Life Lessons

What lesson is your life presenting to you?

Have you ever wondered why an issue keeps plaguing you? Do you see a pattern that keeps cropping up over and over again? Do you experience frustration that you keep attracting situations, people or relationships that point to a challenge that keeps coming back to haunt you?

Are you ready to graduate, finally address and resolve that pesky problem that has been following you around year after year? Perhaps you can name it in an instant or maybe it seems close to grasping but just out of reach. If you can’t name it, you may want to contemplate or even ask a friend what they think your reoccurring lesson is for you. Sometimes your friends can see it before you!

Once you have this lesson named, doesn’t mean it can quickly disappear, but awareness is the first step to change. You may need to research this issue and find books, blogs or articles about it. Reading may help give you ideas about how to break the pattern. You may even need the assistance of a trained professional who specializes in that area.

More than likely, you are rather tired and irritated about this pattern in your life. Most likely it has caused you pain, suffering and grief. If you have kept this issue going throughout your life, it may take a long time to undo it. It may take the rest of your life and another life or two. I believe that this lesson will plague you over and over again until you address it and work to improve it. It takes courage and resolve to break out of the box that keeps you trapped.

For me, I believe my lesson is forgiveness. That became quite evident in my life when my former husband had an affair and left me. His behavior before and after the divorce hurt me deeply. I had truly fallen in love and given him my whole heart, 100%, and so the heartbreak was deep and profound. But there were other examples of the need to forgive such as being fired from a job, losing a lawsuit and being sued.

I soon realized that one step in the direction of forgiveness was to look for the silver lining in the event. And there are always a lot of good things that come from bad if you allow yourself to see them. Another way to see the situation differently is to really place yourself in the other person’s shoes and look at you from their perspective. You may not like what you see when you do this exercise, but it can help you to see both sides of the story.

Then to overcome your lesson, you must practice it every time it comes up. In my case, there are ample opportunities to practice forgiveness. For example, I can relax and let go when someone cuts me off in traffic in a rush to get past me. Perhaps their kid is sick and needs to be picked up from school fast. Instead of yelling at them and saying calling them an idiot, I forgive them immediately and let it go. Maybe someone is rude to me at a store or restaurant. Quickly switching from irritation to empathy can ease my frustration. I simply tell myself that something must have happened recently to upset them. They may have received bad news or can’t pay their bills. I send them loving thoughts that whatever is troubling them can be healed. And of course, I must practice forgiveness to myself as I blunder along in life. Beating myself up for mistakes doesn’t erase them or make them go away.

Forgiveness is an art that must be practiced for a long time to achieve mastery. But I believe the rewards are worth the effort. Life tends to present a problem over and over until we address it and begin to respond differently. So if you actively practice a different thought and action response, over time you may find that those issues that once followed you around you don’t happen as often. You might notice that your buttons aren’t being pushed as much and you are enjoying a more pleasurable life experience. Soon you may be guiding others who share the same problem, counseling them or offering advice.

If you find you are teaching and mentoring others for what used to be a problematic recurrent hang-up in your life, you may be making progress. You may finally be learning the lesson God placed in this life for you to learn. Perhaps, just perhaps you can graduate from this lesson and evolve to new levels. And maybe you are enjoying more flow, fun and joy in your life too!

We all have lessons, and each person has their own struggles to overcome. Have compassion and give encouragement when you see your friends make progress. Give yourself credit when you make changes. Celebrate forward movement. We will never achieve complete perfection, but we can always improve inch by inch if we decide to do so.

So what is your lesson in this life? What are you going to do about it? If not now, when?

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