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What Can We Learn From Life?
Does God Punish?
A Reflection on What Life has Taught Me
The universe teaches us that life has consequences. Whether you believe in Karma, Purpose or simply the Golden Rule; we live in a world that is in a constant state of sharing energies. The flux of give and take that strives to set a balance to all things. Have you had a rough year? Perhaps you’ve had a good year? What can we learn from what we have been given?
I thought I would compose my own personal list of life lessons I have learned so far. I do this not for the intent of selfish verbosity or absorption. It is possibly more a release and a hope to inspire anyone struggling through the human realm.
MY LIFE LESSONS TO DATE:
1. I have learned about HUMILITY. This lesson on pride and humility seems to show up consistently in my life so perhaps I am still figuring out this one. I am the type of person who hates handouts. I would rather starve than ask someone to feed me and would die of shame if people knew I wasn’t really as capable or stable as I seemed. When I was a young teenager, I would cram my big fat feet into my older sister’s shoes which were a size smaller just to look cool. I would also take off my eyeglasses in school and sit squinting (in the back row because I didn’t want to be geeky and sit up fron) at the chalkboard unable to read anything, again; just to look cool. That being said, I have had to lose almost everything at times in my life to be reminded I needed help. I’ve had to pawn things to have my electricity turned on. I’ve had to beg family members for loans. I recently had my house burn down and had to move my family (me, my husband and two children) in with my Mother. I’ve had to ask for big favors with nothing to give back. Yet with all these trials I have learned this:
-That my family is amazing, supportive and will always love me; even when I don’t see myself as deserving.
-I am not the only one who has struggled and sometimes it just happens.
-I am really blessed to have a healthy and safe family.
-The more difficult my trials, the stronger I am. I am sometimes amazed at what I can get through. And hey, at least I haven’t given up right?
2. Being a Parent Doesn’t Mean Being Perfect. I have always been my own parents’ worst critic. I overanalyzed just about every choice they ever made and berated them for every sacrifice I felt I had to make in return. I realize, two children later, Wow, it’s not so easy! I think about my Mom having 5 children. How did she do that? The birthing alone would be more than I could handle. I remember the little things, like teaching me to ride a horse and putting me back on when I’d fall off. I know now every time I cried and whined and pleaded to not have to must have broke her heart but she did it anyway so I would learn to not be scared. I think of my Dad who was very religious making us pray and read scriptures as a family every night. He would read books to us for months at a time and it was very rewarding. I can barely wait sometimes to put my girls to bed so I can have my own peace and quiet. I have learned this about being a parent:
-My parents’ really did try, just like I am. I will make mistakes with my children because I am human. If I teach them right hopefully they will be forgiving someday.
-Every Moment I spend with my children is precious.
-Well; the old saying- cast the first stone kind of thing.
3. God and Guilt DO NOT Go Hand in Hand. Whenever something bad would happen in my life I would think; “Oh Great, I am being punished and must have done something wrong”. I would try and try and try and when my life didn’t go the way I wanted I would be angry at God for punishing me for no apparent reason. One day I recall sitting under a tree in a moment of utter despair. I was about to be homeless and going through a huge personal transition in my life. I remember sobbing hysterically and I prayed to God saying, “Why? Why is all this happening to me?” I subconsciously was saying, “Why are YOU God doing this to me?” At that moment I had this strange series of flashes. Not to sound kooky or zealous I literally had visions of every prayer ever answered and every solution offered to every problem I had encountered. It was a huge revelation for me. While in that moment my outlook was poor but I saw so much of what I needed, wanted and ever pursued had been given to me. I realized then I was not being punished but that I had to learn to look outside the box. So I learned:
- Guilt is my own baggage. It’s something I do to myself instead of fixing the things I don’t like about myself or my life…a scapegoat so to speak. I also learned that I cannot project it onto anyone; not God and not my family.
- When we make mistakes we just have to do them all over again until we get it right. No Big Deal. We are also asked to get back on the horse.
-If life isn’t working out I just have to ask; what is my outlook? What blessings should I be thankful for instead of what blessings do I wish I had? How can I improve my attitude to realize life is working out the way it is supposed to? I just need to roll with the current and be a better swimmer.
-God WANTS us to succeed and be happy. The universe, our Guides and Angels are routing for us. I am my own enemy.
It is my hope this article will help inspire others to consider their life’s lessons and perhaps share some of the best ones..a sort of pay it forward trickle affect as we can all glean from one another and are ultimately connected.