In Honor of Slow Learners

 Photo by Nick Abrams

Photo by Nick Abrams

Since life is about growth, we’re often tested to see what we’re made of. It’s the best way to become self-aware. When we stretch and try new things we have a period of sorting through things and learning the lay of the land. Eventually, after we’ve made enough mistakes, we begin to find our rhythm and our movements become more natural and our confidence increases. Failure is an awesome teacher as it shows us exactly where we’re weak and need to strengthen and mature. Failure points to our vulnerability and invites us to do what it takes to explore that part of ourselves. Pain and failure are messages from life that remind us that certain areas of our lives need attention. We can either heed those messages or we can ignore them. If we choose the latter, the weakness and pain may submerge for a bit, but eventually it will return, usually with greater intensity.

Life's lessons don’t like to be ignored or denied, so over time they seem to build up in intensity and when they come around again, they aren’t quite as easy to take. Even then, sometimes people ignore the call to make a change or put attention on the issue that is calling for attention, not realizing that this will only make things worse later.

We often default into whatever is easiest at the time, as laziness seems to be our preferred way of being. If only we realized that if we met challenges head on the first time around, life would be much easier in the long run.

Ignoring something DOES NOT always make it go away; it usually makes it worse!

I can be a slow learner, which is probably why I am so passionate about guiding others. I often wait until the lesson becomes harsh and painful before I’m willing to make a change. It’s as if I need to completely burn through the lesson until it gets really ugly and nasty before I let go. I sometimes need a 2 x 4 and other times I need a 4 x 8. The reason for this may be because I really want to finish a lesson completely with no loose ends hanging free. I prefer to get something 100 percent rather than 90 percent and still have to deal with the remaining 10 percent. This is simply my style. I certainly don’t recommend it to anyone else, but I have heaps of compassion for other slow learners, which is I think, why people are often drawn to me, especially my group work. If they are sincere, I’m willing to stay the course with them as they push through their challenges and issues.

Ultimately, we all need support to heal and grow, to move to a place of integrity into wholeness. We are simply too blind to our own issues to move through them without the mind stepping into to try and keep us from becoming self-aware. The mind is very attached to its comfort zone and is afraid of pain and discomfort so it will always do its best to keep us circling around and around on the same merry-go-round, even if it kills us. It whispers those doubts into our ears in that soothing voice that tells us that doing something good for ourselves won’t work or won’t matter or isn’t worth the effort—all lies designed to hold us back and not change. We have to truly view our mind as our worst enemy, even though it will do it’s best to try and make you believe it’s your best friend. It wants to keep you safe, after all, isn’t that what friends do? No, real friends want whats best for you, not necessarily what’s comfortable.

Repeating lessons and patterns are there to remind us that we’re not finished with a lesson.

Life is a backwards, upside-down reversal of values and priorities from what is most normal and authentic for human beings. We spend years in school programming us away from our natural inclinations in almost all aspects of our lives, so much so, that we don’t know how to live from that place any more. Work and the typical Western lifestyle only reinforce this programming keeping us cut of from each other and ourselves. We move through life disoriented and lost, longing for something that’s missing, but not quite sure what it is since it was taken from us when we were only children.

The only way back to what’s natural and authentic are unlearning and unhooking from the programming. Not all at once, but slowly over time and ideally with support. This return is often viewed negatively by others and seen as a threat by our society because we are challenging a system, which when looked at closely begins to resemble a prison system designed to benefit only a very small percentage of the population. One by one, as the most courageous among us move away from the status quo, others will feel encouraged to follow and over time, we can all begin the process of restoring our natural humanity.