Reflections

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  1. GR8FULL

    Junior year of college my father sent me back to school without a check for tuition. I failed to hold up my end of the bargain for that summer so he stuck to his guns. I was scared at first and hated him for it. I used the tools he taught me and made it happen, I went straight to the Financial Aid office and was registered for classes 2 days after I arrived back at school. It took me 10 years to stop resenting him for doing what he did “to me” and start appreciating the life lesson he taught me – 1) you can do anything when you put your mind to it – “where there’s a will there’s a way”, 2) always hold up your end of the bargain, 3) true love and life’s lessons don’t always smell like roses and are soft to the touch, and 4) there is a power greater than myself at work. I’d be interested to hear from the group any other lessons you can pull from this experience.

    5 months ago
  2. Rabbit

    When I see the word lesson in the question, it takes me to the Stop, Look, Go class that I recently did from this Gratefulness site. I found their recognition that life has much darkness and sadness but at the same time we can find beauty and blessing to be very helpful. It seems so much more helpful that just being told to write down three things you are grateful for each day. Grateful that I just found my way to this daily practice. Thanks to everyone that posts. Your words are helpful.

    5 months ago
  3. Charlie T

    Learning to trust and value myself. It seems I must learn this lesson over and over again. I am making progress on this, but it’s incremental.

    5 months ago
    1. Rabbit

      Charlie, I am with you on this. Let’s keep trying.

      5 months ago
  4. Chester

    Life does flash before your eyes before impending death; live intentionally and gratitude can be present even in, perhaps mostly in, the moments facing death.

    5 months ago
  5. Barb C

    Not to dig the rut any deeper (which fits nicely with the poem Carol shared below), and not to let people live in your head rent-free.

    I went through some very difficult times with several members of my family. Thanks to reading a lot of Buddhist thought I realized I was creating suffering by continuing to dwell on what had happened, chew it over, feel the same sense of indignation or anger again and again. I was doing it by myself, to myself, after the original pains were inflicted by others. Our bodies experience memory or imagining just as if it’s the real thing so I was creating my own stress. Now I remember the Zen story of the two monks and the woman at the stream when I feel myself slipping into a rut.
    (I’m guessing many here are familiar with that story. For those who aren’t, https://medium.com/@soninilucas/two-monks-and-a-woman-zen-story-c15294c394c1.)

    5 months ago
    1. Mica

      I told my friend the monk story and she loved it. She suffers greatly with the problems of living with her old mother, and she delighted in realizing how she was carrying her mother when she suffers about living with her mother when she’s not actually With her mother. I’d so love to help her, so it was a treat to share that story with her.

      5 months ago
    2. Rabbit

      This reminds me of a very good teacher that I had many years ago. He pointed out that if we have all this anger in our mind about someone we are hurting ourselves and the person we are angry with is not suffering at all.

      5 months ago
      1. Rabbit

        I often tell people that teachers saved my life.

        5 months ago
      2. Mica

        Yes! I’m trying hard to remember that, Rabbit, and I do think I’m becoming more calm. Such a waste, to injure oneself over anger at another.

        5 months ago
    3. Mica

      ‘Not to let people live in your head rent-free’ – thank you, Barb – that’s lovely! Some of them pay rent with my happy memories of them.
      The monks – yes! The old monk carried her across the stream and set her down on the other side. The younger monk carried her in his mind, shocked that the older monk had Touched her! Thank you again, Barb.

      5 months ago
  6. Elaine

    Prayer that arises from my deepest truest yearnings is deeply truly transformative.

    5 months ago
  7. Carol

    I learned that I could start over, make a good life for myself, when my 35 year marriage ended in my mid-fifties. In retrospect, that’s when I finally grew up. It was a humbling lesson to own how dependent I was but it led to a lot of spiritual awareness and personal growth. I know I’ve shared this poem by Portia Nelson before but thought it might be helpful to someone today:
    Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
    by Portia Nelson
    Chapter 1
    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in.
    I am lost…I am hopeless.
    It isn’t my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.Chapter 2
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can’t believe I am in the same place.
    But it isn’t my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.Chapter 3
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it there.
    I still fall in…it’s a habit.
    My eyes are open.
    I know where I am.
    It’s my fault.
    I get out immediately.Chapter 4
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.Chapter 5
    I walk down another street.

    5 months ago
    1. Laura

      Thank you for the poem, Carol. I had a similar growth experience when my marriage ended as well.

      5 months ago
    2. Mica

      Dear Carol – I only made it to 33 yrs of marriage. I’m still continuing to grow, 20 yrs later. Warm wishes to you –

      5 months ago
      1. Carol

        It was many years ago for me, too. At the time I felt like I couldn’t live with him and I couldn’t live without him. I wish I could say I just walked away without a tremendous amount of pain and struggle but one thing I learned for sure was the difference between suffering and misery. Suffering is inevitable. Misery is optional. We definitely are here to evolve and that’s not possible if we do not own what we have created. Warm wishes to you, too.

        5 months ago
    3. A
      Ana Maria

      How I thank you for sharing your story and this powerful poem. I needed it today! I need to find another street. I must!

      5 months ago
      1. Carol

        Ana Maria, Sending loving energies your way.

        5 months ago
  8. Laura

    Losses — deaths, changes in life circumstances, relocations — have made me far more appreciative of the relationships and experiences I have now in the present. Everything can change in a moment.

    5 months ago
  9. Carla

    In the summer of 1984, my mother taught me “it takes more love to let go than to hold on” by no longer tolerating my crazed behavior of self destruction fueled by alcoholism. Because of her Love and Grace I got the help I needed and became the daughter she needed.
    Fast forward—in 2009, I supported her end of life decisions to stop aggressive medical care, by practicing that same example of deep love that had to let go for her to be free, and accept the outcome of her passing.

    5 months ago
    1. Barb C

      Such difficult passages, both of them. Thank you for sharing.

      5 months ago
  10. B
    Barb McRae

    I learned to speak up, speak out to advocate for myself and others from yelling at my dad to not hurt my mom.

    5 months ago
    1. Barb C

      That took courage. Thank you for sharing it. (from one Barb to another)

      5 months ago
  11. EJP

    Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can(should) do today…….

    5 months ago
  12. Dusty Su

    It didnt come to stay. Either joy or sorrow. There will be challenges before, during, and after it. Whatever the magical it is that we seek. There’s no one perfect destination, state of being, amount of achieving, yet it’d be wise to catch the moments of grace and joy and embrace them to the fullest when they do appear.

    5 months ago
    1. Michele

      Welcome back!! How are you? How is Belize?

      5 months ago
      1. Dusty Su

        Thank you ❤️
        Just wow… challenging but amazing. I’m starting to write about it.
        https://sudustin.wordpress.com/2022/07/15/of-light-bulbs-and-lions-mouths-miraculous-meanderings/

        5 months ago
  13. Kevin

    Rather than focus on just one life lesson learned, my response covers a sweep of time over the past sixty years:

    During my farming years as a teen and young adult:
    From Farmer Ralph upon watching two boys racing for fun with sacks of grain on their backs; “You’ve got two arms, two legs, two eyes, and two ears and only one back. That should tell you something.”

    From farmer Marshall, “Listen, If you wanna work with pigs, you gotta be smarter than the pigs.”

    During forty years of working with children and teens:
    One the phone with a distraught teenager, “Okay-okay, I promise that I won’t do anything to hurt myself before seeing you tomorrow.” From the same teenage while driving her home after our appointment the next day; Looking at all the trash along the curb waiting for pickup she said, “I’m better than all that trash. I think I want to live.”

    My daily reminder while counseling young people that twirled hanging from the ceiling on a string: “Don’t Fix Anything.”

    During passing time between classes in a high school hallway, an unknown teen, distraught enough to cut me off in the hallway and ask, “Hi Mr. Lee, my name is ____ ____, do you have time to talk with me?” (My lesson learned, slow down, help is needed everywhere in unseen places. From that day on, when kids were moving, I stood in one place easily seen.”

    5 months ago
    1. Kevin

      An additional thought that I had about sharing in my reflection this morning that I have learned over the years, that hails from recovery circles and that, while somewhat crude but, unfortunately, oftentimes true are”

      “You are not the center of the universe!”

      “Put a jackass in a crate and ship it 500 miles, open the crate and you still have a jackass.”

      “If it is 50 miles into the woods it is 50 miles out.“

      “Mistakes are why they put erasers on pencils. Try again”

      5 months ago
      1. Rabbit

        I heard that you are not the center of the universe from a counselor. It has served me well and I quote it often, to myself mostly.

        Please keep sharing your counselor insight, it will help many.

        5 months ago
      2. Carol

        Kevin, your sharing made me think of another one: “When the jackass ends up in a ditch, it doesn’t matter how he got there. You just have to find a way to get him out!”

        5 months ago
        1. Kevin

          True that, Carol, and I think they call the way out of the ditch “Sunday Night (AA/NA) Meetings!” Thanks for your addition.

          5 months ago
      3. Holly in Ohio

        Thank you very much! These are quite meaningful, each one a gem. ❤

        5 months ago
    2. Dusty Su

      Thanks for sharing this, Kevin.
      Beautiful life lessons from a meaningful life. Bless.

      5 months ago
  14. Michele

    People you love will hurt you and betray your trust.

    5 months ago
    1. Kevin

      Yes they will, and yes they have, to me as well over the decades. We all need love, but it sometimes comes with barbs, too.

      5 months ago
    2. Dusty Su

      True, and I hope that we all have enough people who surprise us with their unconditional love and support. Starting by being those things, said to myself Michele.

      5 months ago
  15. sunnypatti48317

    Learning to love myself really was life changing. It was hard because I didn’t think I deserved it, but once I got over that hump, my life shifted in a better direction, and I’m grateful every day for that.

    5 months ago
    1. Dusty Su

      You are loved 😍 and loveable.

      5 months ago
      1. sunnypatti48317

        Thank you! And you as well… good to see you here! I feel like it’s been a while 🙂

        5 months ago
        1. Dusty Su

          It has. Finally in Belize 🇧🇿 🙌 took a lot to get here.

          5 months ago

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