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Learning My Life's Lessons

Updated on September 15, 2012
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What Is This Life All About

Have you ever wondered what life is all about anyway? I have! And have you ever wondered why sometimes it has to be so difficult? Again, I have!

I am different than I was two years ago. A profound statement and yet a simple statement on my part, but it is huge. The reason being, that my husband of twenty six years passed away just over two years ago this month. And it changed me completely.


Searching, Reading, Searching And Reading Some More

In the weeks and months following my husband's death I searched and read everything and anything that I could find on both the internet and in bookstores to do with not only grief, but what I soon began to realize were paranormal happenings around me. I became a voracious reader of anything that would show me that what I was feeling was indeed real, and through all of this what I was beginning to realize more and more, was that there is so much more to us than meets the eye. Simply put, the Universe is an amazing place, full of mystery, showering syncronistic events all around us.

Two major ideas that caught my attention over and over again, and that stay with me to this day is that one - We are all here to learn life's lessons; and two - We create our own reality.


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Learning Life's Lessons

Here, I will use my own life to show what I feel was part of learning life's lessons. This is my view on my family; others may have seen it differently, but this is what I have come to know. Number one - my parents never should have been married. They were not suited to each other and there is no way it could have worked. There probably is a life lesson in there for both of them, but that is ultimately their story to sort out. My parent's separated when I was 16 and this is when everything finally came to a head.

My Dad And I

Dad was from the old country, Italy to be exact. He came at the age of 17, but he kept a lot of his old world ways. The shortened version of this is that in essense when it came to a teenage daughter he could not relate. He did not like that I started dating and therefore he stopped talking to me. This was for about a year before my folks split up. We would pass in the house like two sailboats trying to avoid each other in the wind.

After the separation, for almost two years he visited my younger sister at my grandmothers, but had nothing to do with me until my aunt had a word with him. By this time I was dating my first husband; dad invited us to Toronto and took us out to dinner. We tried to jumpstart our relationship but before that got underway he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He fought for two years, wanting to see me married. And so we did, and that was a huge mistake. In that first year of our marriage my new husband took me a couple of times to Toronto to see Dad, but then got tired of the whole thing. With my not driving, and my mother running away to England which is another story; I managed to take my young sister once or twice on the train and subway to see dad. But, to my shame we had not seen him for several months before he died. He died without me by his side and it was something that took me years to forgive myself for.

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My Mom And I

Mom and I had a tumultuous relationship through the years which I now believe was partly due to an undiagnosed personality disorder. She became so hard to live with that I eventually moved out at the age of 19. This was around the time that my dad and I were getting somewhat of a relationship back together. In the two year period before my father succumbed to lung cancer, my mother ran away to England. I know now she was troubled and couldn't stand the heat. But that left me at 21 responsible for my younger sister of 15, while trying to put up with what ended up being an absolute nightmare with a very immature and irresponsible husband.

Throughout the seventeen years of marriage to him, mom's and my relationshp was up and down, sideways and every which way. It was a struggle, not helped at all by the fact that my husband couldn't stand her ways.

My Very Bad First Marriage

I don't really want to dwell on this part of my life. Suffice it to say that it was a marriage that was of course forced because of the impending death of my father. We had gone together for six years from my age of 16 and his age of 19; had broken up once and should have stayed apart.

Instead we went on to get married and it was horribly wrong right from the start. Where I was subjected to verbal abuse throughout the six years of our dating, I was now subjected to physical abuse. The first time that happened was four months after our marriage. And yet I stayed for seventeen years. Why???

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What Was The Meaning Of All Of This

This is where many of us look back on our lives and wonder "what was the point in all of this"? Why do these things happen? Was there a lesson in all of this, and if so what did we learn from these experiences

I do believe that in the end this is the path I chose before I came here; when I was still in spirit. Whoa! - wait here! Some of you are by now shaking your heads and saying "where the heck is she going with this thought".? This is probably a subject for another hub, but I will add here though that this is another viewpoint of mine, and something that has been suggested over and over and over again in all the reading I have done since my husband's passing. We have charted our life course before we came here.

So what now? I believe I had to experience these things to try to become a better person, to in the end make me stronger and more prepared for the jewell that was waiting at the end of all of this.

With regards to my Dad - I went back in my mind over all of the years and I realized, no, I know now that he loved me. He just could not adjust to the new ways in the new world, especially when it came to his young daughters. I realize now too that I always loved him. I carried shame and embarassment throughout most of my years for the fact that I was not with him in the weeks before he died! I finally realized that I could not change this and what I had to learn to do was to forgive myself, and I did. I forgave both he and myself for getting lost in those few short years.

With regards to my mom - I went back over the years and realized that there were personality issues there, and that she had always done the best that she possibly could. She was a tortured person and she was never very happy. I finally realized that I had to endure this to make myself stronger and to be able to take lessons from her life and try to make my own life a little different and a whole lot more happy. I have long forgiven my mom as well as forgiving myself for the years that I was not close to her.

With regards to my first husband - I went back over the years and realized that he too was a very troubled unhappy person. It was in fact a marriage that should not have been. I have suspicions about certain things that I don't need to go into here, because they are personal to him and I have never believed in spreading something that I virtually have no concrete proof of . To say that I forgive him for the abuse is a little strong, so I will just say that I have moved on.

What Have I Learned?

So what have I learned? I believe that I have learned first of all that I had to go through all of this to become a stronger person myself. I believe it was meant to build resiliency and character within myself.

I believe that I have learned that forgiveness is a huge part of our lives. To not forgive would be a horrible burden to carry for the rest of my life.

I believe that I learned from my mistakes with my dad in that I promised that no matter how difficult my relationship would be with my mother, I would not make the same mistake with her. I would be with her in her time of need and right to the end. In doing this I would honour the memory of my father. And that is where we are today - she and I.

I believe I have learned that some things that happen to us during our childhood are indeed because of love, but it is not oftentimes expressed appropriately.

And for me, with regards to my ex-husband I chose to forget and move on. I am truly happy and thankful that I didn't learn to hate all men. Instead I chose to believe that basically most men are good and honourable. And I learned that I very much wanted a warm and loving relationship.

We Create Our Own Reality

This statement has become to mean so much for me, not just since my Craig's passing, but in the years following my divorce from my first husband. I remember watching Oprah one day and hearing her say "We allow people to treat us the way they treat us". This was such a lightbulb moment for me, and it all became so very clear.

I had allowed my ex-husband to treat me the way he treated me. Not once during those seventeen years of a bad marriage did I leave, until the day that I finally decided I'd had enough. I never gave him the message that what he was doing was wrong, although hold on here, he certainly had to know it was wrong. But still I accepted it and changed nothing.

And in recognizing this I also realized that I let my mother control me. It is amazing how things changed when I learned to say nicely "that is not up for discussion". It took a while, but she got it finally. Why did it take me so long to find out these things. I guess they were all part of my Life's Lessons.

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The Jewell At The End

And the jewell at the end was finally meeting and marrying my Craig. My life changed in every way possible, and when I say "finally meeting" it is of course because I believe that this was meant to be. My life and his life was charted before we came here. He had his hardships, which is his story, and I had mine. But in the end we survived and we lived life to the fullest for twenty six glorious years before he had to move on from his physical body. He was and still is my Jewell! Always here in spirit!

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    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Sis - this helped a lot, to hear this from you. Tomorrow's another day; my sister and I will both arrive at the hospital together - so if she yells , she can yell at both of us : )

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Dear Friend -- so sorry for your mom's emergency and her anger. I was caretaker for my handicapped mom after her massive stroke at 62 years old. She lived to be 82 and I was her sole caretaker the last three years -- and her anger was deep. You're exactly right about everything coming back to bite you right in the ass -- it does, indeed. My eventual answer was to try and foresee everything coming (which is nearly a career in itself) and not get caught unawares anymore. I also refused to take anymore crap off anybody nor feel bad about things I couldn't control -- it helped! Best/Sis

    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Sis for your kind comments. There are so many varied opinions and ideas out there. In the end I think we all have to go with what feels best for us. This was another difficult day as our mom had to go from the nursing home to emergency. I've been there all day and she is angry, angry, angry that we are leaving her there for care. What a day. Just when I thought I had it all sorted out, it comes back to bite you right in the ass. : )

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      I've often thought our soul actually "arrives" when we learn to sort everything out, forgive those that have done us harm, and cherish -- even more -- the exceptional and gentle souls that give our lives true meaning as we face the future. Magnificent work! Best/Sis

    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Paula. I am very grateful for your comments. It was something that came to me this morning, and I felt inspired to write it down. I really don't want to make my parents sound like bad people, because they were not. Things were not meant to be for them, and unfortunately everyone in the family suffers in one way or another in situations like this. But the lessons are well learned I believe. Thanks again for your vote.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      craiglyn...you have said so much more in this hub than the words on the page. There is powerful thought and meaning here that jumps out at your readers......I am impressed by your journey to discover the answers to the vital questions that seemed to haunt you.

      How grateful and at peace you must feel now that so much seems to clear to you and your life has true meaning......Peace....UP+++

    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you whonu. I wanted to show, which is now my belief, that we are meant to have these difficulties. The challenge is to survive them in the best way that we can, and to ultimately grow from the experience.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 years ago from United States

      Thank you for sharing this story with your friends on Hub Pages. It is in this sharing that I believe that we are able to release our feelings stored up from the past and let them out and at the same time a way in healing in our minds . It also tells others that they are not alone and that we all have tough challenges in our lives, that each has to deal with in our own ways. Thanks again,craiglyn.

    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Anne. I truly do believe that it all made me stronger. It took a lot of years for me to get over the guilt of not being there for my father. He was a good man, just a little misguided at that point in his life. I have often wished he had lived longer, because I so wanted to get to know him as an adult. That's life. As for my mom - we are in a good space now and that's whats important. Thanks for yur comments.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 5 years ago from Spain

      Hi Lynda. Wow , what a hub. You certainly went through some stuff in your formative years, and I think this may have shaped your personality and persuaded you to take what was dished out in your first marriage. It seems to me that your parents really must have made you feel very insecure, confused, and guilt laden quite a lot of the time. Thank goodness you woke up and smelled the roses at last when you met your Craig. It takes a big heart to forgive or just move on as you have done, and I am so pleased " For You" that you were able to do that. Keep well my friend. Anne :)