Life, as some teachings say of our day-to-day living ” carry water, chop wood ” can provide personal learning and growth. What do we mean by that? Anything we do can have meaning and opportunity for checking in with ourselves, about our day and how we lived it. Did we live up to our own expectations or standards for ourselves? Some people may look at life as an opportunity in each encounter and choice they make, to pay attention, be present in order to learn from it. Some may call it checking in with their “inner compass”. Some people say they have standards or expectations for themselves to live up to, that seem innate, coming from their inner core. Others may look to the outside world to get their bearings of how to be. No matter where we look, pain seems a part of this life. Physical or emotional pain gets our attention. Pain may stop us in our tracks. Maybe the pain forces us to change course in life, to move, quit a job, or slow down. In retrospect we might understand the painful time could also have brought gifts or shifts that altered our life for the better.
Along this journey of life there are joyous moments, heartbreaking ones, small hurts, big challenges, and unexpected surprises. How we interpret, process and behave determines a lot of what we experience. And as humans, we can change our minds and look at our interpretations to better line up with our inner compass. Some of the hardest and most challenging times in our lives can be full of pain. Yet the gift in that experience when we are “awake at the wheel” is inner growth and an open heart. We can keep the gift and let go of the pain.