You don’t learn life lessons from the happiest place on earth, you learn them through the tribulations and pains we all go through.
Today, we drove through Sacramento heading to Fresno (yes, it’s hot) and it’s been about a year since we last did traveled to Fresno. Except last time we got rear ended by a hit and run driver (thankfully there were no injuries for us). Later that weekend my son broke his leg (the car accident and broken bone were unrelated). The weekend was eventful to say the least. Driving down this timeI have been extremely cognizant of how I need to hold materials good loosely.
From this, my wife and I learned a lot. We learned to be vigilant. We learned to love our family because that accident could have easily been worse. We learned to have savings for things like that because even though the car accident wasn’t our fault, we still had to pay the deductible — and the hospital bills for my son.
We didn’t learn from what went well, we learned from the pains of that trip.
I broke my kneecap about 15 years ago over winter break. That was another life lesson. Nothing is forever. My knee grinds, is loose, and doesn’t function like yours likely do. That’s shaded my perspective and jaded me in ways I did not expect. But it’s made me more reflective. It’s made me grateful I can walk again (I was in a cast for 10+ weeks).
I didn’t learn lessons from my time off. I learned lessons from the weeks I was laid up, in pain, and unable to do simple things (walking to the kitchen, for example) that I used to do.
This is not about sympathy or pity parties — this is exclusively to share that we learn from our weaknesses. It could be a speech that bombed, a class you failed, a car accident, a major failure at work, or anything else. We grow because of — not in spite of — weakness. It’s impossible to cherish it in the moment, but it makes us who we are. And for that, we can be grateful.
How have your troubles affected you? Has your life been so good, so easy that you’ve never really had to try, that you’ve never had real risks? Or have you had an abundance and you need it all to stop?