A very good personal friend asked me to write an article on “Teachable Souls” stipulating that what she wanted was an article about people who are open to being taught. The request sent me into some deep thought where I examined my beliefs about what exactly is a teachable soul? What traits need to be present in the personality of such a one, and what environmental factors need to be present in order for the person to be open to learning from the teachings?
My first thought was that anyone who wants to learn is a teachable soul. After all, if one goes out into the world to look for knowledge, be it through life's experiences or schooling, wouldn't that mean she is looking for a teacher? Upon pondering this thought for quite some time, I realized that the answer is no.
There is no individual alive who doesn't have a need for new knowledge. Continually building on a knowledge base is what creates growth on a personal level, on a professional level, or on a spiritual level. Without new knowledge, we can not grow beyond our present point. While the need is ever present, a person must be able to recognize its presence as a fact of life. It will not go away, nor will it ever be appeased because growth is a life long journey.
The second factor required in order to be labeled a teachable soul is the desire to fill that need. Without desire, an individual will fight against the lessons life, or other people attempt to teach. Desire is the flame that ignites the torch, which illuminates the path one is traveling
The next requirement is for the individual to have and be able to maintain an open mind. Information comes to us from many sources. Not only are there lessons to be learned from those who have already traveled the road we're navigating, but there are lessons available from dealing with the different circumstances life presents, from others who may not seem to fit our idea of a teacher, and from the results, either expected or unexpected, which we reap through the choices made.
Another requirement to be met is that of acceptance. An individual must accept life's truths as they are presented, no matter how inconvenient such truths may seem to his personal wishes. Truth will continue to make itself felt and heard, requiring a choice of humble obedience to it. To be a teachable soul, one must make the choice to honor the truths presented through lessons received. Otherwise, the individual will find himself repeatedly battling the same roadblocks, and growth will be diminished or halted altogether.
The final requirements are those of responsibility and accountability. One who takes on the responsibility to actively seek out knowledge and all the lessons necessary for full knowledge to be gained, must also hold himself accountable for the results of any mistakes made along the way. The teachable soul will recognize the importance of making mistakes, in that they, too, present lessons from which he may learn. Failure to lay claim to one's own mistakes only delays the inevitable, because as already stated, truth will continue to insinuate itself into one's life.
The unteachable soul will ignore anything staring him in the face if it doesn't suit his mood, whim, or personal perceptions. He will fail to see the needs for knowledge as they are presented. He will see no need to rock the boat in his personally tailored view of his life by overtly inviting lessons. His mind will remain closed to anything which does not mirror his own image of what is right and correct. He will never accept life's truths if they do not flow in alignment with his wants and wishes. Though he will consistently find himself faced with one obstacle after another, he will refuse to accept particular truths should they not concur with where he believes he is headed. He will never lay claim to his own mistakes, choosing instead to find somewhere else to lay blame. Holding himself responsible and accountable to the life he leads are fearful acts to him. Because he sees mistakes as proof of his imperfections, he refuses to acknowledge them as products of his own action or inaction. Mistakes will always be viewed as happening to him, rather than because of him. He believes the roots of mistakes and negative occurrences are the result of everything wrong with the world, in general.
Until we, as individuals, are able to understand and integrate meeting all the aforesaid requirements, we will be unteachable souls and our paths will lead us to cycle through the same lessons over and over again, though Truth will be heard and felt in the end.
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