Gentle Lessons Learning without disaster BY: Troy Murphy | November 2015
We learn best with gentle instruction. Soft lessons are less threatening, gently allowing for absorption and eventual integration. During experience if we tune into the emotions, we notice feelings emerging in conjunction with the event, often caused by personal connections to that experience. The awareness loosens ego’s grasp, inviting learning instead of self-protection. We easily overlook the subtleness of these soft messages, missing opportunities for growth. If we have routinely drifted through life blind to experience, don’t panic; life lessons return after missing the first subtle lesson—often a little louder and with a little more force.
The loud painful lessons don’t guarantee learning, unconscious living fails to comprehend deeper reasons; the painful experiences don’t make sense. We scratch our heads and wonder why. We ignore, dismiss and excuse responsibility. We errantly blame the wrong causes and learn the wrong lessons. Continued refusal to humbly learn, leads to stubbornly following destructive paths, protecting egos while destroying futures. In protection of self, we destroy our lives trying to prove to the world we are right. We justify our insanity as reasonable—and excusable.
Finding patterns of action connected to repeated disappointments, uncovers personal deficits that invite failure. The gentle lessons expose vulnerabilities that unmask the hidden secrets. Soft lessons are easily ignored, not demanding attention. We wait until complete collapse, hitting rock bottom; but even then, we may still miss the lesson, preferring to blame than accept. Taking responsibility for poor decisions and the destructive consequences diminishes over indulgent perceptions of goodness. We see the flaws. But acceptance of our unsavory realities unveils avenues to change. When protecting tender egos but creating greater personal pain, we are the fools. We repeatedly fail to heed to the lessons without scrutinizing our roles. Our actions are the only ingredients we have power to change. If we fail to learn the first time, the lesson returns with greater force.
Some painful experiences aren’t the result of personal choice. But many, if not most, are intricately tied with our actions, choices and thoughts; elements where we exercise some degree of control. With complexity, the causes are numerous. If personal accountability is excused with blame, we never gleam sufficient insight to avoid repeating the same pitfalls.
The soft lessons only are evident to those seeking wisdom through personal examination of choices, thoughts, and attitudes.