You’ve probably had this happen to you before: some well-meaning person tells you that there is always good to be found in a situation or that there is a gift in the struggle you are going through right now or not to get so down because — you’ll see — it’s better right around the corner.
Thank you, well-meaning person.
Now, please go away. I know this and I’m not ready to be there yet. Or: it’s too much right now to find the bright spot. Or: you don’t know $#!*. Get back to me in like, well, never. Seriously, go away!
OK, maybe that last paragraph is just me. 😉
When we’re not in the worst of it, many of us do know that some of life’s greatest teachings have come from some of the hardest of times we have been through.
I know that is my truth. Some of the worst moments of my life have led to the breakthroughs or learnings that I needed in order to get to a better place.
I’m going to be that PITA, well-meaning person now (for just a quick moment) and say that I do believe there is always a learning to be found or revealed in every challenge we face or mistake we make.
I also believe that it’s not something you need to worry about or get hit over the head with when you are in the deep, dark hole of it, nor am I going to be the person that tells you it’s time to crawl out of that hole.
We each need our own time to move through whatever we are feeling and facing, and we don’t need judgment or advice from others (however well-meaning they may be) about how we should grieve or be angry or learn our lesson.
We each get to feel, heal, and reveal in our own time. (Tweet this.)
The lessons you have to learn from any given situation are yours alone to find and integrate.
Specifically, with mistakes, I am trying to change my internal story to: mistakes are actually learnings. And, even when I do not enjoy an experience, I can enjoy what I learned.
I have also had to be careful that I am learning the right, best lesson for me.
Sometimes when I have been in such an extreme situation — fearful or angry or utterly overwhelmed — I can start to integrate lessons that are not actually what I needed to learn. If it is a fearful lesson, I know that I am still in a space of being triggered and that I need more time to process and that is OK.
There are absolutely situations where learning healthy fear was what needed to be integrated, especially in my younger years when I was in unsafe situations, and still to this day those lessons have kept me safe.
The sad thing is I also learned to be fearful of people who should have been safe but were not, and those lessons I have had to unlearn, as the people I choose to have in my life now are safe.
When we are in extreme, life-threatening situations, our minds and bodies do all they can to try to keep us safe. Thank you, wise and safe self. Those are not the situations I am talking about today. Although, they are entirely too prevalent and many of us have to spend years unlearning those fear lessons.
Aside from situations where my physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual safety is in jeopardy, I think it is helpful to ask myself these questions:
- What is here for me to learn?
- Is what I am taking from this a fearful lesson or an abundant lesson?
- What did I learn that will help me in the future?
- What did I learn that allows me to flourish?
- What did I learn that keeps me in a place of love?
- What did I learn that allows me to be in a place of possibility?
- How do I want to actively integrate what I have learned?
When you’re ready to accept it, I offer this to you: What is here for you to learn?
This post is also a part of the Daily Anchor email series, which we’re sending out to help provide you support and grounding and hope during this challenging time. If you’d like to receive the Daily Anchor in your inbox each weekday, you can sign up here.