Lessons in life from the past
If I’ve learnt any lessons in life from the last two years it is that even if the truth hurts, you probably should go ahead and tell it all the same. And even if you think someone may resent you checking in with them, do it anyway, because regret lasts much longer than feeling awkward or being unsure if it is your job to do so.
I’ve learnt that even if something seems permanent it isn’t, so we shouldn’t take things for granted. I’ve learnt to respect what you love and try to understand what you don’t. If a situation is untenable, reframe or change it, and if you can’t reframe it and it doesn’t work, leave it.
I’ve learnt that the person we walk past thinking someone else is bound to help is often the person who will get no help at all.
Learning about resilience and savouring
I’ve learnt that resilience is a strength of character that cannot be measured until the chips are down, it is a transient strength that we sometimes have to drag from the depths of our being, we have it, we don’t always use it well.
I’ve learnt that savouring the small things outweighs the material things in life so much and that a smile or laugh from a beloved child has the capacity to make all seem well in the world, even if it isn’t. When we live in the moment, we truly are living.
Walking a mile in another’s shoes
I’ve also learnt that you cannot possibly understand what any person goes through unless you are given the opportunity to walk that mile in their shoes, and that life has the ability to share that experience with you at any time. Support is a gift, we can give it and we can take it, and both have immense wealth if we utilise them well. I’ve also learnt that when you take someone’s hope away unnecessarily, a light goes away with it, so we should buffer people’s aspirations and hopes as much as we do our own.
Equally I’ve learnt that when in the wrong place emotionally, a person has the capacity to be their own worst enemy, their strongest naysayer and that the automatic voice has the capacity to ruin your dreams, but only if you let it. Conversely I’ve learnt that a few positive affirmations have the power to raise someone up to achieve greatness they hadn’t even dreamt of. I’ve definitely witnessed that where attention goes, that area then grows, and this works for good or negative.
I’ve learnt that you do not go out to change the world, you go all out to change yourself. I’ve also learned that the world doesn’t stop turning just because you feel like it has, and no matter what has happened to those we love, other people continue to go about their day as usual. This is the nature of the world. All we can do is pay attention, much as we can to our own feelings, and this in itself allows us to notice more.
Yet all of these lessons tell me that the application of positive psychology in itself is a reflection of life’s lesson, and when we apply this science, we flourish.