Life is a blissful, dishevelled mix of amazing experiences coupled with heavy-hearted, side swiping mysteries. Yet what I have learned on this slow meandering journey of life is that some of the most extraordinary lessons were learned when my back was firmly against the wall. When life squeezed me in ways I was not comfortable with, it was always squishing a new realisation into my heart. This human experience has meant that I get to choose how often I come back to them, how willing I am to forget them and how available their truth is to me at all times. So in no particular order here are 5 of my top life lessons-
Death Taught Me To Live
The thing about experiencing death (clearly not my own) is that it has a very distinct way of descending you into the depths of your own soul. It makes you acutely aware of the precarious position you are in as you walk the line between living and not living. Yet it became glaringly obvious that we literally do not have to die to not actually be living. How often are we in a space of merely existing and going through the motions? How often are we overlooking the small, minor details that actually add up to a bloody magnificent experience? How often are we preoccupied with things that do not light us up, as we lay in wait for those that do? So what is it that we are waiting for? If it is for LIVING to feel comfortable chances are it won’t. The most magnificent experiences usually lay outside the parameters of comfortability in the beginning.
Rejection Taught Me Connection (to myself)
Hands up who’s been jilted by a lover? Yep, it happens to the best of us. You feel one way and want something more and yet they are done and are moving right along. It’s a crappy feeling for sure and yet it was one of the greatest gifts I was ever given. It wasn’t until I felt so rejected that I finally recognised that for most of my life I had been rejecting myself. The tendency to want the outside world to affirm us and putting our worth in the hands of someone else can be a temperamental game at best. So I stopped playing. I stopped begging to be loved, aching for confirmation, and waiting for love to fill my enoughness cup. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE love and am now in an amazing relationship BUT being put back on the shelf gave me an opportunity to choose me when no one else wanted to.
Confusion Taught Me Patience
If I decide on something I generally want it now! Patience is definitely not my greatest virtue! I have many unfinished hobbies and projects because I have such a fast burn personality. In, out, get it done, I want it now… kind of like Veruca Salt from Charle in The Chocolate Factory!! BUT, when it comes to my absolute calling on this earth, the confusion of not knowing HOW has gently and not so gently taught me to lean into patience. Allowing myself to feel my way forward, to follow my own path and not just do for the sake of doing has molded me into a burn slowly girl. The more confused I become the more I sit back and allow the pieces to present themselves as they need to. This takes time, belief, and PATIENCE.
Hostility Taught Me Communication
How often do we speak and feel like the message got totally lost in translation? I have had times where what I was saying totally made sense and yet the recipient 100% did not hear what I was trying to convey. It has made for some pretty hostile interactions indeed. The day I realised I just needed to share how I felt and what I was making the situation mean about myself was the day I began to communicate much more effectively. There is no room for hostility when you move beyond blame and into the conscious awareness that each of us has our own insecurities and internal stories that get in the way of just explaining how we feel.
Expectation Taught Me Acceptance
This is a big one and it gets in the way of so many things!! It is such a sneaky, inconspicuous little one, a hidden energy that can be so detrimental to how we feel within ourselves and with others. Wanting something or someone to be different from what they are, quite literally leads to so much frustration. Ever wished your kids acted differently? Achieved more? Listened better? Or what about your partner? Wish they did more? Worked less? Listened more attentively? Maybe you should have got the promotion, or that friend should have checked in? Then there’s the “Why didn’t I eat less, exercise more, try harder, say no, go out, stay in…” It becomes a never-ending, exhaustion pit!! I have definitely been my own worst enemy with placing expectations on myself and yet it has taught me the importance of accepting who I am and who others are. From there I get to consciously choose who and how I interact in this world and have the freedom to find my place of ease far quicker than if I struggle against how life is.
I have always been a firm believer that just underneath the discomfort of life as a human being is a beautiful, magical, life-altering truth. The truth is, life is magnificent even when it is not.