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i have learned to take negatively perceived experiences and try to learn from them and think of them as building blocks in my character and life
This could take a long essay so I’ll pick just one aspect. Over time I have been better able to defuse thoughts so they don’t own my self. They are observable but they are not fused to my identity. I drive the bus, they don’t. And then compassion can kick in when I get swallowed by them in difficult situations. Yes, the ups and downs are there too.
I feel that as you get older your experiences change. As you age you appreciate more, you are more aware, and more thankful for the experiences in your life. You are more aware of what you want from life and the importance of every day experiences. Also as you age you slow down a bit and you understand the importance of each and every experiences in your daily life.
There is the “phenomina” ( shadow) of life that which can be “interpreted” and there IS LIFE, that which cannot be “interpreted”, although many have tried and failed!
I love the quote for today, thank you brother David !
Just like that – as I have gotten older I see how grateful I am for this breath.
My interpretation of life has changed drastically in the past 4 or 5 years. I realized that to stop and listen to others is such a gift and it also teaches me that we are all on an individual journey together.
I’m also reminded to have compassion for myself and people at this moment in their lives
This is a great gift.
Interpretation? I was thinking more about awareness of experiencing this Life. I realize Grace, Love, beauty and the Divine has no limits. My awareness is ever increasing.
A lot! I was much more religious at one stage in my younger adulthood and had different beliefs and reasons for them than I have now. Also, I’m much more aware of the flaws in my ‘rearing’ of one of my adult children now and much more compassionate toward them, which is a happy change.
My interpretation has changed as I have gained perspective. When I was young, I was down on the valley floor, unable to see beyond myself and those nearby. I blamed myself and took on all the responsibility for my failures and shortcomings. As I got older, I climbed the foothills, I was able to see more and compare myself with others. Only to feel inadequate and unsuccessful. I blamed others. I lived in the foothills for a long time. Suffering. And then, one day, not too long ago, I was forced to climb up higher due to a crisis. Running blindly from fear, with no idea where I was going and without knowing it, I had gained altitude. Turning to look back from this vantage point, I could see my path down below. And as I studied it, It was clear that I didn’t always have good choices to choose from. There were obstacles and challenges. I can see more clearly how I got to this point. Getting here was not easy, but here I am.
Thank you Charlie for your delightful description of your life journey 🤗
The first thought that came to mind is “it’s usually not about me.” As a young woman I centered myself and took things more personally; now I have perspective about my own reactions and my privilege, and the recognition that most things people may say are really an insight into their own thoughts and feelings, not about me at all.
As Laura said below, I also recognize that things that were incredibly sad or painful or awkward in the moment have become part of who I am as a person. If I’m comfortable and content with who I am, I have to acknowledge that those experiences were part of making me who I am now.
I’m kinder to my young self in looking back than I was when I was closer to events and try to apply that kindness in real time to my current self, too.
At first I was puzzled as to what my answer is. I am grateful for the responses because they stir up in me my own answer. I have often believed that everything is for a reason. I also believe I am guided by a power greater than me and will be guided in ways that help my growth and make others a bit better because they met me. I will be 80 soon and this quote rings true: Life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forward. Kierkegaard.
Thank you, Yram, for the Kierkegaard quote. You seem to be a couple years older than I 💾 – I thought there’d be a gray haired person in searching emojis for ‘old’, but this floppy disc is the best, to me, of the many strange options.
It will due. Many items are being antiquated. Ha…. thank you for your reply.
My interpretations have changed as I have changed. I see experiences as lessons, opportunities for growth, and ways to help me look within. I appreciate my experiences and hope they all make me a better me 🙂
It has changed from “Why me?’ to “What is Is” and “Give me the wisdom to learn from it.”
Thank you, Carol!
When young we mistakenly think that happiness lies in what we own, what we accomplish, and who we get to be with. But I have known people with every good fortune who are desperately unhappy. I’ve known poor or sick ones who are unhappy, too, but I have also known some who are very happy and loving.
Interpretation of my own experiences have changed, too, and are no longer measured by “how much compared” but instead by how much I reach into them to appreciate the moment and the gifts that lie within.
That nothing is permanent, except true love.
How fortunate you are, Mary Pat, to have found true love 💜❤️
I did find it, but I really meant loving without obligation, loving all beings everywhere and that doesn’t mean I like all beings, but as part of creation I do love them, truly I do. I believe we are all connected, like the bark on the willow tree I go to on every walk I take…the bark is all different-different shapes and lengths and some is more scarred than others-but it all makes the tree what it is and holds it together.
Thank you, Mary Pat – I’ll ponder this ‘loving without obligation.’ It sounds like a good idea 🙂
How do I love? Usually with some anxiety about my behaviors or those of the other 🙁
In my seven decades, life has taught me that everything changes. Today, we may feel we live in a world of madness and destruction. And we do. But, it will change. Br. David’s quote on the Home page says it all for me: I am grateful for each next breath. What I do with ‘present moments’ has evolved in my life’s experiences. I consciously slowed the pace of everything I did. This is an intentional practice to ‘be’ in the present, not clutter my life with things, and to make time to watch the winter sky of clouds and sun dance in the heavens. This playful dance dazzles the shifts of light and shadows while snowflakes cascade lazily downward or seem suspended in the air for brief moments.
I have perspective now, from the gift of years. I also realize how each generation had its worries and fears, and there were many courageous people who lived their lives, had solid values, a belief in the future and cared for others.
I’m learning to be kinder to my younger self as I look back at mistakes. All of it helped me become who I am today.
Living in sincere gratitude has changed all.
My interpretations of life’s experiences have not so much changed, but morphed profoundly with each new phase of my life. I’m guessing that’s a normal phenomenon of the human experience. I am not the same person I was at ages 16, 30, 40, and now almost 72. In my view, a more useful question to answer might be, “Am I happy with the person that I am today?” For myself, I am grateful to be able to answer, “Yes I am.”
It boils down to things happen for a reason. We are all here to learn, grow and love. Wisdom and knowledge both come from life’s experiences. I’m slowly reading through Kristi Nelson’s book. Stop. Look. Go. Mostly I have become grateful. Grateful for this website and all who faithfully go on it each and everyday and write out your reflections. Happy National I Want You To Be Happy Day – fitting:)
As a Child a had a dream wherein my grandfather gave me a big present. When I began to open it I woke up. I was 4 years old and it was quite some kind of a shock to me, not because of the lost gift, but I was deeply asking myself where I was and where I am now. And how often will i still wake up into another world. This experience influenced my whole life. In the beginning I was eager to learn ( most of the time only that where my own interrests led me to), then there was a time when thought I have mainly to defend myself and my way of living. Now that I feel my thoughts are part of a universal mind, I try to fill my mind with positivity, wellwishing, forgiveness, gratefulness
Thank you, Hermann-Josef – I was about the same age when I had a rare lucid dream – I was gathering my things to take out of my dream, including crayons whose tips had not been broken off by my little brother, but when I woke, the things were gone. It was memorable, as you can tell 🙃
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