Watch out for the plateaus in life—they are the respite between the last lesson and the next one—but don’t get too comfortable, don’t give in to the desire to stay where you are. All life is growing towards the full blossoming of the self and then there is the decline towards old age and death. So don’t think: “I am happy and I want to stay here F-O-R-E-V-E-R!” Take the breath it offers you, the slight respite and get yourself ready for the next stage, the next lesson you are to learn. That’s the way life is.
The more lessons you are willing to learn, the more growing you will do, the closer you will become to the person you were created to be.
What are these lessons as I have experienced them?
- There is a whole other side to life than the surface busyness. It is grounded in my soul and in the Holy Spirit.
- I can’t see the truth of what I need and I do not ever know another person well enough to see their needs. Our needs are God’s province, given to me on a need-to-know basis or when I ask for a broader perspective on life or when I am ready to love.
- What I was taught by my family and culture and religion can be the greatest roadblocks to living a full, rich, purposeful life. I have to sort out for myself which attitudes and actions lead to life and which to death or limitation.
- I have to get over myself.
- Love is the answer to E-V-E-R-Y question in life: love, embrace, see who is before me to love and learn to love what is being offered.
- My openness, willingness and dedication to go where life/God would take me is my contribution. God will do the rest.
- Each step along the way offers me a lesson to be learned that will lead me to a more abundant life.
- Gratitude is the most natural response to life: gratitude for the opportunity to live in this amazing natural world, gratitude for the lessons I am learning, gratitude for the life I have, gratitude for life itself!
If you’ve learned other lessons along the way, or if you want to underscore one of these, please share them with all of us in the comments section.
So when a plateau arrives in your life, enjoy. Bask. Love. And know that another lesson is around the corner. I can’t think who it was who said that we here on Earth are in kindergarten and I can’t even remember the quote. But I like the idea that this existence here is a school. Certainly, there are plenty of lessons in what not to do—what sucks life out of life. But there are also guideposts and people everywhere that point to living life fully. So this world is a classroom. What do you think the main lesson to learn is? I think it is to love. Can you love when your whole life sucks? Can you love when you lose a loved one to death? Can you love when you have a serious illness or lose your possessions or have to face serious suffering? If you can love through anything, then you have learned the lessons of life here on earth.
My experience of life after I surrendered my life to God has been this: Each step of the way has been guided by the Lord in a curriculum that I call let’s-get-Pat-to her-created-self-by-the-most-direct-means-possible. I appreciate the fact that he has led me by baby steps with me not knowing what is coming next. I might have freaked out many times along the way had I known that the place he has me now is writing for so many people. I don’t think that the steps would have worked for anyone else, but because the Lord knows me from the inside out—after all he created me![and you!]—only he could design this curriculum for me. Your curriculum would be based in your created self, too, only not like mine, because we are so uniquely created.
So don’t resist the lessons, take a deep breath in between them. Embrace the learning, love no matter what, most especially love God always.
Questions to ponder over the week: What lessons have I learned from life? What is the current lesson I am facing? Am I resistant to learning or eager? Am I embracing the lessons to be learned or pushing them away?
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