Life is an incredible teacher, and I rarely find a person who has nothing to teach me. I have learned how important it is to listen rather than to speak, and ask a lot of questions. No one ever learns anything listening to themselves blabber on about whatever it is they themselves are already knowledgeable in.
It was back in my 19th year that I was living with a boyfriend who was, to be blatant, a real ass. We were both frying on acid, and I had wandered upstairs to hang out in the bedroom. There was I remember quite clearly, an egg crate foam pad laying across the top of a box spring mattress. The bed was bare of sheets, and I sat upon the corrugated surface of the pad. As I looked into the egg crate pattern I began to see various patterns and then visions, and suddenly I became quite fearful.
I could hear my boyfriend through the open window, he was talking to someone downstairs outside of the apartment. I made my way to the window, and called down to him that I needed help. A few minutes later a very annoyed boyfriend appeared in the room, and demanded to know what was so important that I disrupted his conversation. I relayed the fact that I was having a bad trip, and just needed him to help me out a bit. He looked at me, said “Just let go,” and walked out the door.
At first I was incredulous, thinking him evil to have left me in this state. After a few minutes though I decided I would do exactly as he said, and I just ‘let go‘. I was fine after that, and enjoyed the rest of my trip. This lesson was to last me a life time, and as the years went by I became more adept at letting go.
Letting go is for those moments when you are in the middle of an argument, and realize making your point really doesn’t accomplish anything. It is for those times when you are fearful, emotionally distraught, or in the middle of a stressful situation. Letting go helps when you have broken up with someone, or dealing with the death of someone close. Emotions are healthy, but holding onto them isn’t. This lesson has helped me to be a relaxed and level headed individual, and letting go has just become a natural process of living.
It was only a couple years ago that I learned this lesson. I was room-mating with my daughter Raven, with whom I spent quite a bit of time. We both of course depended upon each other to keep the house clean and take care of the daily duties. Every time I would forget to do a chore or a task that needed to be done, I would start to tell Raven why it wasn’t done. She would immediately reply with a curt “No excuses!” At first I didn’t really pay attention, but after awhile of her repeating this mantra, I began to listen.
Now, I have learned to stop myself dead in my tracks, and not make excuses. Whenever something needs done I just do it. It doesn’t matter whether I am tired, depressed, ill, etc., I do what needs to be done. No excuses starts with not giving one’s self excuses or reasons for not getting things done, and then there is no reason to give anyone else an excuse.
Sure there are exceptions, such as extreme illness or disability, but even then there is no excuse not to do what we can for ourselves to get well. No excuses is an excellent way to live one’s life, and helps to empower you to feel more in control of your own destiny. Thanks Raven for helping me along my path!
So, what are the most important lessons you have learned in life?