'As I learn, I teach. As I teach, I learn.' I found these words rolling around in my head one morning as I contemplated life. Words and a concept so simple, yet actually lived out, so very powerful.
It seems once a person has lived enough of their lives, making their way through the obstacles and struggles that are a part of our human experience, this concept becomes apparent, sometimes making some sense of our hardest times.
A mother who loses a child, eventually able to tell her story to others, helps another mother who's just lost a child understand she's not alone and she is stronger than she thinks. An ex-addict who's turned his life around, becomes a beacon of hope for the addict who wants to live a better life but feels he doesn't have the strength or feel that he's worth it. A woman in an abusive relationship finds the strength to take her kids and leave their abuser. Her actions alone, inspiring a quiet young girl who's new boyfriend has abused her for the first time. The homeless man, down on his luck, takes help from a stranger to get on his feet again. The stranger was homeless and penniless at one time in his past, until a stranger helped him. Someone's sister commits suicide, the experience leads that person to live a more spiritual life, now they help other families come to terms with their experience of losing a loved one to suicide.
Trying to make sense of our lives isn't easy sometimes, especially when we are in the foggy, yucky, uncomfortable and painful part of some experience. We usually have to let a lot of time pass before we can make sense of some things, and I think some things, we will never understand. I think what's important, is what we do with our most challenging experiences. How we react to the struggles we encounter is where our power lies.
I believe we are all teachers and students in this class of life, and we continue to learn until the day we die. We may affect hundreds, thousands, or millions of people, or we may only affect a few. Maybe those few that we affect, may go on to affect many? We can't be sure. Sometimes we don't even realize how we've touched someone by sharing a story from our lives that they needed to hear in that moment, or by simply accepting others for who they are and where they are at in their lives without judgement, offering them the gift of belonging.
I've had many bottoms in my life, from all of which I've learned and grown a great deal. They were very uncomfortable at the time and painful beyond belief but looking back on it all now, I can see those situations were all there as opportunities for my personal growth. I chose not to let life's experiences break me, even though at times I felt like they would. I can see now, everything has been there to get me aligned on my spiritual path, finding myself and learning to love myself more every day. This is the place I now find myself inspiring others and I didn't even know I was doing that!!
It always touches me deeply when someone tells me that something I have done or said has inspired them or helped them in some way. Sometimes it's by way of these weekly blogs I write, sometimes through my drawings, and sometimes in conversation they remember something I've said, and sometimes it's just listening to their deepest, darkest, without judgement. Others have helped me to learn in this way as well.
It's funny how after I write a blog or offer someone a new perspective on a situation, the universe will test me to see if I'm walking my talk, giving me the opportunity to learn from what I teach. I notice this as well, when I do a reading for someone that the guidance is for myself as well. Certain situations or circumstances will always arise so I can practice learning from what I'm teaching! It's cool!
It's a great reminder that we're always learning and teaching. It keeps us humble and gives us the strength to keep going when we want to give up.
Peace, Love, and Learn