In addition to my reading, I learn from people all the time. People around me, people I know, people I don’t know. I also have a posse–we meet every couple of weeks and talk about stuff. Lately we’ve been talking about Life Lessons, and I told them about the post I put on here about the stuff I had learned. So last week when we met, we all shared different life lessons. There were a handful we had universally included–but there were also quite a few that made us do a forehead-slap and go “D’oh!”
Here are some of lessons my posse shared:
1) Everyone in your life has a gift for you, and is there to help you learn and grow in some way. Even people (maybe especially people) that you’re really struggling with. Try to find out what you’re supposed to learn from that person–it will shift all your feelings about that relationship.
2) You always have a choice. Even if you’re limited to only one possible *action,* i.e., something you *must* do–you can still decide how to think about it, how to perceive it. And which way of seeing it will serve you better?
3) It’s not about you 99.9% of the time. Other people’s lives are all about *them,* and their decisions, actions, and beliefs reflect *them.*
4) Everyone has an interesting story. (This is so, so true.)
5) Everyone has their own crap to deal with, no matter how blessed or charmed their lives seem on the outside. Believe me, it’s there.
6) Treat *yourself* at least as well as you treat your friends. Thus, be understanding and forgiving of yourself, support yourself, be loyal to yourself.
7) Failing is very useful. Chock full o’ life lessons!
8) One woman said she only ever prays for two things: The guidance to make the right decision; and the strength to handle whatever comes. I love that. It certainly makes my prayers that the cat won’t barf on the white carpet seem *extra* shallow.
9) Respect yourself and value yourself. Seems kind of basic, but is actually hugely profound.
10) Nurture your soul: try to be still and silent within yourself every day, even for just a few minutes.
11) Try to do no harm: think before you speak and act. Another simple-but-profound one.
12) No one can read other people’s minds. But you can and should expect them to really listen when you clearly state your needs/feelings/desires.
I read somewhere (where? It’s making me crazy!) that the ideal wedding vow would be: “I will not ever intentionally harm you. But I cannot read your mind.”
All this wisdom is making me hungry. What about your life lessons? What truths can you share?