Life Lessons

This last month has been an intense journey of learning about life, myself, and the way that the hand of fate (or destiny, or whatever you call it) spins. Some call it the wheel of fortune which can spin so you have good fortune or so you experience not-so-good fortune. The belief here is that the wheel always spins, so there is a constant cycle of both good and not-so-good and when the not-so-good seems prominent, there is hope that the wheel continues and one will experience something better soon. My wheel feels as though it malfunctioned and got stuck in the bad fortune spot for the month. I am sure this is just because the days feel really long and because I am dealing with deep things that aren’t easily figured out. I want to believe that everything gets better.

10614315_10153057364504428_2725931497947296230_nI have been working hard to develop the attitude of Eckert Tolle: “Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” At the surface, where I meet them each day, recent changes in my life and in the lives of the people I care the most about look negative. They are painful realizations that all is not right in the world and that sadness and grief are deep. Dare we hope that something new will emerge? Dare we find something positive, a silver lining, in the pain?

Through all of life’s events we try to look for the lesson that can be learned. Something that can be taken away and into the future as a token or treasure or souvenir of making it through the hard times. Here are some of the lessons I am learning:

Sometimes, just getting through a single day is enough.  I am pretty ambitious person. I like to be on the move, to do, to be growing and learning, to cross things off my list and feel like I made headway every day. But, sometimes just making it through the day is enough. At some points in life, a goal of getting to the next hour, is an admirable goal.

There are people in this world that love me more than I could ever say. In the middle of the day and with a conversation full of tears, they stay on the other end of a phone call and listen. They speak truth and wisdom and help me sort things that seem confusing. They encourage and receive me with open arms. They send notes and remind me of who I am when I don’t feel like myself. This kind of love and care is so beautiful and so wonderful. I have needed the support badly and am grateful that I haven’t had to carry my burdens all alone.

Letting go can be really hard. Even when it is the right thing to do. Letting go of control. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of hopes and dreams. Letting go of the people we love who can’t be with us anymore. Letting go of anything we once found value in but no longer have in our lives is a very difficult process. The heart can try to hold on so hard it physically hurts and the body can try and fight it to the point of tears. But, at the end of it all, is the need for releasing and accepting a hole has been created that is not immediately filled. There is just simply nothing you can do about that.

I have to be true to myself. Advice can come from 100 different directions. Well-meaning, not helpful, ridiculously true, callous. It is all there when people are let into your life and emotions. But, no matter how much advice comes or how much wisdom, one can still only be true to themselves. I am still only on my part of a journey through life and there is no skipping ahead or avoiding the swamp. I can take in every word and every opinion, I can hear every assessment and every description. But, in the end, I have to be true to who I am and who I dream of being.

I know I am not the only one with some rough stories to tell and recent events in the lives of people I know and in the world at large seem to be shaking us all up. In times like these, what are you learning? What wisdom have you taken away from your own loss/frustration/unmet expectations/derailments? If the wheel of fortune has ever seemed to turn against you, what did you discover?

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