“Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it.” ~Polly B. Berends
Why do the same things keep happening over and over? Do you ask yourself that question when the challenge that has presented itself before in your life shows up again…and then again? I do. It means we’ve not always been taught by the experiences of our own lives. We have dreams and goals that we choose to pursue and, for whatever reason, when something happens to interfere with achieving those dreams and goals, we consider it a calamity, a setback.
Many of my clients are resistant to hardship; they keep searching for the perfect solution. They spend so much energy planning and plotting to alleviate the problem that they’ve not heard the Universe whispering the answer.
Sometimes clients try to pretend there isn’t a difficult situation in their life. But it’s there. You can be confident that the thing that wakes you up at 3 a.m. is that difficult situation, not your dog’s snoring. But, oh how we deny, deny, deny. We deny that experience is a teacher; we deny that happiness doesn’t come without hardship; and we deny ourselves the freedom from fret and worry. The Serenity Prayer will keep us out of denial: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” When we step out of situations beyond our control and focus on what we do have control over – which is our thoughts and our actions – we have clarity about our purpose and what, if any, action we can take to ease the difficulties in our situation.
Our lives will never be challenge-free. What will lighten the load is the attitude we have when those challenges arise. What if we had the attitude that whatever challenges occur in life have been sent to teach us? Maybe we could even find some gratitude regarding these challenges. I know that’s asking a lot, but if we become open with a heart full of gratitude and acceptance, there’s no telling what we might be taught at the feet of our own life.