Put In the Work and Absorb the Lessons

Ink on Pastel Paper – Words: Dolly Parton

We often find out things about ourselves as we make mistakes, make changes, even when we fail. The things we learn are often byproducts of other things going on in our life. I appreciate these words from Dolly Parton as she reminds us to do things that intentionally help us find out who we are. Do those things on purpose. Be intentional, learn, and become more self aware.

I once attended a concert with a friend, turned out they were more of an acquaintance. I found that out the hard way. Looooong story short, I was left after the concert to fend for myself in an area of town where I should not have been alone. I was frightened, angry and felt very out of my element. I learned this person was not REALLY my friend AND that I was very resourceful. I found a small group of people leaving the concert that looked like me. I shared my predicament and they walked me to my car, made sure it started, and followed me to the highway. I was afraid and yet knew I needed someone around to help me get back to my car. It was a mixed group so I felt ok asking for help.

That sounds like a horrible story, and yet I look back and see it as a great lesson. I learned I was stronger and more capable than I realized and that not everyone had my best interests in mind. I understood my own capacity for fear and moving forward only put myself in situations where I had a backup plan…good lesson. It has served me well over the years. It may not have been an intentional moment to learn, yet learn I did.

Every situation we find ourselves experiencing has the power to shape us for the positive of the negative. What we choose to gleam and absorb is where we gain our power and knowledge. So it didn’t go the way you wanted, what’s the lesson learned? Maybe it went better than you thought, what is the principle you can apply moving forward to other areas of your life to help them go well? And what things do you know about yourself that are irrefutable elements of who you are at the core? THOSE are the moments in life we have to process for our own learning. They are out there, everyday, we simply have to be willing to put in the work and absorb the lessons.

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