The Lessons Life Offers Us

“True growth is a process which one allows to happen rather than causes to happen.” – Gerald May

Many of us attempt to control our lives–our interactions, our experiences, the outcomes of those experiences, and on and on. But here, Gerald tells us that this is a contradiction to true growth. Instead, he offers us another way of looking at the concept of letting go–allowing life to bring lessons to us rather than trying to find and go through only those lessons that we want to go through, or paying attention to only those things that we feel are important at the time. The truth is that life will give us all sorts of wonderful lessons that will help us to grow in spirit, in mind, and at heart, however, we must be willing to pay attention to what it is saying to us.

As people with limited perspectives, we are not really the best ones to be choosing our own lessons. For instance, if I do not know something, how do I know that I am supposed to learn it? How do I know that I could use some growth in the area of compassion unless life sends me a lesson that reveals what I need?

The lessons life presents us with are only half of the battle–we have to pay attention to the lesson, and we have to take something from it if we are to say that we have truly grown. And I believe it is about those lessons that Gerald is speaking–it is not for us to choose which lessons we respond to by growing and developing, but in paying attention to those lessons we become more loving, more caring, more patient.

When we plant a seed in the ground, we do not make it grow. We simply provide the conditions necessary for the seed to germinate and develop into a plant of some sort. Likewise with ourselves–by staying aware and accepting of life, we create conditions in which love and compassion and wisdom can grow, and once those conditions are good, we still cannot force any of those things to grow–we can only accept the conditions, then nurture them and allow them to grow inside us until they flower or bear fruit.

Be open to the lessons life offers you.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us try to control every element of our lives instead of letting go and accepting what life sends our way?

How might you go about creating the conditions inside yourself for positive things to grow?

What are three areas of growth that you’d like to see in yourself? Are the conditions optimal for such growth to occur?

For further thought:

“The great thing about life is that as long as we live we have the privilege of growing.” – Joshua L. Liebman


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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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