Lessons Everywhere

This post has been percolating for the past couple days. This theme has been a constant for the last few years. A great morning conversation with my editor motivated me to sit down and blog.

Life is grand…until it’s not.

Until it’s not. Then what? What do I do when adversity strikes? What do I do when the worst happens? How do I react when life seems to throw everything and everyone at me at once? And, what do I do and how do I react to the little things that pop up and get under my skin every day?

Some days I meet challenges head-on. I take the bull by the horns. I rally the troops. I’m the best version of me and I handle things with gusto and brilliance. Other days I’m shit. I panic. I pout. I yell. I run away.

It’s life. It’s human. It’s real.

People die. Dogs run away. Tires are flat. Batteries are dead. Hair is a mess. Jobs end. Traffic sucks. I don’t finish my task list for the day. I don’t climb that route at the gym. I’m an ass to my wife or kids.

Do I take these negatively perceived situations and learn from them? Do I accept and welcome the pain and grow from it? Do I remember that pain and suffering are important parts of the human experience? Do I remember that every situation and every person and every moment of my life offer an opportunity for growth and understanding? Sometimes.

The bigger issue for me seems to be self judgment. I know I’m human. I know I’ll have my days. How do I treat myself when I’m not being, or haven’t been my best? Ah…that’s the question. How do I feel about myself when I haven’t used my tools? Do I judge myself harshly? Do I beat up on myself? Do I feel like a failure? Do I let a negative situation or event define me? Or, do I meet myself where I am? Do I remember that I’m human? Do I remember that I can learn from my actions and try again?

Sometimes learning and growth. Sometimes judgement. The more I invest in myself, the more learning and growth I see. When I meditate in the morning, communicate with the people around me, exercise regularly, eat consistently and healthily, and look for things each day to be grateful for…the best version of me seems to pop up in those sticky situations. When I neglect one or all of those things for too long…the other version of me is never far away.

I’d love to hear your experiences with life lessons and judgement. Feel free to comment below. 

4 replies
  1. Angela N. PhD Psychologist
    Angela N. PhD Psychologist says:

    Everyday doesn’t have to be a win. Life, real grown-up life, is what you do after the losses, the “oh craps,” the mistakes. Changing your frame of mind might not change the world, but it will change your and your loved ones lives.

    Very cool blog and adventure!

  2. Shauna Carter
    Shauna Carter says:

    I love this. I am my own worst critic. As a recovering alcoholic, I have experienced a lot of shame and guilt in my life and i have overcome all of it. What gets me these days is exactly what you are talking about here. When I react, it is usually not my best foot that I’m putting forward. When I take a moment to stop and think about the situation, I can respond with forethought and loving kindness at the forefront. But I have those days when i just don’t pause first, and sometimes I don’t feel like admitting that I was wrong right away, and then I can wallow in my anger, pity, sadness, or what-have-you because its sadistically comfortable. These days I don’t stay there long, as long as I am keeping on the path. For me being on the path means that I am taking care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I have a routine and I don’t sway from it. But, sometimes I sway and then pain occurs again, and I learn and get back on the beam. Life is a roller coaster and we are not always going to be on the beam. I like to think of like this. In a cardio gram, a flat line means that you are dead. In a healthy cardio gram, the line goes up and down, up and down. This is like life. We will have ups and downs. It’s how we respond that matters. Thank you for sharing.


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