel the fear, and do it anyways. “We all have a choice in times of crisis; we can either break down, or break open.” It is at this very moment of choice, when we’re feeling uncertain about our circumstance or position and are afraid to just let it be, that we can rest assured fear is prompting us to move out of our comfort zone and take a risk…and chances are, the risk is prompting us to open our heart to life.
10) Accept people as they are and love them anyways. People don’t change when you’re ready for them to change, but instead when they are ready to change. We are all on different schedules for our life lessons and some take longer than others. Situations in life can function more harmoniously when we accept that others have reasons for the things they do and circumstances they create. We don’t need to understand every aspect. We simply need to accept them as they are, or move on if we won’t.