Thunder, lightening, snow, sleet, hail, plague, pestilence and gloom of night. Oh yeah – locusts and frogs too.
Some folks just seem to always be on the receiving end of life’s manure spreader. And I don’t mean this as one of those personal perception things either. It’s not like these good people are just whining and moaning about their sad situation. They really are getting hit with what seems to be more than their fair share of yucky stuff. I wonder why that is?
Do you think it’s possible that in some instances, this might have something to do with “Life’s Lessons”? Remember the “Rules for Being Human” article? You might want to check it out because from what I’ve seen, there’s probably more truth in it than many of us would like to admit. These are the four items I’m thinking about in particular:
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called life. Each day you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. There are no mistakes - only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.
4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, then you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
I’ve come to believe that one of the reasons we’re here on this earth is to learn stuff. We’ll save the “why’s” for later. And, I think it’s very possible that old number 4 is pretty much on the mark. Yeah, I know. Some of you, based on your life experiences and mental programming, will think that old Gene’s way off base here. That’s OK. But what if there is an element of truth in this? Isn’t it worth checking into further – especially if we’re the one who’s on the receiving end of all the junk? It would seem to me that if there’s anything we could do to make our lives a little easier and more enjoyable, we oughtta at least give it a try.
Just as a suggestion – especially if you are the “dumpee” – why not take some time to look at the uncomfortable events in your life to see if there’s something you might be able to learn from them. Like what? Oh, like focusing more on the positive aspects of life, learning to be more caring and considerate of others, making life changes to lift yourself out of your rut, modifying your thinking from just survival (even though this may be a critical issue for you right now) to what you would really enjoy accomplishing in life, acquiring more patience (I’m still working on this), shedding some of your fears of the future and the unknown, focusing more on the “now” and less on the past, making amends for past misdeeds, learning to be happy with who and what you are (not necessarily satisfied) – and other stuff like that.
The possibilities for learning are unlimited. And because we are who we are, my potential lessons are different than yours. The neat thing about it though is that if we spend just a little time thinking about this stuff, we’ll know. Sooner or later, we’ll know what we need to learn or change in our lives. In my opinion, sooner is better. The sooner I can learn from my experiences, the sooner they will be history and I won’t have to keep going through the same type of yucky goo.
Let me flip back to the “positive approach to life” for just a minute. Positive expectations can help bring about positive changes in our lives. No, I’m not saying that viewing our world through rose colored glasses is in the least bit beneficial. I’m saying that if we’ll take a realistic look at our situation and take the time to plan and take action to improve that situation, there’s a very good chance that beneficial changes will occur which will result in a positive outcome overall. I always need to toss in that danged “overall” because sometimes the immediate results of our efforts are quite uncomfortable and it’s difficult to view those as being the least little bit positive. But from what I’ve seen (and experienced), these uncomfortable moments help provide the greatest opportunity for learning – and that will give us the insights we need to move closer to our “positive” destination.
One more thing along this line. Our focus – the stuff we think about a lot – will generally be one of the main engines that powers us through life. That’s pretty obvious, huh? But have you noticed what happens when we over-focus on something? We wind up expending so much time and energy on that one thing that we miss a bunch of the other really cool stuff. For example, do you know of anyone who seems to spend an inordinate amount of time in the doctor’s office or at the emergency room? With exceptions of course, many of these folks have just developed a super-focus on their bodies and all the ways it can malfunction.
I haven’t researched this, but this just might be another example of the 80 – 20 rule. Twenty percent of the people make up eighty percent of the doctor’s office and hospital business. It could be because they’ve over-focused on this area of their lives.
There are other folks who consciously or not, are focused on a particular fear. They’ll probably have a tendency to do a whole bunch of things to overprotect themselves from having to experience that situation or event. Yet, through the efforts they exert, they may well put themselves in a position where they are forced to face at least a related fear. Life’s strange like that. There’s probably a lesson in there somewhere.
As just another suggestion then, maybe we would be better off to focus mostly on the good stuff – the good things around us and the good things we would like to experience in our lives. Who knows. We may just get what we’re thinking about!
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