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The Learning Journey
Everyone has to start somewhere
Spent most of yesterday in my book “Elizabeth” – editing – or re-writing, I “think ” it is starting to take the shape of an actual book – oh my.
Except I will have to go through some again and 3D certain parts. You see it has been too flat. Why? Well, because I haven’t wanted to engage my protagonist – Why, you ask again? Let me tell you…
I didn’t like her… in her learning stage and kept wanting to make her more acceptable (palatable) But I had to come to recognize that learning is just that… learning … and during the time of learning we make mistakes – so it may get ugly or messy.
I remember the very first time I made our families traditional tomato sauce, (I was 13 years old I think); it was a disaster as well as a huge waste. Mom ended up throwing it all out! In addition my brothers teased me for weeks about it. But after that, well let’s just say the sauce turned out much better; at least it was edible. However, I had to go through a learning stage. Moreover, this is important , my parents and siblings had to go through that stage with me. There is just no short cutting this stage .
A Need to Start
Someone, (I can’t remember who now), once said to me, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” If I embrace the learning stages in my life and humbly accept the mistakes as part of the learning process it will make it a much more pleasant experience with victory or success in the skill or craft at the other end.
If I would have quit crocheting after my first project because of the many mistakes there were in it, I would have had a lot less gifts to bless my friends and family with. I had to walk, live, work through the learning stage. There is no getting around it, and as I live in community – family, friends, co-workers etc., they get the privilege of walking through the learning stage with me. We all have no choice in this matter.
How I react to my learning curve will influence how my community reacts to my learning curve. Do I make it harder or easier on them? On me? Do they have to deal with my attitude as well as my learning curve? How do I deal with other people’s learning? Do I walk with them encouraging and supporting, being – expressing – showing love and patience, kindness – acceptance of them through their errors in learning. Or do I expect them to know before they have even learned?!
Learning in Community
Often this is a stage in life where parents may miss it. Parents will often need/want/demand their kids to know. They sometimes showed their kids something once then expect them just to know.
But as I have learned skill takes practice. And practice takes time. Practice by virtue of its very name also produces mistakes/errors before there is skill. No one gets perfectly skilled at any craft. Anything in life is an on-going process of practice. Anything.
So, back to my book Elizabeth; I need to patiently let my protagonist live and walk through her learning stage. It’s what makes her real, makes her a person, growing, walking through a life in process. I have to be sure to not make the same mistake with her side-kick, Alex. He is not perfect! Nobody is and so I can’t present them as such or expect them to be perfect no matter how uncomfortable I am with their learning and all its subsequent errors.
The thing we forget as individuals is even though we are individuals we live in community. So we also learn in community. Therefore, as I am walking my personal journey of process… someone else is also walking their personal journey of process. We need to be aware of and compassionate of each other’s journey, even as we are going through our own messiness or ugliness of learning. We are not the only ones. We must realize and understand that the world does not stop just because we are going through learning.
It is something that happens continually. If I am alive – I am learning – to one degree or another. I will never get to a stage where I am no longer learning anything – maybe not the same thing (hopefully not) but learning something and with that… will always come the potential for mistakes and messes. I have to accept this! I have to in fact embrace this for myself and others!
This is important in life and I think I have missed this part of awareness. We/I need to be aware this happens – always – and for everybody. Nobody just knows – we learn, we experience, we make mistakes, we grow. And again we need to remember; mistakes can be ugly and/or messy!
It is just the way it is. But mistakes are not deadly (for the most part) except when we back away and say see…I cannot do this! Fatality comes when we use mistakes as an excuse to stop what we are doing because we can’t be perfect at first shot!
This is either pride or fear of response. If others have looked at you as stupid because of honest growing mistakes and not helped you through them – then the tendency or temptation is to quite.
So… how am I with my own mistakes?
How am I with other people’s mistakes?
Do I let them learn or do I demand perfection; expect perfection?
Good question to mull on.