A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the lessons I’ve learned from life so far, and invited you to add more.
Several people did so, and in the interest of learning as much as we can about life, I thought I’d share the lessons others have discovered. (Some comments were made in public comment sections, others were emails I asked permission to share.)
The five life lessons in my original blog were these:
- Life really is short.
- Growth doesn’t stop at the end of childhood.
- Personality is largely inborn, along with energy levels.
- You will meet your family of origin over and over again.
- We are here for a purpose, individually and collectively.
Here are five more life lessons you contributed:
1.Everything in life is a precursor to what’s next.
This woman said:
The things we go through in life prepare us for things later in life. I don’t think I would have been so anxious to change things if I had realized it was preparing me for other things I would encounter.
Yes, that’s exactly how growth works. We learn from one difficult situation, then handle it better the next time.
I also love the way life sets us up for our good. I remember being passed over for a promotion – I cried and cried – but it left me available a few months later for a much more interesting position that was better suited to me.
If only we can trust that all the pieces are being moved into place and our experiences now will serve us later!
2. You never know what the future holds.
This man said:
I will do my first half-marathon in a few weeks, at age 76. Had you told me 5 years ago that I would be doing this, I would have said, “No way!” yet here I am. We never really know what the future may hold for us!
This same man has been grieving the loss of his wife of 49 years, but even in the midst of it, he remembered to be grateful for the abundance in his life.
Life may never be the same after a significant loss, but it’s not over. More happiness is available.
3. Most of us get better with age.
This woman wrote:
Just the other day I thought about how much more interesting, wise and patient my peers are now than when we were teenagers. I am one of those who has no desire to go back. Some of the lessons I learned, I wish I had learned from books, not experience. But for the most part, even the people or events I used to think were purposely mean to me or hurtful, I look at now as events that took my participation in order to occur.
We have indeed been creating our lives along the way, and the arc of a lifetime bends toward growth. Emotional and spiritual growth.
4. Our purpose in life is to grow.
Another reader seemed to think I was advocating a no-growth lifetime in my original blog, because I said you deserve good things even if you don’t make sweeping changes in who you are.
This man said:
Yes, we can deserve good things even if we don’t dramatically change, but what we are here for is to change through growth in our consciousness, energy, and will power. If we don’t make at least incremental improvements in those areas, life’s purpose fades. Basically, it seems to me (my opinion) that we can’t stand still. We are either growing — even if slowly — or we are regressing. Our life here on Earth offers only those two alternatives.
I agree that the purpose of life is our soul’s growth. I just need to remind people every now and then that our basic makeup is worthy, even divine, whether we achieve anything or not.
And I think any number of people carry out profound purposes without being aware of it. A topic for another day.
5. Jesus was right: Be like little children.
This woman said:
I celebrated my 78th birthday in September of this year, and my life has never been better. I finally got what Jesus meant when he said you must be like a little child to enter the kingdom. To me, it meant that I needed to start trusting and believing in myself like children do. Not being suspicious of people’s motives, enjoying each day as it comes, laughing, loving as only children do. Entering the kingdom meant, to me, finally learning to love myself and others. Trusting in their good nature is the way to find peace and love all around . . . heaven on earth, so to speak. For me, just believing “all is good” takes away everything that is not love.
Would it be so hard to relax and be happy?