Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, Life Motivation, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Life’s Longest Lesson

We got to school for years hoping to learn enough information and skills to get us through life. Courses in school go in sequence when they built upon one another. They increase in depth and difficulty as you move along the education continuum. The goal of learning is to build an arsenal of tools that will guide and assist you as you move through life.

We learn a lot of facts, but when it comes to practical life lessons we have to divert our attention from the classroom and look to our real world experiences as our teachers. This is where we learn respect, responsibility, and cooperation to name a few. Real world experiences provide us with a context for overcoming adversity. These are the lessons that are often the hardest to learn because they can only be learned by making it through the challenge. You have to find a solution to the problem/challenge to learn the lesson.

Obviously there are challenges you can’t prepare for such as an illness. This is where life lessons get more complicated because we have to able to generalize our lessons learned to a new situation. If you’ve been sad in the past how did you get over it? What did you do to resolve that emotional challenge? Having the capacity to superimpose those lessons to new situations is how we move forward on our path to health and healing.

So what are the lessons that are taking you the longest to learn? How would you know that they’re a struggle? They are the challenges that continue to present themselves challenging you every step of the way. They are the challenges that give you an opportunity to try various possible solutions providing an arena for trial and error.

We don’t like to think about the lessons we are having difficulty learning. Thinking about the unlearned lessons often makes us feel defeated. On the other hand, if you’re up to “doing the work” having these challenges build inner strength. They allow you to build a pyramid of learning expanding the realm of possibility in your life.

How will you tackle the unlearned lessons? What strategies will you use to learn the lessons most trying physically, mentally, or spiritually?

Looking for inspiration, education, and support when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness, visit

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I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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