Looking for Lessons

It seems that many of us search for lessons in the challenging times or try to make sense of life when faced with hard times. Comparatively, I often wonder if we as humans also look for lessons in the joyful times? I did an inventory on some of my joys and my challenges to see if lessons could be found in both.

Looking for lesson in joy.

  • The magic of nature. Watching things grow from seed to harvest is a great source of lessons. We might give up on the seed, or find sadness when the bloom falls, or have expectations of a great harvest only to be let down. The lesson to trust the process and enjoy each stage is rich.
  • Raising children. There are plenty of moments of joy when you’re a parent. Sometimes the lessons come from the joyful times and sometimes from the heartache. The biggest lesson is learning to let go, which in the end will ultimately bring you more joy.
  • Finding purpose. When we align with our gift and use it for purpose we find joy. Finding our purpose leads us to living our best self. The sacrifice we often make to live our purpose brings intense lessons of grit, acceptance, and resiliency.
  • Simple pleasures. Baking bread happens to be my current simple pleasure and the lessons are plentiful. The rewards go far beyond the delicious taste of fresh bread into the lessons of patience and slowing down. Certainly baking bread is something that can fail with the smallest of errors so paying close attention to the details is key.

Looking for lesson in challenges.

  • Raising autism. I have shared many times the lessons I have learned raising a child with autism. The list is extensive, yet the most glaring lesson is that there is in fact goodness in what seems like devastation. A diagnosis is not the end of the world and in fact, just might open you up to a whole new gratifying perspective.
  • Chronic pain. Many times people, including myself, have looked for purpose in pain. The greatest lesson that I have learned is gratitude. Celebrating the days with minimal pain and acknowledging the people who support you and the random acts of generosity is imperative. Also, finding out that you are never alone in your pain can bring some sense of comfort. And finally, knowing that those who do not suffer are no better than those who do, they just have a different experience.
  • Loss and divorce. Face it, divorce is never easy. Even in the best of circumstances there is still great loss. The loss of a shared dream can bring lessons of self-reliance and resiliency. The loss of security can bring about tenacity. Within the loss, however if we truly look for it, we can find some pretty amazing lessons.

Do you think that gratitude plays a big part in the process of finding lessons? Although finding gratitude for the hard times can be a little more daunting than being thankful during moments of joy, I think it is the portal for many lessons.

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