Some months back, I was conversing about someone with my husband and remarked – ”Why does this person repeat the same mistakes again and again?”. To this, my husband said – “Forget about this person. What about us? Are we not repeating our mistakes?” His observation surprised me and made me reflect. Is it true that I am repeating my mistakes? To find out the answer to this question, I started tracking all the instances that disturb me emotionally. What makes me angry or sad or jealous or stressed or in summary ‘unspiritual’? I tracked my negative emotions and reasons that triggered them diligently for almost 6 months in a notepad. Also, I tracked situations that caused me inconvenience, discomfort and struggle.
This tracking proved quite beneficial to understand my behaviour. It amazed me that mother nature brought same situations again and again into my life in an attempt to teach me and here I am refusing to learn. I am stuck with my old patterns and behaviours which are not helping me grow. Below are my 3 observations about my behaviour.
- I made same mistakes again and again. To give an example, I forget to charge my mobile before going out and this causes me inconvenience.
- Similar situations repeated in life and my responses to these situations were same. I responded in auto mode as if I am programmed. Example – I become upset when someone criticizes my cooking. I don’t need to let criticism impact my emotions. I can accept criticism and try to identify where I went wrong. But I go in auto mode and logic goes for a toss.
- Every challenges comes with a lesson and I did not learn from these situations that challenged me.
Along with tracking my behaviour and identifying my patterns, I also created a notepad with the title “LESSONS TO LEARN” and created various categories like relationships, health, money, spirituality, cooking, travel etc.
In this notepad, I started noting down all the lessons I need to learn. To give a simple example, my husband and I both have learnt Pranic Astrology and know the importance of right timing. But due to forgetfulness/carelessness, we timed certain events in wrong astrological times and struggled a lot to complete them. (Yes, earlier I also thought life is beyond astrology and being good, praying, meditating is enough but my experience has made me believe in astrology and take it seriously). So, the lesson from this is – time events according to astrology. In this way, I started making a list of all the lessons and this list came to almost 77 points.
It is good that I started identifying the lessons I need to learn and noted them down in a notepad but is this enough? No. I need to remember these lessons and apply them in daily life. This is the most important part of this exercise. So, I went through my lessons everyday in the first few hours of my day. This has helped me to remember the lessons and practice in daily life.
This entire process, which took me several months, has helped me to reduce my mistakes and emotional disturbances. It made me feel good that I am learning from my mistakes, challenges and improving everyday. Of course, I did not learn all my lessons and there is a long way to go. But I made some progress in lesson learning and this made a great difference to the quality of my life. It is true that life is the greatest teacher and if we are suffering or struggling or facing same challenges again and again, it is only because we are refusing to learn our lessons. These lessons could be related to discipline, acceptance, managing expectations in relationships etc. The day we learn our lessons, life becomes simple and easy.
On this Sunday, I invite you to reflect on these questions.
- Are there are any situations or challenges that are recurring in my life?
- What situations disturb me emotionally and why?
- What lessons do I need to learn from these situations and challenges?
May we all learn our lessons and progress. Sarve jana sukhino bhavanthu!
-Contributed by Geethanjali Balachander