This one’s a bit abstract. Bear with me if you can.
Let me lead with this: my parents are amazing. I tell people that whenever the topic comes up. They’re my role models, my best friends, and my support system. They’re both incredible people as a couple and as individuals. I’m proud to be their daughter, and they’re the reason I am the person I’ve become.
One of the most important things my parents ever taught me was about learning. I’m not talking academia, although the principle applies there as well. I mean learning in life. Learning from mistakes. Learning from people you know. Learning from situations you’re in. Learning whatever the Universe is trying to teach you. Everything and everyone that comes into your life is a learning experience. You learn lessons. But don’t think of “learning your lesson” as a negative thing. Take the negative, “I told you so” connotation out of it for this discussion. It’s just a process – an evolution.
Because of how I was raised, and because of my own life experiences, I believe this: if the same thing keeps happening to you over and over, you’re probably missing the lesson. The Universe will keep sending you the same problem so that you have another opportunity to learn from it. And every time you refuse to learn the lesson, it gets harder. If you didn’t learn the lesson that Dysfunctional Relationship 1 tried to teach you, then DR2 will present the same lesson with a twist. Ignore that one, and DR3 will get even trickier or more complicated or more emotionally difficult. You get the point.
I believe that learning these lessons helps you evolve as a human being. If you think of life as a video game, learning from and accepting the lessons that the Universe throws at you is like leveling-up or gaining a skill or something. You need to learn before you can move forward to bigger, better things, as it were.
When we were younger and one of us got frustrated about some person or event or disappointment and we couldn’t see beyond it, my mom would remind us to “Be silent. Be still. What is the lesson?” Take a step back – take the gut reaction out of it – and try to understand the bigger picture.
And sometimes I forget that I might be someone’s lesson – someone’s opportunity to learn. If I’ve learned a lesson, but then the situation comes up again in some form, it might not be because I didn’t learn what I was supposed to – it might be because the other person hasn’t learned his part yet.
I bring this up because I’ve gotten this feeling a couple times recently. People from my past – people I think I’ve learned from and who have helped me grow – have made short reappearances in my life in some form. A text. A call. A run-in. And the pattern begins to run. The old scenario resurfaces, but I know how to deal with it this time. And I think to myself, “Why? Why is this coming up again? I thought I’d learned what I needed to from this.” Then it hit me: I may be done with it, but maybe the other person isn’t. So the Universe has brought us back into each other’s lives so that the other person has the opportunity to learn a lesson.
I know not everyone agrees with all this. I know it might seem a little nutty to some folks, and that’s okay – I get that it might seem odd. But that’s how I see it. I guess I believe that we’re all connected in this cosmic way. That we all serve a purpose in each other’s lives. And today, I felt like putting it into words.