Pain has a way of making us do things that we don’t want to do. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made under duress. Life can be hard enough without the added burden of beating yourself up, or judging yourself. Life is a process. And so is the knowledge that we acquire. And for many of us, that knowledge usually comes from the school of hard knocks. For some reason, the pain makes it real, somehow makes it more tangible.
There is a saying that I love. “Once you have learned to carry your own water, you can then appreciate every drop.” Meaning you have learned the value of it. I think the same holds true for knowledge. That somehow when pain is attached to it, we tend (not in all cases) to not make those mistake or learn those lessons again. Can we learn without pain? Absolutely. Do we? Some cannot. It’s as if they have lost the mechanism to process without pain. Or, their self worth is so low that they must endure great struggle in order to recognize something is off balance.
I can recall running an employee assistance program (EAP) for a small business. I was hired to coach the staff and help keep them accountable. What was interesting is that, while everyone was afforded the same opportunity to work with me, as soon as someone started making progress, the rest of the staff started to sabotage them. Why did this happen? I can’t say for sure, but since it was a small environment, when one person started to excel in their life, be it personal or professional, it made the others uncomfortable. You know the old saying that misery loves company. Bingo! Well once improvements stared to be made, it seemed that the others had a hard time processing healthy behavior, because pain was not attached to it. I was truly blown away.
Give yourself permission to learn in healthier ways
Do not get distracted from the lesson. While pain can be a great teacher, give yourself permission to learn in healthier ways. Don’t own the pain. And forgive yourself for your part in that process.
There are many ways to learn. Learning should be fun, exciting and enriching. Yes, pain can be a great teacher. But so is intention. Commit to yourself today. Honor that you graduated from the school of hard knocks. But it is time to further your education. And this go around you should learn from a loving and supportive environment.