It’s a well told tale that life teaches us lessons as we trundle along our paths wondering where we’ll end up and how we’ll get to where we’re meant to be. But sometimes those lessons, often the most crucial ones, appear in disguise and sometimes we don’t even know we’ve learnt them until we look back with that wonderful thing called hindsight. Learning to recognise those lessons when they present themselves not only helps us to listen the lesson in question but makes life a hell of a lot easier when you realise every challenge is there to shake up your life… for the better. So when a lesson comes your way, you can stand up straight, roll up your sleeves and get down to business.
So where do these lessons come from? That’s the brilliant thing about life. They can be in the form of literally anything… and anyone. And as the social beings we are, it’s more often people that are sent to try us. Or teach us.
When someone upsets you, betrays you or god forbid breaks your heart, once you’ve dried your tears just try to think of a greater lesson behind your pain. Because often it’s one of forgiveness. And if that’s too hard, then maybe it’s a question of tolerance. And for the really hard ones to get over, it’s as simple as a lesson in strength and resilience.
For example, my latest lesson has come in the form of a romantic interest, or to use the slightly more cringeworthy term, “crush”. It’s a slow burner, and guess what? I’m quite an impatient person. Okay, very impatient. I always want to get to the good bits of life right away and sod the waiting around. I can easily wish away weeks, even a whole year if I have something exciting on the calendar. And that’s just for a holiday! So imagine my excitement and impatience for a potential relationship. Well. Enter romantic interest. He’s an ultra busy, ultra scatty, ultra shy one whose communication skills have left me hanging more times than I’ve been hungover. So after months of wringing my hands waiting for *it* to happen, to have that moment that we decide we’re going to finally date, I realised this is one of life’s big lessons. A grand lesson in patience. And what better way to teach me than to make me wait for the one thing I want the most. So whilst I’m sat at home staring at my phone waiting on a text, he’s out there creating a life for himself – and that was also one of the first things I admired about him. But there’s me feeling frustrated when he’s too busy to meet up for a coffee. So this is where the lesson has to start sinking in for me. He’s either the same person I became enchanted with and that’s the person I have to wait for, or he could pander to my impatience and slowly but surely end up being the very person I no longer find remotely interesting. I can’t have it both ways. So in this case, I’d rather endure the tougher task of learning a very valuable lesson in patience than throw away something that could have potential. At least I hope it’s a lesson in patience and not one of eventual heartache!
So next time you get angry or frustrated at your journey or question why something or someone is turning out the opposite to what you imagined, think about why. Think about the lessons you’ll learn and look back on a year, even decades from now. Because I guarantee everything I see from my own past that I wasn’t sure of at the time, has brought me slap bang to where I am now. And that’s life! It’s often described as a journey but I truly think that a series of lessons and realisations is a better description.