Learning from our experiences

July 12, 2011 Sandra Dawes

I almost entitled this article Learning from our mistakes, but I don’t want to refer to the opportunity to learn as a mistake.  The title of one of Wayne Dyer’s books echoing in my head, Change your thoughts, change your life.  Since changing my life for the better is a constant theme, then it is clear that changing the way I think is a necessity.

Once of my daily affirmations is “I am grateful for all of the good things that happen in my life and understand that everything is happening for my higher good.”  I am beginning to think that this affirmation needs some re-wording.  Instead of affirming that I am grateful for all of the good things that happen, I want to affirm that I am grateful for all my experiences.  You may think it’s a bit crazy to be grateful for the good, the bad and the ugly, but I’m learning that even the so-called negative experiences can provide me with a great opportunity to learn more about myself.

I used to wonder why the same things kept happening to me.  Why was I attracting people into my life that treated me in a way I felt was unacceptable?  Why did I keep getting jobs that didn’t pay me what I was worth?  What I hadn’t taken the time to think about was the fact that I was the constant factor in my pity party.  Instead of focusing on why all these “bad” things kept happening to me, the question I needed to be asking myself was why these things kept happening.  What’s the difference, you may ask?  Instead of wallowing in the victim mentality of why all these horrible things are happening to poor me, I just needed to ask why these experiences were happening, not to me, but in my life.

It took a long time for me to recognize that the repeated experiences in my life were signs that I needed to make changes in my life if I didn’t like the way things were going.  If I didn’t like the way people were treating me, but never had the self-confidence and self-esteem to speak up and let them know, then how was anyone supposed to know that it bothered me?  And if I didn’t have the courage to speak up, then how would things ever change?

If I wanted things in my life to be different, then I had to be different.  This is the knowledge that got me started that got me started on my journey of self-awareness and spiritual growth.  I was physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted by the repetitive drone of my life.  If I wanted significant change in my life, then I had to take an honest look at the work I needed to do within.

Once I was armed with the knowledge that I could actually affect serious change in my life, a serious shift occurred.  I stopped feeling sorry for myself when things happened in my life in a way I wasn’t expecting, or how I wanted it to.  Even when I find myself reacting negatively to a situation, it never lasts as long as it used to.  Instead of letting things get me down for days or weeks, I find that after an hour or two, I am able to stop and ask myself “what is the lesson I’m meant to learn?”

I’ve come to a point in my life where the lessons are no longer subtle.  Perhaps it’s because I am more self-aware now, but the common themes in my experiences are highlighting the areas of my life that need the most work.  While I am quite aware of the aspects of my life that require my attention the most, they are also the most challenging for me.  The universe is teaching me that I can’t hide from these not-so-easy lessons and I know that I have the tools I need to face these issues in an effective way.  There was a time when I wasn’t prepared to transform my negative experiences into positive ones; however I am now ready and willing. ♥



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