A dear friend asked me some time ago what I think I’ve learned in my life. This seemed to be an ominous task to recount all of it until I realized that learning can boil down to some over-arching concepts. Yes of course I’ve learned to speak, write, walk, etc and I won’t go into these more mundane aspects of my training. The purpose of this writing is to share the deeper concepts of my own learning and to hopefully spur some of your own thoughts around what you have learned in your life.
What have I learned so far? – (in no particular order)
- . . . how much others allowed me to behave as I chose (the good, the bad and the ugly).
- . . . how badly I behaved at times without regard to other’s feelings or needs.
- . . . how much those close to me, love me and want me to be happy.
- . . . that allowing me to behave badly does not serve you or me. I now realize that calling others on their behavior can be a very loving thing to do.
- . . . how much I considered myself a victim of my environment (parents, society, etc)
- . . . that I have a lot more anger in me than I previously thought… about many things…
- . . . that awareness of perspective (mine and others) is critical to enlightenment
- . . . that truth is the conjoined twin of perspective
- . . . that my own need for control is at the deepest part of my fear (as so succinctly and directly shown to me by Mother Ayahuasca)
- . . . that no matter how much I want someone to see my perspective (my truth), that they may not have a way to understand it and that I cannot take it personally if they don’t understand it.
- . . . that no matter how much I try to show someone how their behavior and method of communication is poisonous (in my perspective), if they believe they are doing the right thing, I will likely never convince them otherwise.
- . . . that my perspective of someone else’s behavior can be flawed and full of righteous judgment
- . . . that no matter how I was treated as a child, my parents, siblings, friends and neighbors were all doing the best they could.
- . . . that a person’s best changes and that I have no way of knowing what they’ve been through in their life that causes their best to be what it is.
- . . . that sometimes a person’s best is horrid and unspeakable and likely a result of them trying to survive their own demons.
- . . . that fully giving myself to someone can be the most terrifying and beautiful experience I’ve ever known
- . . . that I never fully gave myself to anyone, because I don’t know how.
- . . . that being angry is not a bad thing but is simply is an indicator of a needed change.
- . . . that my anger can be used as fuel to propel me forward into the unknown territory of change.
- . . . that sharing my perspective is best when another asks for it.
- . . . that my obsession with sex, women, the female form, is all normal and I no longer need to feel bad about it
- . . . that I am in love with my body and the more I honor it, the more it loves me back.
- . . . that I don’t need to figure it all out, and that I need to trust more.
- . . . that another person’s emotions are not my responsibility.
- . . . how wide spread shame is used as a method of control, and this makes me very sad.
- . . . that growing up on a farm was an amazing way of learning about life and death, building a solid work ethic, developing my intuition, connecting with nature and respecting it, knowing how to work with others, developing problem solving skills and creativity, enjoying solitude, and many other things that I’m appreciating more the older I get.
- . . . that the only true and powerful way for me to vote for change is where I choose to spend my money.
- . . . that the only way for me to truly be free is to take responsibility for how I respond to life.
- . . . that through awareness and diligence, I can train my mind to do my bidding instead of the other way around.
- . . . that peace comes from having an open mind and taking the time to truly understand someone else.
- . . . that traveling (near or far) is a great way to know your planet, to build empathy for others, and for others to better know you.
- . . . that I will continue to learn and experience every day of my life and that is really the whole point.