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We’re Always Learning

I remember having long talks with my dad when I was young and full of questions. Sometimes the memories pop up, in no particular order, and still provoke deep thoughts. One of the most recent recollections brought up memories of a conversation where my dad postulated that each generation should surpass the previous in intelligence, skill, success, and wisdom. At the time of that conversation, I believed he would live to be growing and refining himself into his late double-digits and my legacy would have the time after his death to achieve this next level of greatness. What I am seeing and coming to understand more, now that I am an adult, (probably close to the age he was when we had that conversation,) is different than what I thought he was saying. Perhaps he didn't even mean what I am taking from it, but it feels profound enough for me to share.

As I try to sum it up into something brief, it seems less impressive but all the thinks that came with it really opened my eyes to more opportunity for love.

It may even be important for me to share what I feel like our purpose is here; to grow and learn and to refine ourselves to be more loving, understanding, patient, and kind.

Too often, in my late 20's and early 30's, I looked with critical eyes and processed with a brain ready to blame the previous generations for the situations we find ourselves in today. Having made lots of friends who have absent or addicted parents, I found myself being so angry with their parents. Perhaps that tendency to respond initially with anger is something I learned from the previous generation. As I have grown to understand what anger is showing us, I have been much more capable of responding more thoughtfully and taking time to cool off a bit before confronting the scenario.

I've definitely said, numerous times, that becoming a parent is the most transformative process I've ever experienced. IT'S FUGGIN WILD, Y'ALL!! DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY!! You will be pushed to the breaking point SO *MANY* TIMES!! You know, going into it, that your finances will be stressed, your routines will all change, you may not even have a routine for a few years because the world revolves around this new human that is trying to figure everything out. BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS PROCESS ALSO REFINES YOU?!? As these little people grow, they are often going to mimic back to you, all the things you don't even see yourself doing, day in and day out. I had no idea how sarcastic I am! I always thought it was this silly and funny thing I did occasionally but my son has shown me what it feels like to live in a world where you never get the right answer the first time. The tone you use to communicate with your children and your housemates will be echoed back in the tones they use with each other and the animals and with YOU. I found myself disciplining my kids for doing things I was doing.

I've gone all over the place and I am going to try to bring it all together now, thanks for reading, if you've made it this far...

We can learn from EVERYTHING around us, especially when we are open to our own faults and when we are committed to bettering ourselves. I wished many times while caring for my dad, that he would still be able to teach me things I needed to learn to be a better parent and person. He may have lost his mind and his ability to speak but I learned SO SO SO MUCH from him and from the process.

I'm not angry with him anymore and I haven't been for a few years but BOY WAS I EVER ANGRY WITH HIM for several years! When my friends are having a hard time with the decisions they've made or the situations they find themselves in, I have asked that they treat themselves the way they would best appreciate an adult treat them if they were a child in the situation. This means they are both the child and the adult in the situation they're in--both the student and the teacher. If they are mean and angry and frustrated with themselves, they'll likely keep making the situation worse. If they are loving and patient and kind with themselves, they find understanding for why they've done whatever and then also are more full of suggestions and remedies for said scenario.

At no particular age, do we have it all figured out. We are students in life until death, and even the process of dying teaches us so much. Be a patient student, even when you are a parent/teacher. So many external factors contribute to the narrative in our heads but if we can really embrace that we are all learning as much as we're teaching, I think we can find more compassion for those around us. When something is frustrating, irritating, or angering us, lets try to take a deep breath and find out what about ourselves is this situation trying to show us, before we react to what has triggered these feelings.